Having tested Chaos a number of times, I still cannot decide whether the name is deceptive or spot on. It starts out with the unquestionably calming scent of chamomile, which gives the skin a lovely kiss and cuddle and then disappears, fleetingly, as the beautiful blend of ever so slightly camphorous lavender and spicy coriander close in on it, eating it up with the satisfying sound of velvet rubbing against velvet. The slightly iodine, bitter-sweet aroma of saffron, mingles with delightfully pleasurable, tingling hints of clove and cardamom. It feels like the spicy mélange is rising over a spiky bed of waxy, deep smelling resins and smoke. I find the use of clove especially striking: moderation and care has been exercised, to keep what can be a very dominant note complimentary, never actually overshadowing the beauty of the other notes. The big surprise is that the undercurrent of very dark, thistly resinous edges gradually subsides and softens up over time , instead of intensifying. The scent goes from being compellingly mysterious and borderline esoteric in nature, to a sweet woody scent that aches for the scent of skin. Through darkness comes light, in the form of a soapy note that is inherently masculine, like a well scrubbed (albeit subtly virile) hairy chest. The spices become ever more unobtrusive but still manage to cast a bluish-red shadow over the cleanliness that tries so hard to emerge. Beautifully, everything is rounded off by a very smooth sandalwood note that persists and carries the scent into the drydown with hints of musk and soft balsamic nuances.
Chaos feels very personal despite all its heady ingredients. It starts with a cuddle, roars wildly at the heart, but quickly quiets down into a beautiful, enfolding purr that remains rather close to the skin as the day wears on. But when I refer to it as a personal scent I do not only allude to its moderate to low sillage: Chaos is also a scent that seems to blend very well with the wearer, allowing itself to be worn like a second skin, instead of like an extravagant, attention grabbing accessory. A very warm, comforting scent, I would definitely reserve for the colder days of the year and retire it as spring approaches. It has an addictive quality that will appeal to both sexes, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I detect a definite masculine edge to it.
Image: Image of saffron, www.sxc.hu