Saturday, January 1, 2011
Cuba by Czech & Speake
With that said, this 2002 release opens with a blast of mentholated citrus. I looked forward to enjoying the listed rum,but it's overshadowed by the dominant mint note and before I can really "get it" in the opening accord, the heart is already unfolding.
There's rose, grass, nutmeg and tonka listed in the midnotes and this somehow produces an "off" accord of slightly sour oud. My opinion is that the tonka isn't jiving perfectly with the rose and spice and this "oud-like" aroma smells off balance by just a little. It's enough for me to take note and happily it dissipates after 5 minutes or so. It never completely vacates the premises, but it dies down to a less noticeable level. I have no love for this accord.
To be fair, tonka is a tricky note for me. I very sensitive to it like I am to civet in that I can tell immediately that it is present regardless of it's location in the note pyramid. After 10 minutes, the tonka does integrate in a more successful manner and Cuba seemingly begins to smell more like a composition than a mish mash of ill fitting aromas. Even before the drydown begins, I already can decide that I will not add this fragrance to my wardrobe. I need to enjoy beginning, middle and ending in justifying a purchase. That is something Cuba cannot deliver for me.
The drydown is actually very good with contributions from notable hitters like Oilbanum, Tobacco, Vetiver and Cedar. This earthy wood has some hair on it and grateful that it has kicked the tonka to the proverbial curb. That note took all the fun out of this fragrance for me. The mint is still hovering directly above the base accord which is interesting to say the least. Sillage and longevity are also good and affords sample wears some pretty good hang time.
Alas.......Cuba is not for me. This is substantial for sure, but not my cup of tea. My recommendation is a try b4u buy. You may like it in its entirety. I know I didn't. I have to give Czech & Speake's Cuba a neutral rating for felonious pairing of tonka with an irate and spicy rose.