Fuel for Life Pour Homme:
The notes are intriguing, mixing the traditionally masculine along with the unexpectedly playful. What pleases me most about this scent, is that everything is used in what I am tempted to call moderation, but really, is just the perfect dose. To give an example: Both the top and base notes employ an anis element – aniseed in the top notes and immortelle in the base notes. On paper, this might seem as though Fuel for Life Pour Homme delivers an ouzo-like, liquorice punch, but in reality, the result is a continuous, candied and at the same time almost salty, anis veil, not strong enough to pop-out as a stand alone note distracting from the composition, but as a lovely primer on the canvas, a constant upon the rest of the notes bloom. The fragrance is woody and herbal, with accents of lavender and vetiver making it definitively masculine. At the same time the anis and fruity notes give it an unexpected twist, modernizing the fougere base, making it delightfully contemporary. Even though it is not listed as an official note, I could swear there is oudh in the blend as well, leaving a lasting impression throughout the development. It helps along the lovely interplay between coolness and warmth, sharpness and mystery. What I love most about the scent? The vivacious, playful note of raspberry, which is carefully used, once again in just the right amount. It is not tart, overly sweet or chemical, but wonderfully soft instead - as though blended with clotted cream and a sprinkling of sugar. I have no doubt that I would hate this note had I found it in a female fragrance, but in this undoubtedly masculine blend it makes me grin with pleasure - not only because the idea of it in a male fragrance excites me, but also because it fits the composition so very well, giving it that something extra naughty.
Fuel for Life Pour Femme:
Fragrances dominated by patchouli can go either very wrong or very, very right in my book. I have previously elaborated on how previous bad experiences led me to shy away from patchouli and how I learned to love it, once I found the right perfume to ease me into its charms. Well, “ease into” is certainly a euphemism, putting it lightly, when the fragrance in question, the fragrance that opened my eyes to the beauty of this note, was actually L’Inspiratrice, a veritable patchouli queen. A more fitting phrase for that experience would have been “baptême du feu”, baptism of fire! I still consider it a difficult note though, and even houses I love have been found guilty of abusing it. (Matsuri by Annayake comes to mind...) Fuel for Life is another scent built around this ostentatious note, but one that manages to get it right. This is fruity patchouli, with a pleasantly sour opening. Once the top cassis notes fly off, we enter a world of beautiful, jasmine infused patchouli. The jasmine in this case is not overpowering – its allure is transparent, its thin tendrils gently enfolding the patchouli with affection. Even more exciting is the appearance of a green leaf note, which slowly imparts the impression of crushed fresh mint leaves unto the heart of the scent. My only regret is that this fabulous mint note does not have more lasting power, more tenacity. All too soon it disappears, taking the jasmine with it, leaving me with the feeling I didn’t get to enjoy either of them nearly as much as I would have liked to. Fortunately, the drydown is beautiful, and even though it does not manage to erase the memory of the vibrant mint, I find myself enjoying its powdery, dry finish. Befitting Diesel’s image, Fuel for Life Pour Femme is a patchouli most suited for day-wear, sheer and cheerful as it is. It is rare, I think, to find a patchouli that is summery, but this is exactly how I perceive this interpretation of the note to be. Summery and alive as well as feminine and sexy, I find Fuel for Life to be the daytime answer to all the nighttime patchouli vamps.
Images: Author’s own, www.wildoats.com, http://environnement.ecoles.free.fr and www.wildcrafted.com.au