This is the first perfume I've tried from Mark Buxton's eponymous line. I'm relatively familiar with some of his other work, most notably for Comme des Garcon, Le Labo and Van Cleef & Arpels. The notes for Around Midnight include pepper, geranium, camomile, jasmine, styrax, patchouli, cistus and cedarwood. I must admit, the opening of Around Midnight left me feeling quite disappointed. It opens quite sweet and moderately spicy, the only interesting part being a noticeable patchouli note early on. Although not listed, the beginning felt quite citrusy, in a bergamot sort of way, but perhaps this is the interaction of geranium and camomile. I'm inclined to say this started rather generic smelling, like something I've smelled often. Fortunately it only got better from here on. Around Midnight stays fairly spicy through the heart, but for some reason the patchouli fades considerably to be replaced by a warm, smooth, almost tobacco-like note, with just a hint of leather and earth. At the risk of trying to analyse this too much, I wonder if the tobacco accord I get is caused by the combination of jasmine, patch and cistus? This perfume does not smell floral at all though, and comes across as quite sophisticated, with a hint of caramel toffee and spice that lends a certain gourmand feel.
The dry down becomes less sweet, with perhaps a hint of smokiness and much woodier, no doubt as the cedar comes to the fore. This ends up smelling very good - quite suave and smooth, with very few rough edges. I don't want to categorise this too much, but it does tend towards the masculine, but I think many women might be drawn to the sweeter elements in the composition. The most compelling phase for me is that brief interlude of sweet tobacco, spice and faint leather. On the whole, this is a decent fragrance, not groundbreaking by any means, but pleasant to wear.
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