Recently, after a visit to Aruba, my friend Chuck began singing the praises of the Agatha fragrances by New York fashion and accessories designer, Agatha Brown. Her five scents for men and women have been described as “the most exclusive and prestigious fragrances in the world”.
The first of her men’s scents I’ll review, Conquest, has been imagined by its creator as a scent that 007 himself might wear. It contains notes of bergamot, lemon, yuzu zest, Rio Red grapefruit, fig leaf, stephanotis, jasmine, iced lavender, white muguet, Braeburn apple, Atlas cedar, vetiver, tonka bean, Ceylonese sandalwood, patchouli, olibanum, benzoin and musk.
Conquest opens with a citrus burst that is nicely paired with a sweet apple note. As the top notes give way, the floral-laced wood notes open, finally drying down to a base dominated by sweet benzoin and lavender. The initial impression is familiar. Those who remember (and who can forget) Guy Laroche’s Drakkar Noir will agree to the similarity. But the comparison ends quickly as Conquest transforms into a woodsy composition that never loses its sweet zesty edge.
As the scent develops I’m reminded of, first, Vicky Tiel’s rich Ulysse, though whereas Ulysse heads for vanilla territory, Conquest offers up cedar, vetiver and olibanum. Then the sweetness resides and I’m left with echoes of Van Cleef & Arpels’ Tsar — cedarwood and lavender, and here’s one of the surprises to this scent — the drydown on my skin is predominantly lavender!
Overall, Conquest is a well-crafted fragrance that truly stands apart from the current onslaught of smell-alike designer fragrances and woody gourmands, though is also somewhat of a throwback to the late 80’s. Long-lasting, with excellent sillage and an unusual array of notes, this scent is a surprise as it morphs from citrus and fruit into dry woods and lavender.
For buying information, see the listing for Agatha under Perfume Houses.
Bonus reading: Marlen interviews Agatha Brown on Basenotes.
Tomorrow: Imperial Jade Emperor by Agatha Brown