Juozas Statkevicius (aka Josef Statkus) Eau de Parfum ~ fragrance review

Juozas Statkevicius aka Josef Statkus

Lithuanian designer Juozas Statkevicius launched his debut Eau de Parfum several years ago, and it has just recently reached the United States. The perfumer is Fabrice Pellegrin, and the notes include coriander, jasmine, patchouli, incense, vanilla, benzoin, amber, cashmere wood and musk.

I am rather late to this bandwagon*, but it is a worthy bandwagon so I'm jumping right on. We are lucky that Juozas Statkevicius launched his first fragrance before he became a household name (assuming he ever does), because it is far from the usual designer fare, and as we can see from the contrast between Matthew Williamson's mainstream perfume debut and what we know about his personal preferences from the smaller-scale (and now discontinued) Incense fragrance he released with Miller Harris, once a designer hits the big time, it is all over scent-wise. For that matter, releasing a huge commercial hit in the fragrance department probably helps a designer hit the big time, no? I will keep an open mind about John Galliano's fragrance debut next year, but how likely is it that he won't bow to commercial pressures and launch a sweet fruity floral? Not very.

None of that is meant to imply that Juozas Statkevicius Eau de Parfum is one of those esoteric niche scents that will leave most of the population shaking their heads in dismay; it is a very wearable, even comforting, rendition of incense, in fact, I would call it more wearable than many of my incense favorites, being neither cold & churchy, nor overly dry, nor unapproachably musty. It is most frequently described as soft, and that is exactly what it is: a velvety plush incense, not quite dark and not quite pale, with an ambery wood base sweetened with just the right touch of vanilla.

In feel it reminds me very much of Donna Karan Black Cashmere, although they are far from smell-alikes; the Juozas is softer all around — less spicy, less dense, less mysterious. It is a must-try for incense lovers, and might even be the sort of thing to convert the doubters. I should also note that it is very much a unisex scent. If you demand some overt femininity from your incense, you might try Barbara Bui Le Parfum.

I said that Juozas Statkevicius Eau de Parfum was far from the usual designer fare, so no surprise that you're going to pay niche prices: it is $165 for 50 ml. For buying information, see the listing for Juozas Statkevicius under Perfume Houses, and you can see a picture of the bottle here.

*You can read more reviews for Juozas Statkevicius at Perfume Smellin Things, Aromascope, Perfume Posse, and Bois de Jasmin.

Note: image via josefstatkus.com. Update: there was some question as to whether or not the picture above is actually of Juozas Statkevicius, or just some random model. I found another picture, what do you think?

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39 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I'm testing this today, and I'm struck by how Armani Prive-ish it is to begin with. It starts off as if someone had mixed Bois d'Encens with Ambre Soie by mistake…then the amber gets stronger until it ends up as Ambra del Nepal's more ascerbic older brother. Very nice, but I don't know that I need it if I already have BdE and AdN.

  2. Anonymous says:

    N, I like the Armani Prives, but don't own any of them. Bois d'Encens is certainly my favorite, but I never thought it worth the price — and happily, gave away my sample so don't have to think about it anymore, LOL…not that JS is much cheaper! Ambre Soie, well, it isn't something I'd be likely to like anyway, and I didn't.

    I would think the JS would have a more widespread appeal than any of the Armani Prives, but what do I know?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Heh, no one can resist Juozas, not even my lovely Evil Scent Twin. Heh. :-) I am so glad you like it too and I absolutely agree with your description. I can only hope it won't go the way of MW Incense. *knocks on wood*

  4. Anonymous says:

    I made that post confusing, by talking about the APs and then mentioning iPdF Ambra del Nepal. I think the JS ends up very similar to the iPdF, which is far cheaper even with inflated US prices!

  5. Anonymous says:

    You were probably clear and I just went off on my own tangent, LOL. Will have to try the JS next to the AdN then — I didn't remember the AdN having quite so much incense. Wonder how they are layered?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Oh dear, but wasn't MW Incense announced as a limited edition to begin with? My memory is very bad, but I thought it was. The rumor is that Anna Wintour loves Juozas Statkevicius (the designer, that is, not necessarily the perfume) so assuming he will make it big and his perfume will stick around :-)

  7. Anonymous says:

    Now I'm curious too!

    And who is that fetching model? Could it be Cillian Murphy? *swoon*

  8. Anonymous says:

    And also a touch of Bianca Jagger, c.1977?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Can I ask about the lasting power of JS? I have so many samples on me today, I can't be sure that what I'm smelling is the JS, and not the PG Querelle that I splashed all over earlier!

