When I put this on at the end of the day yesterday I was basically horrified. Things that came to mind included burnt hair, Sharpie markers, chemical fire, and scents of alarm in general. I scrubbed it after an hour or so, but read up on it later. Trying it again today with the notes in mind, I find it much more intelligible, even through the admittedly harsh opening. Certain references in other reviews seem fairly spot-on. There is definitely a filthy, warm honey aspect (I keep thinking of honey freshly regurgitated from the bee) coming from the honey/civet combination. I also appreciate the comparison of this to sniffing the leather wristband of a watch that has been worn for many years. More than anything, I agree with a reviewer who likened the scent to worn underwear. I do not mean to be vulgar or shocking; this is pretty much right on, and if there is any truth to the legend of Germaine Cellier's creative process for Bandit, this reference is nothing new. Ultimately, Absolue pour le Soir is corporeal and sexual, vividly conjuring sweat, traces of other body fluids and/or functions, and a feminine powder. In my heart, I feel these scents have a firm place in perfumery. I just don't know what to do with them personally, because they have a context antithetical to the vast majority of my perfume wearing occasions. On the other hand, I can imagine this being very enticing on my wife on a promising date.
So, a very, very challenging fragrance. As someone interested in perfume, I am willing to work with this, but considering those in my olfactory zone will most likely not be patient perfume aficionados, I am concerned about reactions. It really projects, and the notes tend to cut through any competing scent. You will be noticed. For better or worse, who can say? Another reviewer described this as a fragrance that wears the wearer, rather than the other way around. I don't entirely agree, but do find this requires rather than inspires confidence.
I thought this was going to be my first thumbs-down review, but Absolue Pour le Soir receives a thumbs-up for its uniqueness and highly evocative nature (not necessarily for accessibility or even general wearability). Longevity, projection, and sillage are unquestionably outstanding.