Ex Nihilo The Hedonist Eau de Parfum is one where I feel like either it’s been significantly reformulated or my skin chemistry completely obliterated the scent profile, because instead of an aromatic, woody, musky kind of scent, I was bathed in a fruity, pear-apple-ginger melange with some musk and tonka bean but woods? nothing that I could detect individually. These are the notes:
- top notes: bergamot, ginger
- heart notes: cedarwood, Akigalawood
- base notes: vetiver, musks, tonka bean
It opened with fresh, grated ginger and bitter orange that smoothed out and sweetened within two minutes of application, reminding me of some pear-apple-ginger combination, fruity and hard to distinguish but apply kept coming to mind. Whatever sharper citrus that may have been part of the opening was totally subsumed by sweetness, which did not seem like it really came from tonka bean because it was more sugary, not so rich or spiced, and read quite fruit-floral on me.
The Hedonist retained a lighter, airier quality with subtle, sweet fruit with a modicum of ginger bite. Light muskiness and a stronger sense of vanilla emerged after two hours of wear but the cedar had not, and it had dropped projection quite a bit. Unfortunately, on my skin, the woody elements and vetiver did not seem to want to come out and play, as the drydown was slightly fruity, lightly spiced, and musky with some vanilla-like sweetness.
For testing, I used 1/3 of a 0.7ml sample vial dabbed to the underside and topside of my wrist area on my left arm. I used an unscented moisturizer prior to applying the scent as this is also my swatching arm (aka, incredibly parched at any given moment) as I found scent did not hold well here otherwise.
I purchased my sample in January 2022; fragrances are known to be reformulated over their lifetime , so be mindful of when a review was made, e.g. a review from 2010 may not reflect what the same-named perfume smells like in 2022.
It lasted for three hours until it was a skin-scent and about eight hours before it was quite difficult to detect on my skin. The sillage and projection were moderate with the sillage dropping faster but everything seemed to close in after two hours of wear.
Whether the formula has been changed over time, or the notes simply did not translate on my skin, my experience felt quite out of sync with the limited reviews of others who have tried this scent. For the price point, not getting more nuance through the type of notes included (e.g. not smelling woods at all) coupled with the very short wear left me unimpressed.
- 50ml for $225
- 100ml for $325
- 0.7ml sample for $7