When a brand exudes class and luxury, it’s hard to manage expectations for their products. It’s no surprise that many reviews of Xerjoff perfumes are written by underwhelmed customers who expected life-changing experiences. This phenomenon is certainly worsened by Xerjoff’s tendency to create rather traditional compositions. Without shock value, Xerjoff perfumes tend to reveal their quality in subtle ways that are far more likely to win wearers over time.
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, most notably La Capitale whose beautiful opening leads into an endurance contest. Additional variety comes in the form of Xerjoff’s diverse perfume subsets. Xerjoff’s line splinters into a number of collections, each of which is different in price, theme and reputation. One such line is the 1861 Collection, which aims to celebrate Xerjoff’s home country of Italy. Naxos remains the superstar of this line. Yet on paper, it doesn’t look particularly exciting: a high end reimagination of Pure Havane’s core formula. Whether such a rendition is necessary in a world of increasingly excellent, inexpensive clones comes down to Naxos’ ability to justify its price.
Lavender, Bergamot, Lemon, Honey, Cinnamon, Cashmeran, Jasmine Sambac, Tobacco Leaf, Tonka Bean, Vanilla
It is hard for me to imagine anyone preferring Pure Havane to Naxos. Pure Havane, like much of the A-Men line, has some sort of rubbery skank lurking in its base. This hardly complements the sweet vanilla and honey notes that dominate the fragrance. With Naxos, there is hardly a shred of dissonance, only a touch of sharpness in the opening courtesy of the citrus top notes. Even this quickly tempers as Naxos transitions into its heart notes.
The rest of the fragrance delivers on the promises of its note pyramid. This is a crowd-pleasing fragrance with a strong identity, sweet yet textured, warm yet precise. The tonka and vanilla are well-complemented by everything else in the composition, from the bright citruses to the rich jasmine and especially the dusty cashmeran. The closing stage of Naxos reminds me quite a lot of Tuscan Leather’s excellent, ghostly vanilla drydown, albeit a bit sweeter.
The only issue with Naxos is its relatively fleeting nature. This fragrance reaches its quiet stage in about five hours, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s certainly surprising for a fragrance this expensive. However, the sheer pleasantness of the fragrance at every stages more than makes up for its short lifespan. This is one luxury worth its cost, and one that is likely to make even Xerjoff skeptics buy into the opulence of the brand.
You can sample or purchase Naxos here.
The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated.
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