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Valentino V vs Rasasi Daarej

   Very excited to write this review and comparison between the discontinued Valentino V and Rasasi Daarej clone. I have to begin by letting you know that Valentino V is in my top 10 favorite fragrances of all time. It is legendary and sadly, like the famous D&G By, discontinued now.

Valentino V opens up citrusy with aromatic nuances of basil and pink pepper. The heart encompasses elegant cedar, sandalwood, ambergris and musk. The base contains jasmine, heliotrope, cocoa, patchouli, ambergris and vanilla. 

Daarej relies on a very nice combination of tonka, vanilla, patchouli and spices. There's a tiny hint of rose in the middle but blended very well and adds a very nice backbone to the scent, barely noticeable.  Top notes are cardamom, artemisia and cumin; middle notes are rose and orris root; base notes are sandalwood, patchouli, amber, musk, vanilla and tonka bean

    I first purchased Valentino V in 2007 (a 2006 release). I immediately loved it and if I had known then it was going to be nowhere to find later I would have stocked up on bottles of this magical juice. Prices for original sealed bottles have soared on ebay reaching $400.
     So after years of just using my Valentino V sparingly, I started noticing some folks in fragrance groups recommending Rasasi Daarej as an alternative. Now I'm a very skeptical person. First Rasasi is a much reduced discount priced Middle Eastern house. I have much experience with fragrances from the middle east and how nicely priced they are, a topic for another time on prices. Second I just wasn't convinced to blind buy something like this thinking that it's probably just being hyped to move this "clone" product among fragrance aficionados.  

I recently finally pulled the trigger on this Rasasi Daarej fragrance to see what the hyped purple looking juice was all about. Within my first spray on my arm, it was immediately noticed to me that this was Valentino V. I was extremely impressed with this and especially for the nice price I acquired this for. The next test was to see how it performed and after 12 hours of just that one spray on my arm I still noticed it on me.  
    Daarej is an Edp as unlike V Pour Homme which was an Eau de Toilet. This means it does pack a good punch. Whether Rasasi meant for this to be a clone or just a coincidental accident of similarity between the two, its sure feels western and not something from an Arab perfume house. It's moderately loud, but not a clubbing scent. Has much more class and maturity. 
It's definitely now one of my blind reach out the door fragrances to spray on considering the awesome price for it. So I'd say this resembles Valentino V by at least 90% and the remainder takes it to its own territory.

House of Parfum rating of 9/10

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