The first thing I remembered when I put Ulrich Lang ‘Apsu’ on my arm was the childhood THRILL of going to the Rainforest Cafe at the mall with my mom. If you’ve never been, the Rainforest Cafe is a huge chain of (garish, vulgar) restaurants filled with fake rainforest plants and animals. It’s pretty dark and full of foliage, and every 30-minutes or so all the fake animals move. At age ten, I thought it was fabulous. I’m sure the cafe smelled like grease, not perfume. But I think I know why Apsu called it to mind. Apsu smells like standing between a door that opens into a tropical greenhouse (palm trees, green, steamy) and another door that opens into Abercrombie and Fitch.
But let me be more specific. I smell dirt, ferns, cantaloupe, and leaves. It’s wet, earthy, and green. If you want to know whether you’d like this smell (I don’t, just to be clear), I think you should base that decision on your feelings about cantaloupe. Do you, like me, think that the cantaloupe is the worst of all the melons? Then you probably wouldn’t like this. If, on the other hand, you do like cantaloupe…maybe you should try Apsu. Truthfully I do like so many parts of this smell, but the melon and Abercrombie & Fitch is just Too Much.
Two more descriptions for you: 1) My housemate is convinced that the only accurate description for this smell is: standing in a zoo, pressed up against the glass to look at penguins underwater. 2) Ulrich Lang, the maker of this perfume, says this smells like lush green notes drenched in water. I think that’s reasonably true, but euphemistic.