Panthea Stephane Humbert Lucas 777

The first thing that struck me about this perfume was the name. Panthea, from Greek, meaning “all of the gods”, is a pretty bold name if you ask me. So naturally I was expecting a bold fragrance, something titanic and worthy of the gods, but nope. Nothing like that here. Panthea is unapologetically generic.

It opens with a very mellow citrus, crisp green violets, and iris. Surrounding the iris and violet, I get a big cloud of waxy, soapy aldehydes and what I suspect is calone, with its watery melons and ocean breeze facets. Panthea is very similar in feel to Acqua di Gio Homme, though substituting the barbershop cologne aromatics for violet, iris, and jasmine. I would throw Panthea into the aquatic soapy green floral category. The projection is moderate as is the longevity.

While I do accuse this perfume of being generic, that doesn’t mean it smells bad. Quite the contrary. Panthea actually smells really nice. It’s a definite crowd pleaser with mass market appeal and would probably not offend anyone but there’s nothing unique or anything really memorable about it like many of the houses other offerings are. It could just as easily be a body spray sold at the local pharmacy, scent wise, though the juice itself is obviously of much higher quality than a body spray. But overall it feels unfinished, uninspired, and rushed, as if Lucas was more concerned with pushing out another release on schedule rather than devoting more time into creating something incredible. In his quest to remain relevant and in the spotlight, he compromised his artistry.

iris

While it could definitely be pulled off by both sexes, Panthea leans feminine. The violets and calone really amp up and turn a bit shrill in the heart then sweeten up before dying down into a very anticlimactic clean and powdery musk. I never get any tobacco or tonka though the notes are listed. While I find it pleasant enough, I’m just not compelled to buy a full bottle.  It just doesn’t have the wow factor.  I sure hope Lucas puts more effort into his future releases because this one is suuuuper boring or to use the highbrow adjective currently in vogue, “pedestrian”.

Season: Spring/ Summer

Top: Bergamot, tangerine

Heart: Iris, violet, jasmine

Base: White musk, tobacco, tonka, sandalwood

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Une Nuit a Doha Stephane Humbert Lucas 777

Another city inspired fragrance and this time it’s all about sweet hookah tobacco and Doha nights.

Doha at night

If you ever buy or order hookah, the tobacco leaves come very wet compared to other forms of tobacco. It’s typically infused with flavored syrups and packaged in either resealable bags or jars to keep it from drying out. Most hookah tobacco is dyed bright red for aesthetics. Flavors often resemble those you would find in a candy store from fruity to minty to chocolaty or even actual candy flavors like gummy bears.

Nuit a Doha focuses on immortelle, tobacco, and vanilla and it’s very sweet. Immortelle is somewhat difficult to describe but it smells fruity, with nuances of hay, and maple syrup. In this fragrance, I pick up hints of ripe peaches, mango, and sweet cream as well as buttery caramel, and a tiny bit of licorice. Ginger and vetiver are listed but I don’t pick up on either of them.

Tobacco can be very loud and offensive in any form and setting, but as a perfume note in this fragrance it’s very subtle and polite. It’s unburnt and adds robustness and depth to the composition.

Rolling cigars at Dona Elba in Granada, Nicaragua

On a trip to Nicaragua a few years back with my beautiful Canadian friend, we stopped at Doña Elba’s cigar shop in Granada to learn how to make hand rolled cigars. It’s located in a Spanish Colonial house, with an open air center courtyard that featured a garden with parrots. The cigar rolling station was on the courtyard patio and the materials and equipment used were all traditional, which included dried tobacco leaves, agave gum to seal the cigar, and a wooden press, to compact and form the cigars. The smell of the dried tobacco leaves wafted all around on the warm tropic breeze and I could still smell the sweet tobacco on my hands after we left. Before burning, tobacco can be a very pleasant scent but most associate tobacco with cigarettes, and that’s not at all what this perfume is about. This perfume is sweet, warm, and ambery with no smoke.

