Hei (Eau de Toilette) by Alfred Sung

Hei 2002 Eau de Toilette

16.06.2020 - 09:09 AM

Walking On The Chinese Wall

A YouTuber turned me on to Alfred Sung Homme cologne as one of the best blinds buys below 30 euro, and while searching for that one, I stumbled into Hei, which instantly gained my attention. To begin with, the bottle is cutesy, egg-shaped like that of Cabotine de Grès but with the upper part narrower than the bottom, which makes it more similar to a kind of raindrop. The glass is sheer and contains a light mineral-blue-violet juice. Just to give you a hint, Hei (2002) is on par with Nautica Voyage (2006), they have some vibes in common and share the same green-floral-amber-musk path, yet they are not a clone of one another. Hei takes its inspiration by traditional Feng Shui Chinese culture, very close to nature, water, earth, wood, and metal. It reminds me of a dawn walk on the Chinese Wall, in the middle of a bamboo forest, the water flowing gently from a stream, the grass covered by the early morning dew, and all around the Wall surrounded by redolent white jasmine flowers.

The cologne belongs to the aromatic fern family and warms up on my skin with a licorice-like vibe with fresh, clean, herbal, and salty facets. I do get plenty of aqueous and wet leafy accord, the green freshness of the bamboo shines, which is fine with me since I love the verdant and grassy aroma of that evergreen plant. I notice a powdery accord that lingers for a spot, I think it is coming from the bergamot blended with violet leaves. These potentially clean and bright notes come through a little creamy, soapy, and powdery. There is a minty undertone, though, the opening is all too aqueous and herbal. All the greens are balanced and blended nicely, and this stage brings an uplifting sensation the moment you spray it on.

This aura so light does not last long, and soon it deepens into something darker, heavier, and ale. Fennel presents itself with its slightly aromatic and rustic tone of anise. The flowery jasmine blends with the powdery blue lavender and the sweet-honeyed and a little metallic neroli. This bouquet is topped with a handful of spicy green cardamom gems mixed with pungent feathery leaves of sour dill so that the floral accord is not too feminine. The florals are not striking but add a slight sweetness to the body, which is delightful. The middle stage is akin to luscious scent in the air after a summer rain, but with a little more character.

When the dry down arrives it will catch you with an oriental take full of sweet amber and roasted tonka bean. Some woodiness comes from cedarwood and reddish mahogany with the light rainforest type of smell, and a noble touch of animal white musk that appears in the final stage when the perfume has become as one with the skin and lasts until the scent disappears.

To me, Hei is a slightly watery green herbal with an ever so gentle oriental finish, a very amicable and composed fragrance. A bit like a bar of soap with a floral undertone slightly woody, not too sweet, instead it is green and flower inside. Good with a unique smell of spearmint and bamboo. This could be considered an aquatic, yet is a bit classier, and nowhere near as obnoxious as the more popular ones. Comfortable to wear because it is not offensive, could be worn during the warmer months, perfect for a bright sunny day, for that weekend of being out and about, or better for office, and informal parties. I think this hasn't excellent longevity, just subtle. Where one may damn Hei as weak, another may laud it as delicate. Hei captures the scents of nature quite well, but like a fresh breeze carrying scent, it surrounds you full of life, and then is gone, leaving only a hint of what it was and a beautiful memory and experience. A blind buy that worth it.

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