Did you groan when you saw this was a review of yet another new, obscure niche perfume? I admit I let whole perfume lines go untested simply because it’s so hard to get samples. Besides, how fun could it be for readers to wade through yet another review of something they may never be able to sniff? But some lines — small and hard to find as they are — merit the extra effort. For instance, I’d always want to smell something new by Vero Profumo, Parfums DelRae, or Ormonde Jayne. From testing Ys Uzac Pohadka, I wonder if Switzerland-based Ys Uzac might join that list.
Pohadka Eau de Parfum, which comes with the subtitle “Ainsi la nuit,” is a light, complex tobacco fragrance. Notes for Pohadka mentioned on Ys Uzac’s website include fresh cut grass, blond tobacco, immortelle, jasmine, smoked vanilla and fresh herbs. The website adds that each of the company’s four fragrances incorporates about 90 percent natural ingredients.
When I think of a tobacco-centered fragrance, my thoughts go to perfumes evoking pouches of scented pipe tobacco, such as Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque. I think of tobacco’s sweet chewiness paired with wood, spice and smoke. I think of winter fires and wood-paneled libraries. Pohadka is nothing like that.
Instead, Pohadka is light and sheer — almost refreshing. Green hay and elastic, round tobacco dominate, but an almost soapy immortelle washes through it. Hints of spearmint and pepper keep the fragrance from getting too thick. Pohadka is warm but feather-light. It smells singular and intriguing, yet not bizarre enough to overwhelm.
Pohadka reminds me a little of Etat Libre D’Orange Like This and Christian Dior Eau Noire not just in its use of immortelle, but in how cleverly it mixes freshness and warmth with unusual character. Like This pulls it off by adding clean musk to its thick pumpkin flesh. Eau Noire works it through a piquancy nearly summoning Worcestershire sauce. But Pohadka is more sheer and soft than both of these fragrances. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last as long, either. On my skin, Pohadka burns with an intimate sillage for about four hours.
The Ys Uzac website offers a wardrobe suggestion to go with Pohadka, saying, “Editor’s note: An all black outfit with metallic embellishment to complete a guaranteed uniqueness for a black tie event.” I beg to differ (and not just with the idea that black with metallic embellishment is somehow unique). To me, Pohadka isn’t fancy. It’s comfortable and slightly bohemian. I see hip furniture makers in clunky glasses and intellectual garage band enthusiasts loving it. I know I’d wear it to work, at home, or even to dinner, where Pohadka’s gentle, easy warmth wouldn’t mess with the entrée.
Will Ys Uzac’s other three fragrances live up to the promise of Pohadka? At least Ys Uzac makes it easy to find out by offering a sample set for an affordable five euros. I’ll be ordering one soon. Who knows? I might just have another perfume house to add to my “must smell” list.
Ys Uzac Pohadka Eau de Parfum is available on the Ys Uzac website in 50 ml (115€) and 100 ml (160€) bottles. Luckyscent sells 50 ml bottles for $150.