Swiss Army Forest (Victorinox)

Victorinox surprised me, and released a fragrance that smells good. Hearkening from 2012, this woody aromatic smells crisp, fresh, green, and quite nice. After trying the abysmal Swiss Army Classic, I had very low expectations for Forest, but Fabrice Pellegrin and Jean-Pierre Bethouart pulled it off without a hitch. Why it would take two noses to design something as spare and direct as this is beyond me. It makes me wonder if these dual-authorship perfumes are really the two-man jobs they're billed as, or if certain misguided brands think that attaching two names to one fragrance lends it more street-cred. Not that it matters in this case. There's no one to blame for anything, because this is a good release.

Forest begins with a bright hit of juniper, dry pine (not the oily variety), and a few drops of fizzy lemon. Within twenty minutes the spicier elements tone back and leave a wry evergreen/cedar accord, conspicuously placed atop a fairly loud, somewhat cheap-smelling white musk base. From that point onward - all of four short hours - Forest is simply pine, cedar, and musk, with fleeting reminders of the lemon. There's no further movement, no further development, and no reason to get excited. What impresses me is how the evergreen notes are kept alive and well for more than an hour, as these notes tend to be short-lived. If you're looking for a straightforward woody-pine accord, Forest will do the trick, at least until you remember Pino Silvestre, at which point you'll quickly realize there's no competition, and no reason to spend forty to seventy dollars on Victorinox. You could have Parfums Mavive's masterful fresh fougère for the price of a deli sandwich, and it smells so much better.

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