Saturday, March 23, 2013

First Impressions: Jeke Extrait (March 2013 batch) by Slumberhouse

Friendship. We use the word all the time, but rarely do I, at least, consider the meaning. I consider a lot of people my friends, from people I've known my whole life like my estranged "brother," to a few classmates I met just a few short months ago in the concrete walls they call a university. I'm not convinced.

Enter Josh Lobb, a man who's whole life now revolves around scent, and yet for the longest time he had no interest whatsoever. I emailed him six months ago or so asking about the sample suite he offers on his site, wondering if I could get a few extra samples of fragrances not included and pay the difference. He responded within the hour, saying he'd include what I asked for with no extra charge, and thanked me wholeheartedly for my purchase and support.

I knew from then that he would become my friend, and in a way redefine what I consider friendship. Many months later now, we've corresponded in the neighborhood of 25 or 30 times, and during that time I've learned a lot about his fragrances, and most importantly, the man behind the fragrances. Josh is a strong person, and if I could end up like him when I turn 30, I'd be very happy.

The reason I bring all this up is to set the stage for a first impressions post. He sent my mother a sample of Pear and Olive so she could figure out if it was something she wanted for her birthday (it was), and along with it, unknown to me, he sent along a sample of his newest version of Jeke, a fragrance I'd experienced a few times in the past during my month long Slumberhouse binge back during winter break, and one I've now worn the newest version of just once.

Jeke is an interesting creature, and really, like most Slumberhouse fragrances, is more of an experience than simply a fragrance. I know it sounds lame, but stay with me here. See, the thing with Slumberhouse, and in particular Jeke, is that if you give up after the first hour or so, you're not getting the whole story.

Just like all his other creations in their last few iterations, there are no dedicated top notes in Jeke, which is interesting, because it comes off as very dark, rooty, and dirty off the top, something I'm familiar enough with. Still, after a bit of breathing, the bracing harshness of the fragrance starts to die and you are left with the heart of a very modern masculine that somehow harkens back to the lost days of perfumery where every creation was new and exciting. This is something uncommon today, and is something that Josh seems to capture like a still photograph that sticks in his mind while creating fragrances.

Once everything settles in, Jeke changes considerably, into a softer, yet still robust combination of benzoin, woods, and some tobacco to round it off (it certainly seems he loves tobacco). Oh, and a note on the tobacco in his fragrances. It is usually dry, very dry, but also very unique. I can't quite place another fragrance that smells of the same styling of tobacco, but if you bear with me, it's like the smell of a dried out humidor after it's been aired out and all the water has been sucked out of the reservoir. It's not exact by any means, though.

At first, I wasn't such a big fan of Jeke, but now with this new version, it has this strange allure to it that makes me want to wear it more and more. Once I get a truly proper review in my mind, I'll post an addendum to this with the same opening as what you found here in that review.

Overall, I'd suggest every curious nose catch a whiff of Jeke, as it is truly an original composition.

If you want to know anything about Josh, I offer you a quote from his last email to me regarding Pear and Olive: "I'm very proud with the final result -- hopefully it treats your mother to many great wearings and memories." Indeed it will, and perhaps, in time, Jeke will for me as well. 

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