Boadicea the Victorious Complex

Now, hey, I love Boadicea the Victorious’  Pure. I love the smelly excursions of this niche house. I just wish their stuff wasn’t so dang expensive for what you get. And then there’s Complex, which I think should have been named “Perplexing” instead.


In Bottle: Whoa, I think we have a contender for weirdest, most off-putting scent now. I know everyone gives Secretions Magnifiques that honor but Complex has the dirty, unpleasant smell thing going on right up front. Commendable, though I’m not so sure about wearable. And I’m talking abut unironic wearability here.

Applied: Bitter and green from get go with a very obvious and very loud civet presence. All this wrapped up in a thick blanket of choking smoke. This stuff isn’t for the weak–and I’m weak. I guess. It’s off-putting, it’s alarming. If I didn’t know they were trying to make this a wearable fragrance, I’d be saying Boadicea is trolling us all like Etat Libre d’Orange did. I’m sticking out with this one though. I refuse to let it call me a wuss. Complex is powerful, it’s a big projector too so while you wear this, wear it with confidence. Or wear it somewhere with lots of ventilation and not on an airplane. As I wait for the dry down, Complex does relatively little with its time as it remains predominantly animalic with a brush of sweet violets wavering in and out during the mid-stage. The violets do little to endear this fragrance to me, as the sweetness mixes with the smoky animalic personality of Complex to create this mess of fragrance that doesn’t go together at all. Dry down is marked with more civet (hey, it’s a strong component) as the fragrance ushers out with a bitter parting of the violets and the green. Meanwhile, you’ll be scrubbing for many a day to get the smoky civet off. This fragrance, to me, smells like baked roadkill. Which, I can’t decide, if this is better or worse than sweaty armpit. I’m going to say better–just barely.

Extra: I want to believe they did this on purpose–this making of a fragrance that challenges the concept of perfume and of–well, just smelling decent. I suppose if you are into fragrances that are, or should be, unwearable you can add Complex to the list.

Design: I do love the way Boadicea the Victorious bottles their fragrances. Pretty glass entrapped in intricate metal vines. The designs are reminiscent of Nordic and Gaelic art. Quite beautiful and interesting.

Fragrance Family: Dirty

Notes: Violet, labdanum, leather, musk, civet, basil, sage.

I never thought I’d label another fragrance under my imaginary ‘dirty’ fragrance family. But there you go. Complex is a powerful, high sillage smoky animalic with brushes of sweet violets and a really weird personality. Not my thing, can’t see myself wearing this, hope I don’t end up in an enclosed space with someone who does.

Reviewed in This Post: Complex, 2009, Eau de Parfum.

Boadicea the Victorious Pure

Boadicea the Victorious is one of the luxury niche brands. I know, I know, just what does luxury mean in an industry defined as luxury? The price points for this house tends to be higher than the others, thus defining it as the luxury of the luxuries? Who cares, bottom line, it’s expensive. Pure

In Bottle: Fresh, crisp citrus and pink and white flowers. Pure smells like laundry,  just barley, but with a citrus topper and an even cleaner lead.

Applied: Beautiful citrus opens up the fragrance. Green and fresh, a lot of lime and a bit of lemon then the white florals come in and add a slight powdery sweetness to this while the citrus notes hang on into the mid-stage where that clean laundry scent gives way to a beautiful, airy beach-like floral and green tea. The dry down comes too soon as I was appreciating that lovely white sides, blue ocean, green palms feel of Pure. Upon dry down I finally get word of the sandalwood in this as Pure becomes a dusty, pretty citrus. This fragrance triggers a vague memory from my childhood. Green fields, dusty country road and laundry hanging from the lines.

Extra: Boadicea the Victorious is a relatively new British niche house headed by Michael Boadi. The house features some exclusive scents, and a ready to wear line referred to as The Victorious, which Pure is a part of.

Design: Presented in a rectangular glass bottle with lovely metal trimmings. You will receive the bottle nested in its own box and you shouldn’t settle for less, especially given how much this goes for on Luckyscent at $265.00 per 100ml. Yikes.

Fragrance Family: Fresh

Notes: : Bergamot, Sicilian lemon, green tangerine, Mediterranean cypress, basil leaves, Egyptian cumin, juniper berry, ylang ylang, sandalwood, amber, patchouli, vanilla.

Given how much this is, I wouldn’t settle for less than a fragrance that completely knocks my socks off. Pure is a lovely scent, for sure, a few degrees above a mainstream house’s general fair when it comes to clarity of the fragrance. I do love that juicy, pure citrus opening.

Reviewed in This Post: Pure, 2009, Eau de Parfum.