If I hadn't read FvSpee's quite wonderful commentary a long time ago, long before I was allowed to smell Indochine 25 for the first time - I would probably have felt like him at first.
Vietnamese friends had invited us to discover their old homeland together with them. We spent almost four weeks travelling together, were introduced to the families, lived there many a day as guests in their houses, ate almost exclusively either with the families or on the street, also things (and animals) that are not always completely compatible with Central European eating habits, delicious flat cakes made from bristle worms living on the seabed for example. We got wheezing coughs in the exhaust gas-impregnated air of Hanoi and circulation problems in the sauna infusion heat (40° ++) of Saigon. We fed, smelled, felt and marveled our way through Vietnam, guided by our friends who opened doors for us and a rich, new world of knowledge. Everything smells, smells, stinks, one nasal sensation after the other, intensified by the sultry damp heat and unfortunately often enough sensation shifted by heat headaches or slight circulatory problems.
Indochine 25 is quite different. Probably I would have located the scent in a desert context, Namib or Australian outback perhaps, in the late morning possibly, in the short transition period from nightly cold to daytime heat. It smells of dry wood, rustling dried grasses and bitter honey. It is dust-dry and also somewhat dusty, hovering around the wearer with bitter-mild, delicately spicy and dry-sweet resinousness and - and I am more than happy to quote here, because FvSpee always finds them, the words that cannot be found better - of a soft, wise and mildly resigned melancholy.
Fortunately, the rotten leather association does not come about due to lack of rotten leather experience, but I recognize the medicinal herbal note described several times at the beginning, the only moment in the course of the fragrance, which could somehow remind me of the exuberant, belligerent, noisy, and moist scents of Vietnam, of the often medicated and soapy tasting herbs, which are served with almost every dish in an unbelievable variety.
For me, Indochine is a fantastic office fragrance precisely because of its light wistfulness, its fine, clarified transparency and its hint of unsweet sweetness - if carefully dosed at least. To have him and to carry him makes me happy in a strange way.
The durability is just about right, after a good four hours there is not much left to smell on my skin, but on my clothes the smell lasts until the working afternoon. Projection and sillage are very moderate after a brilliant start.
Dear Serenissima, thank you very much for the sample - without you I would have missed a wonderful fragrance.