New Scent Obsession: Fresh Cannabis Santal Eau de Parfum (Mini Review)
While at Sephora today, I decided to spritz some Fresh “Cannabis Santal” Eau de Parfum on a whim, as the name intrigued me. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I definitely did not expect to walk out the store 20 minutes later with a bottle in my bag. I loved it so much I didn’t even realize it was designed for Men. (But who cares as long as the scent is lovely!)
I Googled it and realized that the vein of leathery, powdery, creaminess under the herbal, fruity opening was actually chocolate and vetiver, which is why it reminded me SO much of the long-discontinued MAC Creations Fragrance Blend (Variation Parfumee MV3), created 10 years ago.
CANNABIS SANTAL EAU DE PARFUM is a forbidden blend of patchouli, cannabis and rose. This sensual fragrance captures the raw energy of a man and the desire for him.
- Top: Bergamot, Brazilian Orange, Black Plum
- Heart: Patchouli, Cannabis Accord, Rose
- Base: Chocolate, Vetiver, Vanilla Musks
In most oriental/gourmand fragrances containing vanilla, that note usually tends to overpower all others and take center-stage. However, in Cannabis Santal, it’s somehow decided to take the backseat and play second fiddle to the cast of unlikely notes.
This is not an overt gourmand fragrance like Thierry Mugler Angel or Lolita Lempicka. It’s also not a powdery, vanillic disaster like Comptoir Sud Pacifique’s Amour de Cacao. The fact that it’s designed for Men probably explains why the hit of sweet plum and citrus is quickly replaced by a slightly bitter, soapy heart of patchouli and cannabis (the plant, not the drug…), before it slowly dissipates and leaves a softer, more lasting base of leathery creaminess (vetiver, vanilla musk and chocolate) close to the skin.
If you love sweet floral musks like Gucci Rush, this is NOT one of them. If you enjoy the more typical girly vanillas (like Britney Spears or Escada fragrances), this may NOT be for you either.
I won’t say I’m a perfume connoisseur though I’ve done my fair share of collecting through the years. I like quite a wide range of scents, from fresh citruses like Marc Jacobs Lemon to dark, musky vanillas like Christian Dior Hypnotic Poison, and I’ll say I haven’t come across many perfumes that manage a blend of distinctive, contrasting notes like plum, cannabis, vetiver, and vanilla musk without it all amalgamating into a big mess.
It’s not the most complex fragrance in the world for sure but I’ll be the first to admit that many of Serge Lutens’ creations escape me sometimes. I don’t want a generic scent, but neither do I want an olfactory challenge.
Cannabis Santal is not like anything else I currently own, because it’s such a play of contrasts. It’s both fresh and smoky, effervescent yet creamy. It’s composed of fruity and foody notes, but it’s also clean and woody, and distinctly more grown-up than most scents containing similar ingredients.
This is an Eau de Parfum, not an Eau de Toilette, so it has about twice the amount of fragrance content than the run-of-the-mill fragrances. I’ve found the scent to be noticeable for at least 4 hours, and after that it fades to a that soft creamy base which only someone inclose physical proximity will smell (e.g. when you slink past).
It’s not an overpowering scent or as assertive as something like Prada Candy, but don’t over-spray either, as the fruity top notes can be quite strong at the start.
Cannabis Santal, like most other Fresh fragrances, is not cheap (USD38/SGD49 for 1 oz), although it’s also nowhere near as expensive as some high end scents can be.