Dona Elbas

While this frag certainly sounds like it would be very unique, especially since immortelle and tobacco are mostly niche frag notes not commonly found in mainstream perfumes, I get an overall generic feel from this fragrance. There’s nothing really unforgettable about it. Dont get me wrong though, it’s a beautiful fragrance with a lot of depth made with materials that are clearly of great quality and I do really like it, but I’m not compelled to own a full bottle though I’m glad I’m got to try it.

Worlds most expensive golden hookah

The projection is moderate to high as it’s potent juice and the longevity is fantastic. It’s a beautiful fragrance that will certainly not offend anyone nor challenge the wearer. And if you enjoy immortelle and or tobacco, you should definitely check this one out!

Season: Works well year round

Top: Fennel, mandarin orange, ginger

Heart: Immortelle, tobacco

Base: Vanilla, vetiver

Black Gemstone Stephane Humbert Lucas 777

Though I would classify this as a masculine fragrance, I believe certain women could wear it as well. Bold, confident, perhaps even an audacious woman. She wears bespoke pant suits and is a CEO or major shareholder. She makes moves and big decisions. It would seem foreign on a pink glitter, girly girl though, like a heavy cloud was following her, as if she had dark secrets. But on a bold woman in a position of power, it would be the scent of womens progress: how far women have come in terms of equality and holding their own. Needless to say, this is a power fragrance that makes a bold statement.

The first time I tried Black Gemstone was well over a year ago and I must say, I was not ready for it. I remember thinking burnt rubber and gasoline haha. So I put it away for another day and since I’ve been on a roll with SHL 777 lately, that day has come.

My initial reaction was an overreaction though. This is a beautiful woody resins bomb. The top can be an overwhelming blast of lemon, cedar, and frankincense which create an almost pitch tar aroma. After a few wearings though, it’s one of my favorite parts about this fragrance. The lemon makes the resins really sparkle and gives it a fizzy, effervescent quality, though the heart is really where it’s at for me.

The overall feel of this fragrance is dry, smokey woods but frankincense is a sweet resin and this frag is loaded with it along with myrrhe. So while it’s dry overall, there is a sweetness about it. It’s like you can smell the layers here. The main layer being a dry and opaque wood that’s covered in a sheer veil of sweet resin. The heart is all about frankincense and I pick up on rose and saffron though they aren’t listed. This accord reminds me of Encens Mythique without the heavy dose of ambergris.

 

incense

I found the top to be loud and overpowering but it quickly mellows down. The projection is moderate to heavy and the longevity is quite good. I applied some on my wrists last night before bed and I could still smell it after I woke up.This perfume has the weight of a traditional oud in its deep woody robustness. And like most ouds, would work best as an evening fragrance or cooler weather. This is a pretty heavy hitter and not for everyone so testing is highly recommended before buying. But if you enjoy woody fragrances and incense, it’s definitely one to check out. 

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There’s something very formal, maybe even highbrow, about Black Gemstone. I don’t see it as a casual, day-to-day fragrance to be worn frivolously. Something this complex  and extraordinary should be reserved for special occasions. This is burning incense inside the Kaaba or Holy of Holies, precious and rare.  This fragrance is a dark gem indeed.

Season: Fall/Winter 

Top: Lemon, cedar

Heart: Myrrhe, resins

Base: Teak wood, frankincense, tonka

2022 Generation Femme Stephane Humbert Lucas 777

I’ve been on such a roll going through these Stephane Humbert Lucas samples, I’m determined now to finish reviewing the rest of the set now haha. So 2022 Generation is the name of this fragrance though I’m not completely savvy to its name or meaning. Perhaps it is in reference to the 2022 FIFA that is scheduled to take place in Doha, Qatar? Lucas names most of his frags thus far in reference to places in the Middle East and the only thing I see relevant to 2022 is FIFA. I’m just guessing here but I must say the use of galbanum along side an almond and heliotrope accord in the top is most unusual. Galbanum is an incredibly potent green note while heliotrope is typically the main player in powdery fragrances along with iris and violet. With it’s cherry-almond facets that are quasi-gourmand in nature, heliotrope is a sweet fruity floral note while galbanum is an aggressive, musky gum-resin containing terpenes and even sulfur that is quite disagreeable on it’s own. And I know this from personal experience after spilling a beaker with about 15mls of galbanum tincture on my bathroom counter. The grout between the tiles soaked it up and my bathroom reeked of galbanum for weeks lol. Needless to say, these are two notes that are not usually coupled together. But Lucas has clearly worked some type of sorcery allowing these two conflicting notes to play well together.

