Lorenzo Villoresi Theseus ~ fragrance review

I’ve never bought a full bottle of a Lorenzo Villoresi perfume (though I do have a love-hate relationship with decant-worthy Alamut, a fragrance that sometimes caresses, then turns on you and begins to constrict and suffocate like a python). I certainly don’t think the Villoresi perfumes are bad, just not my “style.”*

Now comes Lorenzo Villoresi Theseus, an “enriched” citrus perfume. I never give up on a line and I often revisit a perfumer’s or company’s fragrance offerings years after thinking “I don’t like these!”; tastes change. Is Theseus, at long last, a Villoresi perfume I can appreciate fully?

Theseus has fragrance notes of bergamot, green accord, black pepper, nutmeg, clary sage, iris, jasmine, patchouli, vetiver, cistus/leather, agarwood, tonka bean, amber and musk (so far — so good; I like all those notes). Theseus starts off “tart-sweet” with bergamot, sugared citrus peel, and a touch of vanilla/tonka. The opening “green notes” remind me more of lavender leaf than clary sage. Theseus’ middle and base notes are an enjoyable blur, with scented ‘glimpses’ of nutmeg, iris, talc-y woods and musk, and a strong leather note.

I would classify Theseus as a dressy, retro citrus fragrance in the style of Chanel Pour Monsieur (Eau de Toilette version) and Guerlain Jicky (also, Eau de Toilette strength); we’re not dealing with a “new” perfume formula here, but at least Theseus’ “references” are top notch and executed with excellent materials. Theseus may not be the most original Villoresi perfume, but it’s my favorite (at least until I re-try the other perfumes which I haven’t smelled in over seven years).

Theseus is a unisex perfume with mild strength and sillage; it will need to be reapplied at least once during the day if you want to keep it “active.” Theseus Eau de Toilette is €100/70 for 100/50 ml. For buying information, see the listing for Lorenzo Villoresi under Perfume Houses.

Note: top image [cropped] via Wikimedia Commons.

* (Look at the Villoresi reviews on this site to read different – positive – takes on the line.)

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  1. poodle says:

    Retro citrus sounds like something my husband would wear although I don’t think it would be a favorite of mine. It seems like one of those scents that you would wear in a pinch perhaps but if given a choice you might not necessarily reach for it.

    • Kevin says:

      Poodle…oh, no…I’d reach for this one all the time!

  2. nozknoz says:

    It’s so odd that Villoresi chooses such exotic names for such familiar scents! Theseus as dressy and retro…and Alamut – have you read any of the books of that name? (I just added one of them to my Kindle wish list.) It’s hard to imagine Syrian assassins smelling like warm brioche (as your review characterizes Alamut), unless perhaps that’s how they lulled their victims into letting down their guard. ;-)

    • Kevin says:

      Noz: ah, Alamut…”buried alive in powder” perhaps

  3. Jonette says:

    Kevin, I also have a three or four year love-hate relationship with Alamut, and couldn’t describe my experience with it better than you have. My second bottle sits neglected in my perfume closet. The first was much-loved and used often. Every once in awhile, I’ll spray my Alamut on me and sometimes it is just-right and I love the way I catch the aroma as I move about; other times, I literally need to scrub it off.

    Since I love Chanel Pour Monsieur, I will certainly try Theseus. Thank you for an intriguing review.

    • Kevin says:

      Jonette: you’re welcome…hope you like it

  4. donnie says:

    I have been returning to a sample of ELO Je Suis un Homme because does the same thing for me that Pour Monsieur does. My associative mental scent library is not too large and the synapses connect slowly, so it took a few tries to recognize the obvious connection, even though I know it’s a classic recipe. I’ll always have a place for retro citrus, as long as the low notes paired with it are interesting and troublesome enough.

    • Kevin says:

      Donnie…me too…really like Je suis un homme

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