Notes: Neroli, Calabrian bergamot, cardamom, nutmeg, pink pepper, green leaves, cedar, gaiac wood, Haitian vetiver, Indian patchouli, amber.
Xerjoff is a house that I find fascinating in that it incites people towards fits of rage or complete ecstasy. I fall into the latter. Of course, not every Xerjoff is perfect but it is clear that the materials used are very high quality, even in the fragrances that don't quite work.
In my Xerjoff quests I have managed to accumulate all of their discovery sets (with the exception of Casamorati, which I am working on :) ). Recently I purchased the Shooting Stars series 2 discovery set: Masculine. I wasn't sure what to expect; I like unisex fragrances but many of the typical ingredients used in men's perfumerie don't work for me. I decided that if I purchased them and they didn't work on me, they would work on my husband, so I went for it.
Tonight I tried Nio for the first time. The intial burst of bergamot and neroli felt sweet and the spices added a mild, intriguing aspect. Unisex definitely came to mind......although this would smell incredibly sexy on any man, any woman could wear this comfortably in the heat of summer. The citrus actually increases in strength in the first few minutes. The green leaves add lush freshness to the composition, but it never turns leafy or overtly masculine. In the later stages, interestingly enough, the neroli shows up again (my skin amps neroli) but it's still kept in check by the citrus which has some incredible lasting power. The cedar is quite well-behaved as well, adding balance and a 'dry' element without marching all over the other notes.
I am shocked by how long the citrus lasts in Nio. My typical citrus experience is CITRUS (5 minutes)......sweet (2 hours).......wood or herbs (forever). Nio kept the balance the entire, long, duration of the fragrance, which for a citrus lover like me is a huge benefit.
Though some might find Xerjoff to be too pricey (especially the bottles, which I understand), I find it reasonable in terms of the Discovery Sets. Considering that I paid 212.00 for the set and there were 6 15 ml bottles in it, I only paid 35.00 per bottle, or about 2.25 per ml. I have paid that price for 15 ml decants of fragrances that were much lower quality that didn't have half the longevity.....therefore, I feel that the prices of the sets are fair for what you receive. If you can allow room in your budget for it, you should try these scents.