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Duel was launched in 2003 and according to the Goutal website “It all started on Isabelle and Camille's love for the amazing green maté accord and their wish to create a fragrance around it”.
Yerba maté is the South American herb that’s related to holly and is used to make a caffeine-rich infused drink that is similar to tea. It is traditionally served in a hollowed out gourd and sipped through a flanged straw. Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I am not a big fan of tea to begin with, but served in a hollowed out gourd? With a flanged straw? Sounds like a lot of effort for a strong pungent ‘tea’ that people say is an ‘acquired taste’ (which is usually code for  you-won’t-like-it-at-first-but-if-you-drink-enough-of-it-you-will). Hey, I’m not slagging tea or tea drinkers. I’m just saying that tea is not my cup of tea and that I’m happier to have it in fragrance form.
Duel opens with a gentle citrus note of petitgrain joined by green, slightly camphorous mate. As it blooms, the maté gets earthier but a smudge of absinth sweetens and lightens it. At the heart, iris root, velvety and cool and appears alongside woody, slightly floral Gaiac wood. All of it resting on a base of soft, supple sensuous leather and animalic musk.
Given the weight of some of its ingredients, Duel’s drydown is surprisingly light, smooth and gentle which makes it perfectly unisex in my opinion. It is a perfect warm weather scent, but it has enough huskiness and heft that it can be worn in cooler weather too.
Notes: petitgrain, absolu maté tea leaves, absinthe, iris root, Gaiac wood, leather, musk.
Type: EdT
Parfumeurs: Camille Goutal and Isabelle Doyen

Price: $4.00