Poised halfway between a masculine chypre and a musky oriental, Africa Olifant exerts a steady fascination over its wearer. But fear not – despite the extraordinary array of animalic notes packed into this scent, Africa Olifant pulls off the remarkable feat of being both richly dirty and a breeze to wear. If you love the mossy funk of old-school masculines like Antaeus, then this will be right down your alley.
The structure of the fragrance is quite clever. Instead of a top-down flow of notes, imagine a glowing core emanating concentric circles of rich aromas that strike the nose all at once ? rubber, bone-dry leather, fiery balsam, melting tar, bitter moss, musk. There’s also a lot of myrrh, first bathing everything in a haze of smoke and then drying down to a lingering impression of licorice, stone and earth. Everything feels so elemental, and yet, at its core, Africa Olifant is a super-smooth leather with a surprisingly balmy freshness to it. Citrus and herbs provide lift, and a sweet-salty ambergris spotlights everything with its golden glow. The end result is a fragrance that feels solidly classical, but also animalic in a way that not many modern masculines are these days.