1/15/13

Al-Rehab "Al Fares" Alcohol-Free Concentrated Perfume Oil (Crown Perfumes)



Another big thank you to reader LustandFury for bringing a really good fragrance to my attention. He recently commented about Al Fares, and said it smelled rather close to his card sample of Green Irish Tweed, more than Cool Water or Aspen resemble the Creed. Naturally this piqued my interest, so I bought it. I've worn Al Fares a few times, and partially kinda-sorta agree with him. It definitely has a weighty, eighties-styled structure reminiscent of a brisk violet leaf fougère, yet I find it far more similar to Aspen. Since Aspen is a lushly coniferous variant of GIT, it's easy to smell Al Fares' relationship to either scent. (CW doesn't factor in as much, although there are some inevitable parallels to it as well.) My final conclusion regarding this oil is that it's actually a near-perfect clone of Eternity for Men, with a sprightly twist of Aspen-esque wintergreen pervading its lovely heart.

One could splice Aspen's crisp, minty pine-sap top note with Eternity's warmer citrus-woody base, connect the ends with an identical lavender note, and end up with Al Fares. In this regard you're getting the best of both worlds, while creating a whole new thing. But the latest version of Eternity actually has a brightened-up lavender, so any difference in smell is regrettably minimized. Al Fares is more successful in cloning Eternity than Cuba Paris Grey, which opted to transplant its progenitor's bulk with an airier Calone note. I think a better course of action in cloning is to take the template's strong point and amplify, even to the point of distortion, and that's what Al-Rehab did by greening up the lavender and intensifying it enough to stretch it across eight solid hours. If you're in the market for the finest extant clone of Eternity, one which captures with total accuracy the depth of that scent's original formula while nodding to the genius of Aspen's refreshing spirit - kind of a two-in-one classic mish-mash deal - then I heartily recommend this perfume oil. It won't disappoint. However, if you want a lighter, fruitier interpretation of Eternity, Cuba Grey may still be the way to go. Al Fares is stronger, heavier, and reminds me of why I avoid wearing Eternity: I don't like it. Adding a clean-green accord makes it much more attractive, though. I'll certainly wear Al Fares whenever I'm jonesing for Aspen (I'm all out of Aspen).

One more thing: I must say that I find it funny to encounter an Arabian perfume company that so nonchalantly shirks its geographical associations with exotic spices, rich incense, dark floral arrangements, and medicinal woods, to copy two cheap and immeasurably popular American frat house "fresh" fragrances. I know Al-Rehab's other scents are more characteristically Middle Eastern, but Al Fares suggests the guy under the Keffiyeh is Van Wilder. It's nice to know they have a sense of humor.











12 comments:

  1. Yeah I find it closer to Aspen as well. GIT has more subtle things going on then Al Fares ever could. I don't know if I've ever smelled Eternity before so I'll have to give it a try and see how it compares.

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    1. Do give it a try, Eternity was so popular in the nineties that it's likely you've smelled it before. The Aspen element really makes Al Fares a nice one for me, thanks again for mentioning it. Of all the Al Rehabs, this is the most complex, but I agree, not quite at GIT levels.

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  2. I recently took the gamble of buying 8 Al Rehabs to have an idea what it was about. I must say I was enthusiastic at first but that soon diminished once I tried wearing them. Al Fares smelled promising from the bottle but left me somewhat unsatisfied when applied. I didn't get much progression and the thing stayed fairly linear after the top notes had disappeared. Indeed it was reminiscent of something I had smelled in the past, probably CK's Eternity which I do not have.

    The others I tried were, Of course, Lord, Superman, Dakar, Golden, Green Tea and Avenue.
    Without going into much detail, I found most of them rather linear and in the end quite boring. I couldn't shake the feeling that they "almost" could have been great as if they just missed the mark by not much yet not enough to be satisfactory. They also all (except two) had this kind of undercurrent going, like incense you can smell in those typical small oriental shops.

    So all in all there were only two that I really enjoy: Green Tea - simple but fresh smell of green tea not unlike the Elisabeth Arden Variant. Longevity was not to impressive but I guess that make sense with that type of smell.

    Avenue - Now this one I highly recommend - People claim this smells like Aventus but since I don't own any Creeds I cannot comment on that. However, on it's own this is a great scent, unlike the others this smells modern and sophisticated and has great longevity, and beastly projection in fact it pays to be careful upon application because it's really easy to overdo and people can probably smell you from afar. 24 hours later and I could still smell this. To what I've read this should contain Oud (the synthetic variant no less) - again I cannot comment since I'm not familiar enough with oud to know. But I'm guessing this is what makes this smell so luxurious.

    So apart from Green Tea and Avenue, I'll probably won't buy anymore Al rehab. But some people seem to really enjoy them and in a way they are quite "niche" in there own way.

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    1. There are way too many Al Rehabs for any more than 20 or 30 of them to be really good. I will attempt to seek out Avenue. Did you do a spray or roll-on with that one? I hear they do rose pretty well also fwiw.

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    2. It's the roll-on, I would have preferred a spray but I couldn't find it even though there seems to exist a 100ml version too (according to pictures).
      I was interested in their version of rose but since it's so hit & miss and since they have so many, it's rather off-putting.

