I don't understand all of the bad reviews for this POTL fragrance unless the formula has been changed since I bought mine. I bought my bottle several years ago and it's really nice. I bought this when it was all the rage on the boards and I was going through my powdery sweet heliotrope scent phase. The fragrance is in the family of playdough, heliotrope, grassy and cherry combined. If you like soft, chewy gourmand fragrances or fragrances like Serge Lutens Rahat Loukoum, Parfumerie Generale's Bois Blond (grassiness), L'Artisan Jour de Fete, Etro's Heliotrope, Ava Luxe Angel Face or Doll Face, then you may like POTL's Luctor et Emergo. The body cream is simply divine! Pricey but really luxurious and the fragrance lasts. I love the bottle of the fragrance. It's like a chemistry flask. I do feel like it's fragile and may break easily. I keep mine in the box. This is one of those fragrances that's worth having a decant of for when you're in the mood to wear it. Most would probably not consider the price tag worth it to purchase a whole bottle, since it's sort of a novelty type of fragrance, imo. I have a lot left of the fragrance and the body cream. I will probably never use it up, but if I did, I might go in on a split or purchase a decant.
If you want to smell like a hamster's cage, buy this perfume...
When first applied, this is mostly a creamy sandalwood and honeyed cedar scent with hints of a sweet, slightly powdery, cherry marzipan type of smell. It actually smells almost exactly like Arcana perfume oils' Shambhala fragrance (only Shambhala is lacking the hint of cherry/marzipan). There's also a touch of something that smells salty and sort of like olives.
As it dries down, the lovely wood notes disappear and the cloying cherry & vanilla amps up on my skin. It starts to remind me of almond extract and cherry cough syrup with an extra dose of sickly sweet vanilla sugar. Way too sweet almond extract. It gets sweeter and worse the longer it's on and is really strong on my skin.
All in all, Luctor et Emergo reminds me of some of the headshoppy perfume oils I've tried more than a mainstream fragrance. I quite like the woodiness when I first apply the scent, but the cloying vanilla & almond extract drydown is sickening to me. And I think this fragrance is kinda overpriced at $140-190 for 90-100mls.
OMG..what is this!! This smells like a dirty old chest that has been sitting in someones attic for a century. I don't detect any almond like Lady E or Mazzolari (both beautiful fragrances) instead a rancid mothball smell with a nasty cherry coating. I put some on and asked my fiance what he thought..he said it smelled like a urinal in Penn Station..enough said. I think this is a fragrance you love or hate, no middle ground. Some words of advice..sample..sample..sample! before you go out and purchase this witchs brew.
At first, I really didn't like this. It goes on my skin smelling like a Cherry air freshener for your car, the red pine tree type dangly cheap ones. It has this nice, lovely potent incensey undertone, however, the base note is really nice. So initially it's got this alternating juxtaposition going on: strong, transparent, fake red cherry kid's-medicine-type smell and at the end of the same whiff, thick swirls of a very dignified, expensive sandal and benzoin incense. I was confused and off-put by the first hour or so. Then, it smelled like the remnants of cherry flavored pipe tobacco, with perhaps a remainder of some weed resin left in the pipe. This lasted around 40 minutes. Two hours later, YuM!!
This delicious, sweet wood note is coming out, very rich, deep and aromatic, just the right touch of dark golden ambery, benzoin-resinous harmonic tone. Now I want to emphasize, that instead of hitting me like a Scent, Full On, in your face, THIS SMELL, as it did the first hour, the second part EMANATES. It subdues. It entices. Now THIS I LIKE!!
I can see how on some this would potentially develop as Playdough, it does have a teeeeeensy tiny bit of saltiness, but on me it's more sweet, and the wood, though rounded and polished, keeps it grounded and real, not synthetic or perfumey smelling in the least. This benzoin is ungodly beautiful, but the question is: Can I keep subjecting myself to an hour of Cherrybomb torture for it? I made a girl give me a bad look in the bathroom and run out the door coughing for it. I felt her pain.
Oh, but the 2nd hour IS SOOO GOOD!!!! It makes it almost worth it. I don't know if I would call it "haunting" as some have, but this is certainly heavenly beautiful. It's sweet, thick, resinous, polished, smooth, woody-black- benzoin heaven.
Just to clarify: I smell no almond, and get no Playdoh development with my skin chemistry whatsoever. The cherry entirely disappeared by the 2nd and 3rd hour at the woody stage (after pipe tobacco). The tobacco note flitted in & out of the woods until the final drydown of vanilla incense.
Smells like cherry cough syrup, mothballs, almond candy and some sort of old fashioned perfume thing I've smelled in other perfumes but don't know the name for...
I hate it, which is good because it's too expensive for me anyway.
Notes: green grass, white flowers, vanilla, almond, sour cherry and precious wood.
This fragrance opens with a fresh grass note enhanced by almond and vanilla. The effect is warm, slightly sweet but still vegetal enough not to be gourmand. You must suffer from pica if you wanted to eat whatever emanates this delicious smell. As the scent progresses, it loses the green grass note, increasing the vanilla, almond and white flower notes. In this stage the fragrance smells very milky and soapy, heavier on the vanilla than Louve and less almond-y. The dry-down is comprised of soft woods with a touch of sour cherry. Lasts four hours on my skin.
I have to say, I'm another underwhelmed customer. I'm hoping this is a skin chemistry thing, and on half of you out there, this is a truly amazing scent.
On me, I got the same notes repeated blow: opens with a strong hit of cherry brandy. Within 3 minutes--the fabled playdoh scent rose heavily off my wrist. And to clarify, it's not the kind you might have made in kindergarten from scratch with wheat. This is the trademark playdoh scent with that plastic edge edge to it.
So for 30 minutes cherry and playdoh wrestle for dominance, and playdoh mostly wins out.
And at drydown, smells exactly like Jergens Cherry Almond moisturizer. Save yourself $125 and go by a jumbo sized bottle of Jergens for $5.
*Has learned a lesson on hype*
Love this fragrance, I love it best in EdT. It doesn't last less than the perfume btw. The EdT is a bit less smoky and sweeter than the EdP (that is why I prefer the EdT).
Lasting power is average, but layering with the bodycream it is great.
After years of hearing how wonderful this scent is, I finally got a large decant of it. Frankly, I'm not going to go into how the opening smelled of cherries/almonds and dried down to an incense-y type quality etc etc, everyone's already done that. What I will say is that on me, in the end, it smells like flat root beer with a touch of what my kitchen spice cabinet smells like. Seriously. And that really bites because I LOVE incense-y scents, and almonds, and gourmand scents, and woods and resins and all kinds of things. In the end, a decent enough scent but really, with the 'cult status' thing, I expected fireworks and dragons and pleasurable, unexpected mini explosions of scent. Totally not FBW for me.