A Few Impartial Thoughts – Review: Xerjoff Shooting Stars Oesel

Xerjoff Oesel – nothing drew me towards this. I don’t like the name (it sounds really stupid in German, don’t you think Lady Jane Grey, Georgy and all who speak the language? I know it is a Baltic island, but still…) and it is prohibitively expensive. And truth be told, while I appreciate the quality and craftsmanship of the Xerjoff bottles, I don’t find them very attractive, that top could be a weapon in clumsy hands, my hands, some would say.

Casamorati Lira took me in though, and in its wake I tried other samples by Xerjoff that I had stashed in secret places around the house, lest I am tempted. I did not stash them securely enough apparently.

Why, oh why did I have to do that?

I should have been happy that I did not particularly like Kobe or XXY, or was not really wowed by Elle or 1861. Lua and Dhajala are lovely and nice, which at this price point can be a major disqualifying label.

But Oesel – okay, I am trying to rein myself in here, try to not swoon, to not be over the top in my descriptions. I have deleted numerous versions of this review, because it always ended in uncontested praise and heartache.

But there is no denying it, I have been nursing my two samples for days on end, relishing every tiny drop, screaming at my younger son when he tried to take it (I apologize, the poor child was not traumatized I hope, but is now trained not to put his little grabby hands on my Xerjoffs and received a compensatory banana), and delighting in wearing it as often as I can considering my limited resources.

I think now it is time to come clean.

Oesel is pure and unadulterated love. Oesel is a golden halo. Oesel is an aura of magic. Oesel is sunlight and warmth.  Oesel is no holds barred beauty. Oesel is just wonderful.

There you are, that is me, restrained. 🙂

Oesel was created by Richard Melchio and includes notes of orange flower, Paraguayan petitgrain, Bulgarian rose, jasmine sambac, acacia, white flowers, Indian patchouli, cedar, and tobacco flower. It lasts about four hours and has a lovely, but tight sillage.

To me Oesel is dominated by something that smells like the perfect fusion of orange blossom and mimosa, a honeyed, round and enveloping smell that is bright and deep at the same time, happy and sad, there is plenty of golden light and a long dark shadow.

You may gather that, although I am trying hard, I find it impossible to review this in non-lyrical terms, they creep in immediately.

I want to say it smells like flowers, but I see fairies flitting around and golden bees buzzing. I want to say how lovely the tobacco note comes through, but I hear peals of laughter and I feel the warmth on my skin. I want to say how the base of woody patchouli serves as an anchor for the exuberant floral accord, but I sense the depth of the abyss it carries in its heart, the shadow it trails, it is all part of its beauty.

I am giving up now, there is no way this is going to be an impartial review. I am tired of deleting all I write for fear it is too emotional, too close, not helpful for anyone reading it.

And you know what, the only thing able to convey the beauty that Oesel is to me, is by smelling it and seeing for yourself. And I take full responsibility for enticing you, sadly I cannot accept responsibility for eventual consequences. Enter the golden world of Oesel at your own risk. (Tara asked for a disclaimer, here it is! 😉 )

I am counting the days until I can afford a bottle, for I am certain this must, I repeat MUST be mine.

Stupid name or not, I have fallen in love with Oesel, damn the consequences.

Image source: fragrantica.com, jedzer via , thank you!
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About Olfactoria

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This entry was posted in Amber, Floral, Fragrance Reviews, Oriental, Woods, Xerjoff and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to A Few Impartial Thoughts – Review: Xerjoff Shooting Stars Oesel

  1. Sandra says:

    Thank you for the lovely review. I had a good chuckle reading this. My son loves the bottles and samples and yes, at the age of 2 he says yum when he likes a perfume and pats his chest wanting a small spray. I have not dared to test this line but I must say you are making it more challenging to stay away. Oh dear!

    • Olfactoria says:

      That is adorable! He is a perfume connoisseur in the making! 🙂
      I’m sorry, but the line is enticing, I’m having a hard time staying away from it as well.

  2. Georgy says:

    A lovely review that makes me curious about this scent, the name is hideous indeed, does one really want to smell like “oesel”……the tops look like pan flutes……..and the poor little bugger, that is screamed away from your sample hope he will not have a lifetime trauma over it……..

    • Olfactoria says:

      I’m sure he’ll recover, let’s call it a necessary encounter with the harsh realities of life. 😉

      And seeing that you always come out of the woodwork when I review a Xerjoff, I’ll interpret that as you secretly wanting a bottle, hideous or not. 🙂

      • Georgy says:

        B you know me too well! I’m always drawn to things that repuls me at first sight, or that I can’t afford……:-)

          • Georgy says:

            Saw “the husband” today, he doesnt look like a russian oligarch yet, but all these yets are yet to come……once a bottle of oesel is ordered…….warning I think that this scents gonna change your life, atleast as far as styling is concerned……..

        • Georgy says:

          I would certainly opt for the rutilquarz or lapis bottle or both, its a pity they only come with the 17/17 line……, but I really like the story about the rising stars, sounds really romantic…….

  3. FearlessBG says:

    Oh boy, gorgeous orange blossom and whiffs of tobacco…. I better not try this till I win the lottery. Very nice review, and the photo you attached seems to get across the feeling of this perfume!