Galbanum plant

The galbanum doesn’t last very long though since it’s a top note. Within 10 minutes or so it’s completely dissipated and I’m left with a bright sweet heliotrope, cherry-almond, and tonka accord that becomes increasingly sweet moving into the heart. This is quite enjoyable and anyone that loves heliotrope should certainly give this one a try. It’s a very modern, fruity floral. And though the heart is a familiar play on heliotrope and almonds, the galbanum opening alongside these notes make for a very unique opening.

Potted heliotrope

Apricot is listed though I don’t pick up on it much nor the white tea. But it’s still a very fruity scent from the cherry-almond of the heliotrope. The projection is moderate to high. I dabbed a small bit on my left hand and I can smell it from almost a meter away so this is some potent juice! It lasts a very long time too, which for me is a major plus since most heliotrope frags I have are low projection skinscents that fade into the base after a few hours.

A few of my favorite heliotrope perfumes, Guerlain Meteorites center

I still detect heliotrope all the way through to the base but now it’s alongside sandalwood and tonka. Though I am not a fan of cherry notes I actually adore heliotrope and this perfume does the note more than fair justice. It’s sweet but not cloying though I imagine a heavy hand could really amp up this juice since it’s so potent. I love that this frag really brings out the cherry-almond nuances of heliotrope rather than suppress it to crush it into a powdery fragrance. Because this perfume isn’t very powdery at all though my nose tries to convince me that it is since my associations of heliotrope have all been with powdery fragrances. But nope, no powder. Just heady heliotrope in all it’s glory and just LOVE it. Will be buying a bottle of this!!!

Season: Spring/ Summer but works well year round

Top: Nectarine, neroli, almond, galbanum

Heart: White tea, heliotrope, cherry-almond

Base: Sandalwood, tonka, jasmine

Rose de Petra Stephane Humbert Lucas 777

When I think of Petra, I think dry dusty, and ancient. Of course the first image that comes to mind is of the great temple of Al-Khazneh, that’s carved into the side of the pink sandstone canyon wall. Al-khazneh, known as “The Treasury”, was thought to contain hidden treasures and pirate loot and is one of the most popular tourist attractions, if not the most popular attraction, in Jordan.

Rose de Petra is not a dry dusty rose however so it’s difficult for me to abstractly connect this fragrance with the location. To me, this fragrace is a humid, dewy, sweet, and boozy deep burgandy rose, growing in the proximity of an open air spice market.

Rose de Petra opens with a sugary candied rose, sweetened by litchi and pomegranate. It’s also very spicy with pepper and cardamom. It’s in the same vein as a rose/oud though oud is not listed as a note. But it definitely feels like there’s a small amount in the composition along with patchouli, though both are very much in the background. And even though cumin is listed, I detect none.

While I generally dislike overly ripened fruit notes, the litchi and pomegranate are perfectly ripe and are used here in the best way, supporting and enhancing the rose without ever becoming too dominate or cloying. Think sweetened rosewater, which is a very inexpensive luxury to have especially during the hot summer months. I keep an atomizer of rosewater in my bag to refresh and cool myself during the grueling summer days on the go.

My go-to rosewater spray

For a spicy rose perfume, this one is very tame compared to others in this group. It seems to come and go throughout the course of the day, playing a bit of hide and seek. I almost concluded it had poor longevity then I would catch another waft of this intoxicatingly beautiful fragrance.

Though rose-centric perfumes are not in short supply, I think this one is different enough to stand on it’s own. The use of juicy sweet notes along with the dry spicy notes give this rose a unique feel and very modern, Western twist to the long held Middle Eastern tradition of spicy roses.

Season: All

Top: Litchi, pomegranate, Rose

Heart: Deep Bulgarian rose

Base: Pepper, cardamom, cumin

Oumma Stephane Humbert Lucas 777

Oumma was created during the peak of the Western oud bandwagon and is a very standard, dare I say generic, rose/oud perfume even if it IS incredibly well blended and very smooth, non-abrasive. Oud can be very aggressive and even fecal, hence the phrase “barnyard oud”, but not here. Oumma takes that raw agarwood and sands it down and down further with very fine grit sandpaper until it’s smooth as glass. For what is normally a dirty note, the oud in this composition is about as clean as it gets.

