Declaration is a rich woody and spicy fragrance combined with bright citrus. In the first sniff, I am captivated by the combination of the cedarwood and orris accord. The sweet and tenacious nature of both ingredients produces delicate harmonies throughout the creation.
The presence of cardamom elevates this opening, providing more warmth and comfort. This remarkable spice, carrying aromatic and warm-balsamic facets, blends very well with the sweet-woody nature of cedarwood, as well as the powdery-floral orris. Together they provide an excellent projection.
Coriander and cumin are present as the modifier for cardamom. Small but mighty, these ingredients give a green-aromatic hook on the top although used in trace. They intensify the effect of the spices and give more character.
All these remarkable notes are even more stunning thanks to bergamot. This vibrant citrus elevates the freshness and awakens the fragrance to breathe. I personally feel bergamot has a particular terpenic facet, almost spicy-peppery, which I find quite pronounce in this perfume. Besides, bergamot’s sweet-fruity-floral character reminds me of orange blossom, and instantly, a cologne.
This cologne facet–combines with the spices and citrus notes–evolves into a rich tea accord. I get a refined earl grey accord from the combination of bergamot and tea here. This tea also imparts a transparent aquatic silhouette that is refreshing to the senses. Finally, with a lovely white flower complex in it, this accord becomes even more radiant and delightful.
The excitement does not stop there. There is an earthiness beneath the tea accord that is intriguing, given by vetiver. Vetiver, with its balsamic woody-earthy facets, elevate the texture of dusky cedarwood and velvety orris notes, displaying a suede finish. At the same time, amber and musk give a remarkable lift and conclude the fragrance with roundness. This part of this fragrance gives depth.
Some might argue that Decalaration smells too spicy, with people catching cumin facet too strong, thus relating it to Indian curry and chai. I can definitely understand this opinion. However, for me, this is what makes Declaration intriguing. The cardamom, cumin, and cedarwood play a big part in building this chai mood that delivers bold statements, warm radiant, strong sillage, and yet, exhilarating.
Declaration is one of the masterpieces coming from the genius mind of Jean-Claude Ellena that I really appreciate. I always admire his simplicity in creating perfumes, yet able to give an incredible twist here and there to make them special and unique. Declaration is an impressive classic, truly one of a kind.
For me, Declaration is a minimalist, effortless, but deep. Although marketed as a masculine perfume, I could see women wearing it too. What makes it versatile is the balsamic and floral undertone, apart from being woody and spicy. Furthermore, spices are unisex, in my opinion, and the presence of citruses kind of makes it even more genderless.
In today’s environment, more and more emerging niche brands promote the versatility of perfumes. This concept somehow accommodates recent social movements around the world, where the gap between gender is getting blurred. And with this movement too, people are more open to using any scents they like regardless of gender.