Brand: Alkemia

Scent Description: Iso Super E is an enigma of synthetic perfumery. Often described as anti-perfume, Iso Super E is often hard to smell on yourself, but it creates a subtle aura of scent that others will pick up but often will not be able to describe. It’s the kind of mystery that makes someone linger a little longer in a hug or lean a little closer as they try to figure out your olfactory puzzle. Suitable for all genders, Iso Super E is rumored to have pheromonic qualities. We find the scent delicately wild… a transparent veil morphing with pulsations of subtle musk, dry woods, faint ambergris. The effect is warm, clean, and sensual… like the smell of skin reaching up to be kissed.

6 thoughts on “Enigma”

  1. So, this is a weird one. And probably a grain of salt situation since everyone seems to react differently. I bought this, not really fully knowing what Iso-E smelled like, but based on a lot of reviews saying that it smelled like a soft, woody skin musk, and several reviews likening it to Half Hoping To Be Eaten By A Bear by D+F (my holy grail skin scent). In the bottle, I almost get that same quality, that slight cedary smell with a little bare skin, but it is completely buried under a weird rancid smell that I cannot stand. It smells like sea crust. Like dirty dock barnacles. It smells very much like, and I’m sorry because this is gross but I feel the need to be honest here, like dog anal gland. If you have ever had to express a dog’s anal glands or had your dog smear their fishy butt juice on your throw pillows, you probably know the strong rotten fish smell I’m talking about. I also detected some strange aldehidic qualities that I was able to recognize from a lot of other perfumes, perfumes that made me go “hm, what is this foul plastic bleachy smell that isn’t in the notes. I hate it.” I have a pretty sensitive nose though, both in terms of ability to detect subtle fragrances and in terms of ability to be bothered by them. I also loathe the smell of the beach. I think it smells like garbage, pee, and death. So your results may vary wildly from mine. I’ll stick to Half Hoping (extremely recommend, in rollerball form).

  2. Again: on me, it isn’t great. I smell like a cross between a dead whale and a crow wearing a tuxedo. But on my partner–hot damn. I mean. Wow. He smells like he sat outside at the ocean shirtless, even though it was slightly cold out with just a bit of sun, and a lot of fog. Windy, soft and delicious. Truly skin-but-better. I kept burying my face in neck. God, what a find. Will be giving this scent to him.

  3. Iso E Super is different for everyone, so there’s a little bit of futility in describing it. However, on my skin, Enigma is a skin-like parchment and light cedar scent. It’s fully a skin-but-better scent when it dries down, and the cedar does not go wood chips on me. I don’t get any sweetness, but it sort of smells like the best possible version of my skin if I spent a whole day outside in the woods. I really enjoy it but understanding how others might now like it. If you like D&F’s Half-hoping to be eaten by a bear, you have a good chance of liking this.

  4. When I first applied this, it smelled like an entire Abercrombie store on my skin. After about ~30 minutes, I would describe it as spicy and clean, leaning masculine, but not sharp or like cologne. I liked it, but there was nothing “special” about this for me and I never reached for it, so I destashed.

  5. Trying to describing Enigma is probably an exercise in futility, but here it is: First impression is that of woods and green tea; fresh, dry, aromatic, maybe a little tannic. The next to surface are salty and animalic notes; and even as a fan of ambergris the utter lack of sweetness was disconcerting. Floral facets and musky warmth slowly develops on the skin with wear, along with the faint but much needed sweetness. The projection resembles cedar, but with less powder and greater transparency. Strange but not at all unpleasant; too faint to use as a standalone, but very good as a rescue.

  6. This does not work on me…at all. On my skin there’s a chemical smell of faint nail polish remover. No musk. No dry woods. No faint ambergris. This absolutely does NOT mesh with my skin chemistry. I am very curious to read what others have to say on this scent. I will be staying far away from this one. If I could smell it so strongly on myself (why is it the ones that stink last the longest?) god only knows how many innocent people I offended. This is so bad on my skin. Wonder what will happen if I put it on coat or a blanket? It could smell completely different. Will report back if the scent improves on clothing.

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