A while back I reviewed GS03 by Geza Schoen for Biehl Kunstwerke, and along with that sample came another EdP that was released in 2007, GS02. On first spritz, GS02 is sweet, fruity, “men’s cologne-herbal”, dusty-bitter, synthetic-woody, and leathery all at the same time. It’s a messy combination of notes that is by no stretch of the imagination mimalistic, but instead is complex and layered. Whatever these notes are, they probably shouldn’t work together, but they somehow do, making for an interesting olfactory experience. As it dries down, the fruitiness mostly goes away, to be replaced by a honeyed tonka-scented pipe tobacco note along with a dry, funky-leathery, herbal-woody base scent. On a cloudy and cool day, the fruity, herbal-woody, and tobacco-like aspects dominate. On a warm and sunny day, the dry leathery notes dominate and I think I also smell a significant amount of Iso E along with everything else. To me, Iso E is one of those aroma chemicals that’s like a chip in a computer or phone – it’s a wonderful invention, but you just want it to do its job and stay out of sight.
I like this EdP quite a bit, and might love it except for the fact that there’s a “scratchy green tea” note lurking just on the edge of perceptibility. It sticks to the outside of the sprayer and from time to time rises into the sillage when I wear it. It’s something that’s used in a lot of mass-market fragrances, especially those with “tea” in the name, and I intensely dislike it. It’s not quite enough to be a deal-breaker in this case, but I just wish it had been left out of the mix. Oh well. I’ve only ever met one other person who disliked it as much as I do. Others seem to either be anosmic to it or to love inhaling it; I haven’t figured out which.
In the end, after 4-5 hours, the fragrance dries down to an ordinary-smelling fruity-aldehydic and woody base that’s quite low-key and pleasant. There may be a little musk in it, but it doesn’t stand out. I like this stage a lot because it is so comfortable and wearable.
I find this fragrance much more interesting and enjoyable than its younger sibling, GS03. They’re both wearable, but I prefer this one simply because it does not conform as closely to a genre that’s been overdone.
[Bottle photo from the Luckyscent website; funky leather thing and citrus hybrid photos from Wikimedia]