The Vagabond Prince – Enchanted Forest Review

Notes

Black Currant, Black Currant Leaf, Black Currant Blossom, Balsam Fir, Vanilla, Oakmoss

The Short Story

Huge black currant.

The Long Story

Rusian_ForestI got interested in trying Enchanted Forest for two reasons:

1. The description of Russian woods, a mysterious ritual, and earth got me;

2. The founders of Fragrantica were owners of the company releasing it and hence were likely involved in the creation.

I love dark woody fragrances and this one, coming from people respected in the fragrance community, should be really good. I couldn’t have been further from the truth. I don’t mean to say that Enchanted Forest is a bad fragrance. It’s a decent one but definitely not what I expected.

The dark woods and earthy tones sweetened by black currant were simply not there. Instead, what I got was a sweet fruity juice very much in the style of a teen celebrity fragrance.

Enchanted Forest is very much a solinote fragrance sweetened with a little bit of vanilla. It opens with black currant reminiscent of one of those fruity teas you find in the International Foods section of your grocery store. From this point on the scent doesn’t develop much. The black currant continues to dominate throughout and if you really sniff your arm you may detect a slight earthy note. It’s so mute, however, that it does not really contribute anything to the fragrance.

BlackCurrant

In the drydown a note of trashy vanilla emerges. The black currant and the vanilla dance together pretty much until the end.

Stepping back and thinking of this experience, I ask myself several questions:

Where is the forest in this?

I didn’t get any…not even a slight woody note, let alone an enchanted one.

Where is the promised mystery?

Nowhere to be found. This fragrance is as mysterious as CK One Summer.

What is all this about a mysterious Slavic ritual that the fragrance celebrates?

Enchanted forest 2

The Kupala ritual does exist but it is more hardly as dramatic and enveloped in darkness as the promo materials for the fragrance make it to be. My research showed that it celebrates fertility and is akin to Valentine’s Day. Secret and scary names of the Earth’s soul people are scared to say…my research didn’t find any of that.

The idea of creating a fragrance celebrating the Russian forest is an interesting one nevertheless. I imagine such a fragrance would recreate a feeling of cold dark forest featuring notes of fir and pine sweetened by a touch of cold violet leaf. Aleksandr by Arquiste and Zagorsk by Comme des Garcons achieve the feeling of a Russian forest magnificently. The latter transports me into cold rural Russia and its vast spaciousness.

Zagorsk

As I write this, I realize that my issue with Enchanted Forest is not so much the fragrance itself but with the expectations the Vagabond Prince created in me. I was looking for the dark woods, the mystery and the earthiness but it just wasn’t there. Instead I got an oversized black currant. Maybe a more appropriate name would have been the Enchanted Currant. Nevertheless, I applaud Elena and Zoran for their courage to launch a fragrance. I’m looking forward to future releases from them and I do hope this time they excite my senses.

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