  10. Anonymous says:

    And a touch of Johnny Depp, as was pointed out in the comments when I announced the JS scent!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ah, that must be an interesting mix! I would say the lasting power is average for an EdP, but it stays rather close to the skin. Better than Ambra del Nepal, at any rate — the good part of AdN doesn't last long on me, although the whole thing doesn't disappear, just the good part :-)

  12. Anonymous says:

    Plush incense – perfect! It is indeed the most wearable incense. When I think they sell this in my home country for half the price, I get even more homesick. ;D

  13. Anonymous says:

    Prince?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Well … maybe I need to retry it?!? Maybe I just like my incense colder and more aloof? I think that may be it… I found it a tad sweet. But I like the Crazy Lulibelle thing, which is a bit sweet (man, how great a deal is THAT stuff?!? although the ginger one smells weirdly like curry…) where was I? Oh, and I like the Magical Moon, which is a bit sweet, and I can't get *anybody* to join me on that one! Harrumph. (wanders off to check the mail for new samples)

  15. Anonymous says:

    Now I'm homesick for Lithuania, and I've never been there ;-)

  16. Anonymous says:

    Maybe a touch of that too :-)

  17. Anonymous says:

    Actually, I'm from Latvia, and they sell the perfume there as well. ;D

  18. Anonymous says:

    My skin chemistry took this more in an amber direction than incense (very much Ambre Soie layered w/ Bois d'Encens). It's an immensely cozy scent, though. I didn't know that Anna Wintour was interested in his work. Very cool. I think that his perfume moving toward cult status should help his career as well.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I knew that in some dim region of my mind, Ina, sorry!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Honestly, that Crazy L—– & the Poppies stuff is the best $16 perfume on the planet, and beats out many that cost far, far more.

    I am so interested in all these comments: everyone else seems to find it far sweeter & more amber-y than I do. I would have thought you would love Juozas.

    Ain't joining you on the Magical Moon, sorry ;-)

  21. Anonymous says:

    Well, looks like I'm alone in not finding it so ambery & sweet!

    Here you go:

    “…and Josef Statkus from Lithuania, said to be a favorite of American Vogue's uber-influential Anna Wintour”, from this page:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9190941/site/newsweek/

  22. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for that link! Very interesting! No Esti designers were mentioned by name, but I've got high hopes that a couple will make it big before too long.

    My skin tends to amplify amber notes, but on DH's skin it stayed much more incensey.

  23. Anonymous says:

    We shall see what happens — it can't hurt to impress Anna Wintour, no? Perhaps he'll be a household name sooner or later, although even his “Josef Statkus” is not something Americans are going to take to easily. As long as he was finding an easier name to pronounce, he might well have considered “Joe State”, LOL!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Hm… I'm still seeing him as Cillian Murphy. I haven't been able to find any mentions of Mr. Muprhy as a JS model, but it's my pleasure to keep looking! :)

  25. Anonymous says:

    It's not Lulibelle, is it? Lubillele? Lubelille? My only complaint is the sillage (which is nonexistent on me) but for $16, really, who cares?

    I am finding it fascinating how many people get *amber* with this… I got sweet, but not amber, particularly, still very much incense.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Too tired to look it up…the important part is the Crazy Poppies, LOL…

    I don't get that much amber either. Amber, yes, but not tons. This is more about the incense.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for your review, R!

    I like JS perfume very much. It is extremely wearable, comforting. It seems to be a soft baby of Messe de Minuit for me.

    As for the picture with sigar – it's obviously him, not model. May be here he is a little bit younger than on the second pic.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I am typing this with one hand and uploading a photo of Monica Bellucci into my user profile with the other. :)

  29. Anonymous says:

    It's mostly amber on me. If it were more incense, it would be total love. As it is, it is just deep, deep like, but not enough for the price. I think I like AdN better, too, since it's one of the few ambers I really do like.

    I really would like this one better if it were less amber and cheaper. :(

  30. Anonymous says:

    I think that's JS himself (at least I hope so). I love this scent, though it is like a sweeter (and more complex) Bois d'Encens on me. Don't get that much amber though–mostly incense.

  31. Anonymous says:

    LOL!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Yes, much, much softer than Messe de Minuit, and more wearable :-)

    And good, glad that is really JS!

  33. Anonymous says:

    I would like everything more if it were cheaper! But these high prices are so common I don't even bat an eye anymore.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I hope so too! And good, glad I'm not the only one that finds the amber relatively subdued.

  35. Anonymous says:

    My first reaction.

  36. Anonymous says:

    I can assure you that the model is JS himself. I'm from Lithuania, so I know ;)

    Unfortunatelly on my skin his perfume smells too much of amber :/

  37. Anonymous says:

    Thanks!

  38. Anonymous says:

    There is real Juozas pic.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Thanks :-)

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