After about 4 hours it starts to settle down. The spiciness and lemon fade away into a soapy rose fragrance, not unlike Acqua Di Parma Essenza to my nose, but more powdery with more rose. At this point it’d make a good blousy black tie fragrance or any well-dressed occasion. But it does occasionally teeter on the edge of smelling like grandma’s pot pourri basket.
To me, it’s a bit of a stand-offish scent, but not in an impolite way, just reserved, wary and unwelcoming of any physicality.
The craftsmanship and quality of the fragrance is definitely obvious in tge dry-down. It’s just not my vibe.
...but the performance is dire. It doesn't have or need huge silage, but the longevity is really poor and it's so disappointing and frustrating for a scent this good. You can bathe in it in the morning and it's gone by lunchtime. Allure Homme Edition Blanche Parfum happily lasts all day long.
I'd say illusione manages to smells even better than AHEB (slightly less sweet, less vanilla and more natural) but the performance leaves it a runner up. The woods are more subtle and more of a rounded supporting role, compared to the brighter more prominent pencil shavings woods of Cedrat Boise. But again, the performance really lets illusione down again.
I didn't get the Eau des Baux comparison until 20 mins in when the vanilla and spices come through stronger, but it's like a more creamy floral figgy version (or EdB is a drier more woody version.)
The comparison with Earnest Hemmingway is spot on - not sure I could tell them apart - maybe this has a bit more figgy pencil shavings... maybe.
I prefer the the EH.