Frapin releases some interesting and eclectic scents. Some are a bit challenging, yet they find a way to balance a little daring with convention. This house seems to have a penchant for implementing spicy elements in their creations.
I guess it's safe to say that 1697 is part daring and part business as usual. This approach is in keeping with the house. This particular fragrance is complex, but it doesn't wear like one. The volume and overall aroma is very nice, but the slew of notes makes it difficult for all to be heard and felt.
I find nothing overtly boozy about 1697. The opening is unique in that it incorporates a floral-woody-balsamic with spice. The floral accord is like a canopy. It's a well blended, non descript affair that is, at once, delicate and substantial. I find it a very interesting effect. The more I smell it, the better I like it.
The clove is nicely executed. It has presence but isn't all encompassing . It seems to play well off the cinnamon and mild myrrh. Once the labdanum takes on a slightly resinous tone, the clove seems to amplify just a bit. Even with all the interplay of notes, 1697 finds a way to remain spicy and calm at the same time.
In totality, 1697 is a spicy, herbaceous woody that has a floral halo resting over it. The clove is always there, but it along with the other spicy aspects are an asset. In extended drydown, it softens with the addition of oriental notes, but they are never really conspicuous.
Sillage is adequate and longevity is about 5 hours on me. I give 1697 a thumbs up but recommend a sample wear.