Roja Dove’s work is mostly inspired by classical powerhouses in the past, therefore I expected something familiar. Every creation of his has a classic DNA but this time, it’s been elevated. Some of the best examples of his creativity are his Aoud collection and fresh scents. APEX is like a reimagined, classic fresh fruity Chypre – something that you know but cannot quite pinpoint what it is exactly.
Before we dive into the details, let me take you to my interpretation of the world of APEX. Travel back in time before modern civilization, the world full of diverse originalities and beautiful nature-inspired cultures – simple, easy-going and down-to-earth lifestyles. It’s peaceful here.
There’s hustle and bustle, no competition, no career pursuing, no pressure to be a better individual to earn a spot in society. Everything is in the hands of Mother Nature. In the rainforest, it’s warm, the tall trees and dozens of plants around it cover you from the bursting Sun. The air is humid – damp and cooling but warm at the same time.
You pick up some pineapple and peel it. Small drops of juice fly off of the rind and some land on your skin. You taste the tart fruit with some slightly salty sweat on your hand. The water drops falling on you from the plants – it’s warm and green scented. It’s an invigorating and calming moment. A time you take fully for yourself and connect with the nature surrounding you.
APEX opens up with a burst of green aromatic facets with mouth-watering, sour-sweet and sharp citruses. It smells a bit like a refreshing glass of gin-tonic in the very first moment which might come from the green facets from Cypress, Galbanum and Juniper combined with the citruses. It’s not alcoholic though, just the aromatic vibes of the drink.
It settles quite quickly and warms up into an earthy feel with tropical fruitiness. It’s quite a dramatic transition. The Pineapple here is nothing I have smelled in perfume before. It’s sour, sweet, juicy – like a Pineapple in flesh. It’s so photorealistic that I can almost taste it in my mouth. Wow! Sensational! Fresh Patchouli is big here with the pine-like Fir and Cypress laying on an Italian Leather. The piney facets are again very realistic, it smells like a “freshly bleeding Cypress tree”. It’s not sharp or harsh at all. It’s rather smooth and green.
As we move further into the dry down, this sunny day-like sensation is warmed up and darkened to a leathery, warm smooth musky, ambery and a slight touch of Tobacco and Rum. It doesn’t come out heavy or pronounced but it’s that warm and sensual feel of those two notes, like a whisper. The sweet, slightly citrusy fresh resinous and piney facets are mimicked by Elemi. This stage took quite a long way from the opening. It got smokier too, which might come from Frankincense.
This is quite easy to approach despite the long note list but I wouldn’t say it’s boring in any way. One thing I want to state, clearly, this is not Aventus despite the Pineapple in this. This is more like a compilation of Mr. Dove’s fresh scents. He took a bit of Chypre base from Harrods Pour Homme and Oligarch and added an invigorating and powerful burst of citruses in the opening of Elysium and Burlington. It’s that modernized, fresh fruity take of the classical Chypre.
The composition feels quite airy with a cashmere-like smoothness of the heavier base notes. It does last to the 6-7 hour mark but it’s very soft after 3 hours from the opening. It lingers in the air, giving you a whisper, not a shout.
As I was describing the world of the scent, this scent represents optimalism. I can see a guy with an optimistic point of view and go with the flow type. It’s giving off an elegant and modest guy with great matters and pleases everyone.
I personally can relate to this type of scent profile. However, I think this sits in the middle. I could definitely wear it constantly without getting tired of it, but it’s not as mind-blowing as his masterpiece of a fresh scent like Burlington 1819. This is quite a versatile scent that suits any occasion, best for warm spring and humid summer.
APEX is only available in 100ml bottle size including a booklet and collectable cards for the symbolism of the scent. It retails for $345 USD and comes in a box designed for others in his Parfum Cologne collection.