Ah, Xerjoff. I knew we'd cross paths someday. While there seem to be dozens of overpriced niche releases, the last four-odd years have seen an explosion in scents that set one back more than two-hundred dollars. When the prices get this high, the perfumes have to be that much better to make them worth my while. Give me a great fragrance and I'll shell over a hundred dollars. Give me a holy grail in a much-loved category ( e.g. gardenias, leather frags ) and I might shell out over two-hundred dollars. Ask me for four-hundred dollars and smelling your fragrance has to be the equivalent of Apollo sticking his fingers up my nose and zapping my brain full of everlasting ecstasy.
Rolling in at 635$, Richwood is begging a lot from me before I even open the tester vial, and not selling to me with its name. I know it's trying to appeal to the simpler sorts among the nouveau riche, instinctively drawn to Prosperityphallus in a bottle, but to me it's the kind of thing designed to send a cheap gold digger into estrus:
''It's Richwood, babe. You know, it's over si-ix, hun-dred, doll-ars!''
All this aside, Richwood is a really nice fragrance. The top notes roll in taking their cue from two different fragrances, both Tom Fords: Noir de Noir, and Black Orchid. Richwood at this point is about 70% Noir de Noir, 25% Black Orchid, and 5% Angel ( or something from amid the teeming Angel-flanker clan ). Think a smooth, soft, edgeless oud note, patchouli, rose, chocolate, and coconut, with a pleasing earthy quality that contrasts the sweetness. If the fragrance stayed this delightful, it might have a hope of impoverishing me, but the drydown is somewhat different; much smoother, rather blander, all the notes going on mute and descending into a plush balsamic-patchouli sheen. Imagine the drydown of the women's Dune minus the spice and with patchouli, and you'll have it. If you like smooth, smooth, smooth fragrances with out a single note contrasting or standing out, then there's large chance you're in heaven here, as it is very well blended. It just leaves me a little bored after the first half hour. To be fair, though, it lasts much longer than Noir de Noir, which gives up the ghost rapidly. Richwood lasts a good ten hours on my skin.
With patchouli, rose, and sweet, balsamic drydowns being the in-thing just now, this one has a lot of competition. Probably my favorite from the niche set for gourmand patchouli would be Lutens' Borneo, but really, Richwood has some shockingly close cousins downmarket. Marry one of the ever-present A*men flankers ( Pure Malt, Pure Coffee, Pure Crack, ad nauseum ) to Dior's rose-patch fest Midnight Poison and you'll probably see the family resemblance. Which is my suspicion about many of the status seeking niches, like Bond, or recent Creeds: give the public what they already know and like in pricier bottles.
It seems to work.