      Something I noticed and probably because they use the cheapest aroma-compounds in the industry (which seems logical since they can offer them at such low prices) is that many times those scents will have these "off-notes" that will remind us of household or other scented items like furniture polish, lipstick... Even Avenue has a slight "off" note that smell like burnt rubber - but here somehow it works and actually give it some kind of edge I quite enjoy.




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    3. So I discovered and read that it's better to let the oils rest and settle first before applying. Those "off" notes I described earlier are now totally gone.

      I went ahead and bought 12 more, and they do indeed do rose very well.
      The thing is, they do have some hidden gems -my personal favorites being: Avenue, Al Sharquiah (Amber Aoud Roja Dove anyone?), Dehn Al-oud, Saat Safa, Aseel and Of Course (which smells typically Parisian although I cannot put my finger on it exactly). So for the price paid in total they do offer fantastic value and you have that added discovery buzz of stumbling on something truly fantastic.

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    4. Yeah, that interesting about the settling. Didn't know that about the oils. Glad you're enjoying them more now! I have to give Avenue a try. Never really wanted to get into the overt oud compositions, but I may look into some of those also.

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    5. I wasn't really looking into oud either until I got enchanted by Avenue which is said to smell of oud, but I honestly don't know what real oud smells like so I'm still kind of figuring out it's distinctiveness.

      Now the funny thing about Avenue is you will recognize the notes shared by Arden Green Tea and Tommy Girl as mentioned in your article of Tommy Girl.
      They are: Citral, Citronellol, Limonene, Geraniol, Hydroxyisohexyl 3 cyclohexene carboxaldehyde, Linalool.
      That's it!
      So we got citrus, lemon, orange, rose, floral notes, and I'm guessing the linalool here is birch tree.
      I don't know how oud is rendered chemically but it should be here also although I don't see it on the list unless the linalool takes care of that too.

      Anyway, I really look forward to your input or review on Avenue.




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  3. I have Avenue. It is pretty similar to Aventus, though not an exact clone (not really pineapple,more lemony). Natan was not exaggerating at all when he said it has beastly performance. I wore it about a month ago. I've worn that same shirt another couple of times since then, washed it, and it's still projecting from the back of the collar (and I didn't even apply it on the shirt).
    Aventus has more depth, but not enough for me to ever consider paying an absurd amount of money for what is really just a glorified Sephora scent. And Avenue performs way better than the other cheap clones.

    I'll put Al Fares in my Al Rashad shopping cart for next time I place an order. Eternity is a nice casual scent, pretty cheap, but it doesn't perform well on me. So this would be a nice alternative

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    1. I'll be doing a post this year (quite soon) that directly addresses the public's fascination/obsession with clones of expensive fragrances. I find it interesting that there's a cyclical nature to the general reactions on the Internet. Back when it was new, Aventus was heavily criticized for being too much like a "mall designer scent." That lasted about six months, and then rapidly morphed into, "OH MY GOD, AVENTUS IS A PANTY-DROPPER, IT'S THE BEST FRAG EVER!!!!!" Which was swiftly accompanied by dozens of brain-dead guys on basenotes nattering on about the "fruity batches" and "smoky batches" and "longevity." They're still on about that even as I type this, with their own pathetic forum to boot.

      At the end of the day, it's guys like you, Mr. Maghrebi, who shed light on the real situation: things like Aventus are very nice to own, but entirely unnecessary if you know about cheapies like Avenue. For $5 you can wear something well made and strong as hell that very closely resembles a $400 perfume. Not bad. But a shame folks can't recognize when they're being had. People gullible enough to pay $200+ for Aventus when most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference at seven feet between the Creed and an Al Rehab oil deserve their own forum on basenotes.

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    2. I didn't know about Aventus until the hype train released enough steam to smog up all of LA, so I didn't see if there were any negative criticisms of it. It was one of the biggest let downs I can remember. I do like it a lot. It's well crafted, smooth, and performs well. But I don't get what's so special about it, other than being a "panty dropper." It's treated like a holy grail. It boggles my mind.
      I'm glad to see that it was once considered a mall designer scent, because that's really all it is; except done better without the sometimes rough edges. What disappointed me most was that I was expecting "smoky" to mean that peaty, ashy, charcoal type of smell, which it definitely doesn't have.
      It's better than its clones, but I don't think it's proportionately better.

      I just got Al Fares in the mail. I definitely get the Eternity comparison. It's close. It's also reminding me of Glacier Bay from Bath and Body Works, which was supposedly a Polo Sport clone (can't remember Polo Sport too well). It's performing way better than Eternity so far, and it's a lot more dense and aromatic, which helps it from being too casual. I can see myself wearing this one often.
      Champion Black is supposed to be more like GIT, but I already have more of these than I end up wearing

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    3. I was somewhat interested in giving Champion Black a go, but then felt strangely uninspired and didn't bother. The problem is that convincingly cloning something like GIT or Cool Water (or Aspen) is no longer impressive, given how long this fragrance type has been around. So yeah, Champion Black may be 90% similar to GIT, but so what? Cool Water is 95% similar and not overwhelmingly expensive, and generally in all but the most recent formula a great fragrance to own and wear. I don't need to drop five bucks on an Al Rehab to feel like I've "won" with this sort of scent, so I definitely understand where you're coming from with that one.

      To me, Aventus smells most like crisp dollar bills. Not smoky, just a bit dirty and very dry. Not bad, but nothing stupendous, either.

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