A Recipe for Success – DSquared2 Potion Perfume Review


DSquared2 is a brand that is well known for their fashion NOT for their perfumes. I don’t have much experience with the line (I have only tried He Wood and the less said about that the better) but what I do know is that each of their perfumes has an awful clanger of a name, they include; He Wood, She Wood and He Wood Rocky Mountain Wood….

Yes, those truly awful names, and a bad experience with He Wood led me to believe that I wouldn’t like Potion, in fact I was prepared to actively dislike it. So imagine my surprise when a chance encounter with a sample would reveal that this Potion, isn’t half bad at all.

Ingredients (The Notes)

2 freshly picked red mint leaves
2 pinches of angelica
1 twig of thyme

6 freshly picked rose petals
4 black peppercorns
2 tear drops of gentian
1 1/2 cinnamon sticks

1 handful of blended cashmere wood
2 splashes of patchouli
1/2 cup of amber
10ml of musk

How Does it Smell

 “Eye of braille, hem of anorak, stem of wallflower, hair of doormat” [1]

Reading the above notes list, sorry ‘recipe’, I’m reminded of a Kate Bush song called ‘How to Be Invisible’ where Kate coos the ingredients of a rather eccentric Potion. DSqaured’s Potion is far less eccentric, because, let’s face it, DSquared2 aren’t well known for being eccentric. I can’t help but notice that there is one ingredient missing from the above list, a rather large pinch of salt…

Potion starts warm and spicy, the top notes are full of cinnamon, and something herbaceous that I can’t quite put my finger on, it could be basil. Cinnamon is my note du jour, I loved its use in Ambre Narguilé by Hermés, and whilst it’s presence is much more subdued in Potion, it adds a nice foody edge to the spices.

As Potion progresses it becomes much smokier and despite no incense note being listed I do detect a hefty amount in the heart. The spice subdues and the balance shifts towards the woody facet, which is cosy soft. I could swear that there is a touch of something oud-like in the heart, every now and then there is a hint of the sour/funky stuff, but it really is just a touch.

Then we get to the base. Most mainstream masculines would normally derail for me at this point, they would veer off towards a harsh cedar dry down that I would inevitably hate and then moan about. Luckily for me, Potion avoids the usual train wreck and decides to follow a cosier, amber and musk route that is warm and spicy. There is nothing harsh in the base whatsoever, the smoke, which has nearly disappeared is tamed by a warm tonka note which comes complete with a nice boozy edge.

Where Potion disappoints is its longevity, it wears very close to the skin for an Eau de Parfum and lasts a maximum of three hours on my skin. I would have possibly been tempted to buy a bottle of Potion if it weren’t for the ultra naff longevity, I could even put up with the fact it doesn’t project very much (sometimes, on rare occasions, I feel like wearing a ‘quiet’ scent) but I just can’t forgive the epic fail in terms of longevity.

Potion is a warm, woody amber with hints of spice and musk. It’s absolutely nothing new BUT it does smell good, and if you’re in the market for a warm, woody amber then I think you should definitely give Potion a try, it’s reasonably priced and has kind of impressed this sceptical perfumista. Kudos also has to be given to DSquared2 for releasing a masculine EDP in the mainstream market.


DSquared2 Potion is available in 50ml and 100ml Eau de Parfum, prices range from £42.50-£57 and matching body products are also available.


This review is based on a sample of Potion obtained in Harvey Nichols.

[1] Lyrics from the Kate Bush song ‘How to be Invisible’.

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