Oumma opens with a synthetic top that’s almost plastic-y but this phase rapidly gives way to a very refined, polished woody oud and heady rose in full bloom. Jasmine adds a sweetness to the mix, while the balsams add the feel of incense. There’s nothing really new about the combination of these notes here. Nothing unique, nothing original. But the fragrance is pretty nonetheless. To me it’s a very gothic/ noir scent, better suited for cooler evenings.

roses field

The sillage and projection are fairly low surprisingly. Most oud-centric frags are serious powerhouses, monsters even. But Oumma settles into a skinscent within a few minutes of spraying on. That can be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. It also doesn’t seem to last as long as the others I’ve tried from this house, which is actually pretty odd since oud basenotes are known to last a very long time. Which leaves me to conclude that this is most likely synthetic oud but I have no way of knowing for sure.

oud
Fragrant agarwood beads

Overall, I enjoy the fragrance. It reminds me of Midnight Oud and even Rose Anonyme, though out of the three, I think I’d actually prefer Oumma for its smooth and clean qualites. But for the price and lack of longevity, there really are better rose/ouds available, value-wise. I’m still glad I got to test this one though. I love trying and comparing rose/ouds and though I wished it lasted longer, Oumma is very nice while it lasts.

Season: Fall/Winter

Top: Rose, jasmine

Heart: Peru balsam, tolu balsam

Base: oud, cedar, cyperus

O Hira Stephane Humbert Lucas 777

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Though Fragrantica has this listed as straight up ambergris, this is really a labdanum and resin bomb. My last post was somewhat of a rant over these two notes inspired by finding the note pyramid for this fragrance on Fragrantica, what a joke lol.

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So it’s all about amber here, but ambergris? I think not. I don’t really get any of that salty marine aroma though I’m sure it must be in there. It HAS to be, because this is incredibly expensive juice. A 50 ml bottle retails over $700 USD!!! Labdanum in itself is not a very expensive nor rare material at all so my only guess is that the price reflects the materials but this is just an assumption. Mr. Lucas could actually be pulling our leg here, bluffing the ambergris note since the actual notes were not divulged. I was actually surprised LuckyScent added it in as a free sample with my purchase to be honest since it costs so much lol.

cistussnowfireM

What I detect most is honeyed labdanum, which is a balsam from the cistus plant, commonly called rock rose. This is dreamy labdanum though as the turpinoids and tar like qualities have been greatly smoothed out and sweetened. I pick up lots of benzoin which adds spicy cinnamon and vanilla nuances to the composition. There’s actually enough cinnamon that it could be its own note here.

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This fragrance has a very leathery overall feel to it. It’s dirty but not cumin or civet dirty, but sweaty birch tar dirty. Brand new leather. It’s also a little boozy from honey. It smells like it should be sticky after being sprayed on skin, as concentrated labdanum tincture can be as well as honey. As a side note, at least honey can be washed off with water. Labdanum is not water soluble and if the absolute gets on skin it has to be dissolved with alcohol or some type of spirit but that’s the nature of resins and most balsams.

While I absolutely adore labdanum and this fragrance masterfully showcases the note as there’s no denying its beauty, there’s no way I could justify buying a full bottle since to me, it’s just a labdanum “soliflore” and I could easily mix one up myself from my collection of EOs and absolutes. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I could recreate this fragrance because I can’t or that my little tincture would be as nice as O’ Hira becauseit wouldn’t be. I don’t have all those materials readily available. I’m nota trained perfumer and I’m not THAT arrogant haha. What I AM saying though, is that I could very easily and cheaply tincture some cistus absolute that would satisfy any urge to wear a labdanum soliflore should one arise lol. And I’d still have my $700. Bottom line: yes it’s nice and the bottle is awesome but it’s not worth the asking price IMO. Next.

Season: Fall/Winter
Notes: Who really knows but definitely labdanum lol