Slumberhouse's Best - Round 1

I'm testing the whole Slumberhouse line, my plan was to pick 3-4 of the best ones, but since actually most of them are beyond great, I'll "split" my selection in a couple of round-ups. Here's the first one.

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Vikt



Straight on my top chart of Slumberhouse, which is actually an ex-aequo of most of their scents. Ultra-modern elegance at its best. The first smell is something completely new, a narcotic, velvety feel, sensual and mellow but in a totally unique way, nondescript and physically irresistible, extremely persuasive and pleasant, halfway between sticky and dusty. I detect the over-dark, venomous oily accord of styrax and benzoin (and trisamber?) of other Slumberhouse scents, but here is played in a suspended, aerial, azure-green balsamic nowhere. And there lies that "smell" I find so luring and irresistible, it's like and anisic, medicinal, poisonous talcum. Incense notes emerge too. Usual terrific balance of notes and quality of materials. On the base you feel this dirty, sticky terpenic river of dark woods with a medicinal vibe, but the main unique feature of the scent is that translucent anisic smoke with silky tobacco notes, which just surrounds everything. At some point, from somewhere, a fruit note drips into the base darkness, and it brings to life a subtle rancid note. Crazy alchemic balance. The "visual experience" here is consistent with Josh Lobb's obsessions, it's like wandering in a decaying, post-modern, desert suburb, and just stopping by a crevice on a wall and inspire the narcotic azure smoke it exhales. Several notes recur, and compared to other scents from this line, this is one of the most complex for me, as it show many nuances and shades. It's still quite linear, but the linearity is vast and dimensional enough not to get bored of it. After a couple of hours it gets warmer and sweeter, the balsamic-medicinal accord emerges better as well as the ambroxan base, still with a black sticky vein and a dry, gloomy, industrial rubbery feel of dead woods (perhaps a bit too much rubbery after a while). Echoes and ruins of a dissolved contemporaneity.

8,5-9/10

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Baque




Perhaps my favourite so far. Again, the Slumberhouse mantra: sharp, powerful, vibrant, a "stereo" feel. A bold cocoa note, dustier and darker than ever, on a boozy tobacco-ambroxan base and a rough, earthy, biting patchouli feel, heavy and gloomy. There's no patchouli but cocoa and tobacco give me that feeling. Think of Lutens' Borneo 1834 on steroids. Like being thrown in a humid, black, empty, deep reservoir, with green, bitter, poisonous branches growing on the walls. You also feel quite clearly the cedar and the mossy notes, with this sour, dense and tiny heart of artemisia. And then, of course, the tobacco, so rooty, powerful and overwhelming you don't even notice it's there – because it's surrounding you. Shady, humid and pungent, the Holy Grail of tobacco lovers. Like waking up in a humidor. As minutes pass it progressively dries down still remaining super dark and dusty, with this dense poisonous heart, and a balsamic breeze which is the consistent trademark of many Lobb's scents. The drydown is slightly sweeter and stickier, but the texture is the same, and it goes on, and on, for hours, tasty and clear like hours before (again, Slumberhouse's linearity: that may turn into a "con"). Besides the great, balanced, bright composition, the materials are just amazing, powerful and vibrant. Sadly for the moment it's discontinued but it's a mandatory try!

9/10

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Mare



Crazy, gorgeous opening, really powerful and amplified, an edible, mentholated green-balsamic accord of crunchy leaves on a dark, oily, milky base, greener than green, humid and wet, spacious and tridimensional, with bold herbaceous notes and a general invigorating, energetic vibe, like those sugarfree mint candies you eat when you've a sore throat. Never smelled anything like this before – and I am surely not "an easy one" when it comes to enthusiasm, especially for avant-garde niche products. This instead just completely got me. The heart of the scent is really dense, thick, materic, almost oily and sticky, pungent but at the same time, luminous and bright – not in a predictable "sunlight" meaning, rather a neon, plastic light. Lot of synthetic aromachemicals, but used in a really balanced, bright and creative way, to explore new ways of composition and give the scent a palpable futuristic vibe. All smells so "new" (to me, at least) that makes this scent quite hard to describe for me, but it's simply superb, the only "normal" reference I can recall is that balsamic accord, which from times to times smells also like absinth, with its darker, liquid and stickier counterpart. But there is a lot more, there's this strange, captivating feel which makes me think of two cultural references: the opalescent, suspended, gloomy photography of Sokurov's movies, and the world of Ballard's novels - specifically his "The drowned World" novel, which is set in this post-apocalyptic green, super humid world. This is quite the smell one can imagine that world may exhude – a futuristic, at the same time organic and archaic nature. Deadidol perfectly summed that up on Basenotes: "it’s the scent that vegetation will produce when humans are no longer around to interfere". Totally brilliant. Plus, the composition is just perfect, powerful yet restrained where it should be, it's just great. Plenty of skills and talent here, and a stunning quality of materials. The only tiny "con" is the drydown, which smells a bit like a chewing-gum, but I can really forgive that.

8,5/10

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Here is a great and interesting interview with Josh Lobb.

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