The opening jolts you awake, like a loved one passing a freshly brewed espresso in front of your nose as you begin to nod off. Hot, black, intense roasted bean with the burnt edge of wood crackling in the grate. The green bite of cardamom giving it a tart edge. Awake’s darkness is tantalizingly profound, but the perfumer has thoughtfully slipped a nugget of toasted hazelnut in with the coffee to buffer it from any sharpness or acridity. Awake manages that compromise between sharp and sweet so smoothly that you begin to imagine it’s easy – but make no mistake, it is the experienced hand of Cresp that keeps the scent on an even keel. The dance of coffee, hazelnut, and toasted wood ebbs and flows through the scent like a steady pulse, before sweetening slightly, finishing out in a remarkably textured rendition of those crunchy coffee candies in the checkout aisle of Italian grocery stores. Not sweet, not particularly gourmand, and yet, also not bitter or grainy in that way that coffee scents can be, Awake is the happy medium of coffee scents.
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