Areej Le Dore Manly Extrait de Parfum is a high-quality extrait that is intended to be a rich, woody scent with a boozier opening, spicy heart, and sweeter, woodier, and leathery dry down. Per the brand, Manly’s notes are as follows:
- top notes: boozy accord, oakmoss, patchouli
- heart notes: tobacco, saffron, tonka bean, nutmeg, cinnamon, cashmeran
- base notes: sandalwood millennium, vanilla tincture, Indian oud, leather accord
The opening was intense; a full blast on smoky, syrupy booze–almost like a cherry cordial–with a chocolaty patchouli underneath. The syrupy quality of the liquor dissipated within the first 10 to 15 minutes before giving way, almost an hour in, to a slightly drier, earthier scent that was a heady mix of smoke, leather, and more savory spice.
Manly lived in this space of smoke and leather for the next five hours with little nuance; there was not a lot of sweetness, earthiness, or woodiness coming through. It wasn’t until the sixth hour that vanilla sweetness emerged to soften and sweeten the composition, and there seemed to be a veil of patchouli wafting in the background that helped to smooth out the smoke and leather for me.
The intensity and longevity of the smoke and leather qualities seemed to be out of step with what others experienced. In fact, I had my husband wear it, and it was infinitely better on him with almost no leathery stages at all, just a sweet, incense meets spicy woods with a slight earthiness.
For testing, I purchased a 1ml dab vial of the scent, and I used approximately half of the vial for each wear test, which was applied to the underside and topside of my wrist area on my left arm. I use an unscented moisturizer prior to applying the scent as this is also my swatching arm (aka, incredibly parched at any given moment) as I found scent did not hold well here otherwise. It was long-lasting (over 10 hours and still detectable as a skin-scent) with moderate sillage and moderate projection for the first two to three hours.
Subjectively, I so badly wanted to love this, even though it’s expensive and harder to find. Boozy, spicy, woody scents have my name ALL over them, but this is so heavily smoky and leathery on me without any of the other notes to smooth and blend the two together. I needed more of the spice, woods, and vanilla sweetness to come through faster to make it a go-to. That being said, it smelled like everything I wanted to smell like on my husband, who sadly underappreciates the nuances between fragrance and is “fine” with just about anything I’ve had him wear, so I wouldn’t splurge on a bottle just for him!
30ml for $250