Adjatay: Cuir Narcotique was launched in 2016 by The Different Company, with a press release telling a perfectly adorable story about a little tuberose from Grasse that was somehow forgotten in a leather bag, thereby inspiring the creation of a new floral leather eau du parfum by Alexandra Monet. From this fortuitous marriage of tuberose and leather, then, comes “Adjatay,” christened with the name of “prince” in Cameroon and a perfume that could be happily worn by anyone. And although I may be a little skeptical about the details of Adjatay’s nativity tale, I think we can always use another good floral leather perfume.
Unfortunately, it does not seem that Adjatay has found a wide audience of fans. After gaining a few positive blogger reviews, it remains relatively obscure. As of this writing, there isn’t a single user review of Adjatay on any of the popular perfume forums. After testing Adjatay, I am surprised by this, and I wonder why it is not discussed more often. Perhaps consumers are put off by the pairing of tuberose and leather and do not even think of trying it? That would be too bad, since I think that Monet has achieved something quite exceptional in Adjatay–combining two polarizing notes so smoothly and successfully that she has created a subtle, modern, and elegant leather composition. No single note in Adjatay is pushed to the extreme, merely to shout for attention or to establish Adjatay’s niche “cred.”
I also used to think, “No, thank you, no tuberose for me,” having worn too much Poison in the 1980’s, but I have learned that I can enjoy tuberose in new, skillful blends like Adjatay that do not remind me of the fruity, syrupy tuberose of my younger days. In Adjatay, tuberose is presented simply as a strong, beautiful, and creamy floral note, one that is given a very enjoyable freshness in its early stages by a touch of mandarin. I also appreciate that Monet does not strongly highlight the camphoraceous facet of tuberose in this perfume: Adjatay’s tuberose is just beautiful, not particularly “carnal” or “criminelle.” The very slight aromatic or medicinal facet of tuberose shades smoothly into the leather accord.
In the end, Adjatay is one of the most attractive new leathers I’ve tried lately that actually smells like leather. If you frequently wear strong vintage leather chypres as I do, perhaps you also lose patience with the meekness and delicacy of some modern feminine perfume that merely hint at a leather note without actually owning it. On the other hand, when I am looking for a leather perfume, I want to smell something that suggests tanned natural skin rather than rubber, plastic, or petroleum. Adjatay’s leather note smells like smooth, oily harness or luggage leather, and in its middle phase, Adjatay reminds me of rich castoreum and birch leather scents such as Caron’s Tabac Blond or Chanel’s Cuir de Russie. I have no stronger praise!
Soon after application, Adjatay’s sillage and projection are satisfying but not excessive, allowing me to smell my own perfume without gluing my nose to my wrist or filling the room with scent. For a modern perfume, Adjatay has good longevity, but it does not have the long development that I treasure in my vintage perfumes, and this may be its biggest drawback in my opinion. Adjatay cycles through its stages rapidly on my perfume-eating skin, resolving into a warm, nutty, creamy musk in about four hours. This final stage is cozy, slightly gourmand, and just a little bit generic, but Adjatay persists pleasantly for about another four hours in this way.
In the end, I feel that I should appreciate Adjatay more than I do. It is so well crafted and wearable, and yet Adjatay remains a “like” rather than a “love” for me, probably due to its restrained personality when compared to my vintage leather perfumes. But I must also point out that Adjatay is the only new leather perfume that has drawn my attention away from my bottles of vintage Cabochard or Miss Balmain. Somehow, I keep going back to Adjatay, suggesting that this new cuir perfume may be quite “narcotique” after all.