    Re: the Xerjoff bottles, I’ve got to say they don’t look super attractive to me either.. a little over the top in the wrong way probably. Wouldn’t it be great if they came in smaller refill bottles at far more appealing prices? 😀

    • Olfactoria says:

      That would certainly be great!
      Sometimes I crave an image and a bottle just a much as the perfume itself, but in this case it is the juice and the juice only. I’m not sure that makes it any better though! 🙂

  4. Gisela says:

    So, I gather you like it? 😉
    I hope it will be a while before I can actually sniff any of the Xerjoffs – they sound too dangerously enticing, but the company does a good job keeping me at bay with their names and aesthetics and prices. Though the Murano flacons do look really lovely… Like Sandra said: Oh dear! 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      I like it a little. 😉
      The Murano and Quartz flacons are only available for the 17/17 line, which is a good thing, because it makes the Shooting Star line look like a bargain. 🙂

  5. angie Cox says:

    I think you might have to find a friend to share a sampler box Birgit ! The sample of these has bottles of about 13mls each. I love them all which is really unusual . I think we should all write to Xerjoff explaining how much we like them but unless you are a Russian billionaire , ex-pat. Russian aristocrat etc it’s not really possible to buy them in the bottles as they are. I had to write to Floris today to tell them that the new 30ml bottles are a good idea but that they only come in the men’s range ( “for travel”) was a rather out of date idea. Why , my dear, I even ride a bicycle and have been seen in short skirts. The Amouage samples came today and I am wearing Opus 4 , sadly I hate it !!
    I do believe if you already own a Xerjoff bottle you can get it refilled , I have thought of laying on the floor at Roja Dove with a jam jar catching drips !!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I am eyeing that sampler box, Angie and I have a pact with myself that I may buy it by the end of July, if I genuinely love at least three perfumes in it (those I have samples of). So I’ll keep on testing and we’ll see… 🙂

      I had to laugh at the image of you haunting the noble premises of Harrod’s Fifth Floor in the hopes of catching a few precious drops. 🙂 I talked to the store manager of Roja Dove’s when I was in London, and she showed me the refill bottles (only available for the 17/17 line though. One 50ml refill bottle of Iriss was still 250€!)

  6. Tara says:

    LOL! Looks like the disclaimer I requested arrived just in time! *put fingers in ears* “la la la not listening” Really can do without a Xeroff lemming but as FearlessBG said above, orange blossom with a tabacco undercurrent sounds wonderful. BTW I think Oesel sounds pretty naff in English too – sounds like “weasel”.

    Oh and please don’t restrain yourself in your reviews, B. Your lyrical, emotional writing is possibly what I love best about your reviews.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I don’t know how to correctly pronounce Oesel in English, so do you say o-esel? That does sound like weasel, lol. In German we say an Umlaut so the oe is one sound.
      anyway, aside from linguistics, Oesel is decidedly lemming worthy, hence the disclaimer. 😉

      Thank you for encouraging my “style”, it is what comes naturally after all, but sometimes I think people must think I am a bit strange. 🙂

  7. vanessa says:

    Now I know why the tester in Fortnum & Mason was empty when I went to try this range! There were several empty testers in fact, and I think the LIra one may also have been missing. Is this a secondary gambit to deduce the appeal of a scent? Though in fact your review is more than enough to precipitate a full scale Oesel-hunting quest. Which sounds like a rather dull place in Nordrhein Westfalen, actually.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Haha! I wish I had seen the line at Fortnum&Mason’s, I was probably too distracted by the Caron urns at the time.
      Ha, I am glad to having sent you on a quest, I will wait with bated breath for your verdict.
      I’m with you on the possible provenance of the name, although I do believe it might be in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. 🙂

  8. Suzanne says:

    Birgit, arriving back from vacation and having this be the first blog post I’ve read in a week is an absolute treat! Even when you aren’t writing about something that you’re head-over-heels in love with, your reviews are impeccable gems to read. But when you lose all sense of that cool German control (please forgive the stereotype, but I couldn’t resist) 😉 and wax poetic, they are all the more sublime.

    I love any perfume that fills the head with thoughts of bees buzzing and fairies appearing in their midst to bring some enchantment to summer — and then something more serious and wistful to anchor it all to, giving it more emotional weight. Your review makes Oesel sound very beautiful and sample-worthy.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Suz, thank you so much for that wonderful comment. *blush*
      I am sure you would love this as much as I do, but I shall say no more (see disclaimer). 😉

  9. I love it when your reviews go into prose territory, and Sheila’s, and even mine! That’s what makes for good reading! We are truly lucky when we receive emotional transmissions from perfume, we should broadcast them!

    That said, I’m sort of dying to try Richwood. I have a feeling my response will be similar to yours here.

    • Olfactoria says:

      You are absolutely right, we should make use of those feeling perfume can evoke in us and try to put them in words, the result is often (see Sheila and yourself) extraordinary.
      Did you order your Richwood sample already? You are making me so curious! And to think Richwood is part of the even more expensive line, aaaargh… but I want to try it as well.

  10. deeHowe says:

    Sounds divine…

  11. lady jane grey says:

    Oh, it’s a Baltic island ? O.K. then… (LOL)

    I’m sooooooooooooo afraid to try this line. It will be entirely your fault !!!

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