I hate really certain thoughts that put people into boxes of rigid identities: introvert/extrovert, left-brain/right-brain, dog person/cat person and even city person/country person. But, I have found, and much of the struggle of adulthood is finding out what you want, that I am a city person. I fit into that stringent little box. Open spaces give me anxiety. My nightmares are filled with scenarios where I’m stuck in some tiny town. Don’t get me wrong, I like visiting rural areas sometimes, but for the most part I get my inspiration from manmade structures and populous places.
Boadicea the Victorious Complex is one of those truly polarizing perfumes. It’s truly a love or hate it perfume. And when people hate it, they want to burn it at the stake. Complex is an incredibly unsympathetic perfume. But, I love it. And I love it because it reminds me of cities from Berlin to New York City to Los Angeles. Complex is as astringent as any major metropolis but this olfactory brutality is exactly why I’m drawn to it.
Complex is an unusual perfume but that doesn’t mean it’s unfamiliar Really, if anything, I find Complex all too familiar. It’s like hot tarry pavement in the summer…and sweaty crotch. The leather in this comes across as tarry, sticky, dark, reminding me of motor oil. It smells like the way that motor oil looks. There’s a cool metallic violet that brings to mind steel. Car exhaust and stinky punks in leather boots. The musk and civet are FILTHY. It’s animalic to the max. It’s overheated humans crammed into mass transit. Under all of this, I get a teeny amount of aromatic greenness reminding me of the lonesome trees and dried clumps of grass peeking through cracked sidewalks, surrounded by tar, cement, metal, and bricks of the ominous city. Complex, to me, is coexistence of humans, their monumental inventions and the elements. It’s the olfactory equivalent of the ant farms we call metropolis. And because of this, Complex is both raw/real and it’s not nice. And this is exactly why people don’t like it. But, I’m the sort of weirdo that enjoys stuff like mass transit, a forced collision of all are existing, our here and now, our collective existence. This industrialism is why I’m attracted to Complex. Plus, it’s just gross smelling it and wearing something gross is a really punk thing to do. In adulthood, I may have some idea of what it is that I want but I’m also regressing into that angsty asshole that I thought I outgrew.
Notes listed include violet, labdanum, leather, musk, civet, basil, and sage. Launched 2009. PERFUMER – John Stephen
Give Complex a try if you like really, really dirty or “industrial” fragrances. Or if you like perfumes like Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud Velvet Mood, Caron Yatagan, Givenchy Gentleman, Dior Leather Oud and/or Kinski. Complex is unisex but it does lean much more masculine, like dirty masculine.
Projection and longevity are above average.
The 1.7 oz retails for $185 at Luckyscent. Samples are also available for purchase.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – A filthy, skanky animalic calloused yet tenaciously existing. It’s that shocking mix of manmade, industrial life with the rawness and frankly, ugliness of humankind. Our gross, natural aromas paired with our vandalism of the natural landscape. And geez, I love that.
Or you could say it smells like a metal club. Whatever rocks your boat, I guess.
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