Unwind [20:00] by Tumi (2020)

Thumbs Down

Unwind [20:00] by Tumi (2020) is the second in a series of men’s fragrances from the luxury luggage brand named after a famous Peace Corps member. In the brand’s own words: “Now, people are spending time working from home, and their normal cadence has changed. That journey is continuing to evolve. And as we started exploring what those needs were for our customers and how they were living those lives, we realized that having a scent was really important to them.” What this effectively means to me is the brand is desperate to make money in a post-pandemic world where travel is limited by extremely prohibitive cost, growing income inequality, and those closer to the top than the bottom can safely work from their high-rise haute-bourgeois havens rather than commute, meaning no need for overpriced status luggage. Perfume seems to be a natural outgrowth for most luxury brands cut off from their usual cash flow due to dwindling physical retail window shopping, since someone can very easily blind buy it online for name alone, rather than travel to a boutique or counter and try it out. In the case of Unwind, this is meant to be the scent you wear when you end your work day, so I guess you have to go scrub off Awaken [08:00] by Tumi (2020) first?

Well anyway, what we’re presented here is another “pickle sandalwood” kind of fragrance, clearly riffing off of things like Le Labo Santal 33 (2011) and Perris Monte Carlo Santal du Pacifique (2016). The former I’m not crazy about, and the latter I do like, but this leans more towards the rakish, overplayed former than the latter. Supposedly there is oud in Unwind, but I don’t get it. The opening is pretty much as you’d expect from this micro-genre. Sharp ginger and zippy citrus conveyed by a dozen formless acetates that create a dry fresh. The fragrance claims clary sage, lavender, and geranium, but I frankly don’t get any of those in appreciable quantities. Immediately we get the picklewood, no oud wood either, just that sandalwood note that gets molded by vetiver and sheer musks into something that fails to really conjure any sense of relaxation in my mind. Smelling like this isn’t how I’d choose to unwind anyway. At least with Awaken, the final product is pleasant if not amazing or inspiring of me to feel more awake than I did when I first sniffed it; but with Unwind, Tumi completely misses the mark and just delivers a lower-cost alternative to many of the annoying niche sandalwoods plaguing the upscale side of the mainstream commercial perfume market. Performance is at least good though.

More and more I am just seeing this line of fragrance as a cynical hair-brained cash in, although I can at least abide Awaken. Unwind on the other hand, there is nothing here I want to recommend or be around. Ginger, annoying sour sandalwood aromachemicals, and compressed “freshness” are just not enough for me at any price point to have much good to say. For $110 per 100ml of eau de parfum with little to no discounter presence in sight even after two years on the market. the exclusivity alone ends up the only reason to purchase, meaning you have to already be a disciple of Tumi’s high-end luggage to even want this. On the other hand, if you do really enjoy Le Labo Santal 33 and don’t want to pay the $300+for a 100ml bottle of that, then by all means snap this up as a bargain comparatively speaking. Beyond that, Unwind actually does nothing but the opposite of what it claims to do, winding me up in anger over having to grit through smelling it long enough to type out this review. Really poor form, Tumi, really and truly poor form. You can’t just come out of nowhere with this in-between designer and niche market stance and deliver something a clone house does better, then slap on a gimmicky suggested use timestamp regimen, unless you really thing we’re all that stupid. Thumbs down

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