Inno Sotto may be a respected fashion designer, but
his fragrances are, to put it kindly, trite, the juice of interview suits. I
tried all three Eaux Extreme the other day, and was wholly unimpressed with each
one. The commercial created by BBDO Manila features a naked man and woman
artistically coupling, and ends with the phrase, “Sensual Chemistry.” I found
nothing sensual in any of them, on skin or on paper

What I did find was a trio of
inoffensive spritzes. Deauville is a dead ringer for Dolce & Gabbana Light
Blue, a wispy fresh citrus with a soapy drydown. Miro is a green tea-based
fragrance, with a hint of bland wood and ozone. Huit is a spicy floriental,
musty and dry at the finish. I find it the most appealing of the three, the only
one with a narrative that unfolds, in the way great fragrances do – though Huit
reads more like a first draft than an accomplished

Sometimes I think it’s the
language. Or perhaps it’s the humidity. I would have been happier had the
designer braved the intersection of French perfume lore and the tropical sultry
swelter we were born into. Amargoso, alagaw, kataka-taka – these leaves when
crushed release billows of tartness; kalamansi and dayap; elemi; the local
vetiver, or what we call moras. Instead I am given pale renditions of what have
already been done.

Ah well. Inoffensive
is not bad. However, it is not wrong to wish for a hint of scandal. The pretty
girl makes you smile, but the woman with secrets stains your