An urban night-time LA, a ride-off into the desert, rock 'n' roll music blares in the background, with brooding Johnny Depp behind the wheel...a dramatic escape!
Something dirty but something fresh, something dandy but with an edge, something raw but something noble....
Calabrian Bergamot, Schiuan Pepper, Ambroxan
A serious brooding Johnny Depp drives through a desert to the sound of rock n roll music in the background, and ends up digging a hole for himself...he says in his monologue..."I need to get out, which way, I don't know...what am I looking for..." And as the light quickly changes from midday scorching sun to dark night time sky, the words appear "magic" I have to say the only 'magic' in this campaign is Depp's on point styling that provides great visual relief from the dirty pirate avatar we are so used to. Other than that Dior Sauvage is literally 'which way to go' and 'what to look for' There is enough evidence to prove its uncanny resemblance to Creed's Aventus and Dior's attempted response to Chanel's Bleu is unimpressive. The fragrance is basically an un-compelling bergamot and an almost foul Schiuan pepper and a dry down that's more soapy bathing bar than Ambroxan. So while Sauvage is not terrible, it is terribly safe and unimaginative, for 2015!
Day to night scent, to office or gym
When a deep purple black diamond-esque glass bottle, that's part rose part Koh-I-noor shaped adorned with a black satin rose, stares at me in the clinically minimalist Lancôme store, I have no choice but to get right to it! And what I smell is this complex beautiful feminine scent that's very layered. With a citrus fresh opening, La Nuit Tresor settles to a more floral fragrant heart and gourmand notes start to appear. The fragrance undergoes an interesting progression from a rosy floral to a drier papyrus and smoky incense, it gets deeper and darker with more mature nuance of Rose coming to light. The dry down is very different from how it began with more praline, caramel, slight wood, a sweet litchi note, and only a hint of flower that remains...this is a scent that I might never be able to perfectly describe all at once, as with each spray and each whiff I discover a new facet. I also feel this scent may be different at different times of the year in the effect it creates.
Fourth leg of my journey on this aromatic frankincense expedition takes me into a more elegant territory...notes of cardamom coupled with citrus makes for an unusual spicy-sweet opening and makes way for a Rose-lily heart that's quintessentially feminine. But what makes Azzaro pour Elle truly elegant, soft, ethereal is the cashmere wood and olibanum base which contributes to powdery dry down.
My Frankincense journey takes me a little further with a Mediterranean adventure...picture this: setting sun, burnt orange sky that meets the ocean to create a glorious copper dusk...The disk shaped flanker that reflects light and energy and creates a vision of this glamorous Mediterranean mirage. Though this scent is not complex it is a natural interpretation of the theme, with bitter citrus that's brightened with neroli and patchouli leaf of Indonesian origin...but it's the Frankincense that really brings life to this acquatic citrus blend. A bright zesty number that's bound to last a day minimum on any day or occasion!
And my frankincense journey continues further with White Musk Smoky Rose by The Body Shop. This 2013 offering is sheer like a beautiful floral incense cloud that fills a room with its subtle romance. This is an example where frankincense compliments and complements the Rose, which could otherwise get too syrupy and dense. It projects the Floral heart in a way that this scent remains but a mere whiff, a lingering shadow of itself. A lovely addition to any perfume wardrobe because it really delivers in its price range and can certainly be a go to day scent for those who wear it well!
My Frankincense Trail begins with this sensual gourmand oriental scent from Diptyque. Picture this : opulent Bedouin tents, black tea infused with saffron and platters of arabic sweets, fresh cut flowers serve as decoration...Eau Duelle is intoxicating and begs to be sniffed over and over again. It features rich cardamom accords that make for a delectable opening. I strongly pick up the vanillic undertones, and the heart is a fresh floral and musky medley, with ever so subtle green accords all brought forth by the interplay of juniper, citrus, pepper and rich tones of saffron. But olibanum in this scent take my breath away as it dances lightly in the background throughout. This creation by Fabrice Pellegrin is a scent fit for royalty!
The frankincense trail…an aromatic journey
When the intrepid Kate Humble of BBC decided to take the journey across the ancient frankincense trade route and rediscover a world that’s long gone, I was taken. Her quest, steeped in history, searing with desert heat, and full of characters and adventure, made me feel as if I myself have been transported to another place and time and a deep desire to share about this deeply evocative, warming, soothing ‘pearl of the desert’ called Frankincense took over me.
The usage and application of Frankincense dates backs to thousands of years during the time of ancient Egyptians who used it during embalming of bodies, while the bible mentions it in divine light, as a symbol of worship and prayer.
However I am keen to discover the aromatic qualities of Frankincense in perfumery.
In Coco Noir by Chanel the inclusion of Frankincense (Olibanum) modifies the sweet citruses and adds smokiness to florals, whereas it makes its deep smoky, thick presence felt throughout in Amber Absolute by Tom Ford. Frankincense is also known to enrich the ambery and woody notes in orientals, by providing a beautiful trail in a scent.
These white tears that are shed using a specialized knife from the bark of a specific variety of trees in the genus Boswellia, can be regarded as the very first natural aromatic, with therapeutic, healing and calming properties. Southern Arabia (Oman and Yemen), India, and Northern Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Kenya) are regions that provide ideal climate for harvest of the Frankincense trees., from where it travels to perfumery houses across the globe and into our nostrils.
Thanks to Kate, now my personal quest for the richest and most precious Frankincense has begun and I shall rest once I have succeeded. Watch this space!
Today I am revisiting an old one from 2003, Chance by Chanel composed by Chanel master perfumer Jacques Polges. ‘Chance’ which means ‘luck’ is a reference to ‘luck potion’…liquid luck in a bottle, one sip of which will bring its drinker good fortune for a day. I would’ve loved a bit more of the spell, charm, crystal gaze, orbs, oracle sort of an angle with richer tones in the scent, deep spicy accords coupled with a dominant jasmine, woods and incense in the base. However Polges interpretation leans more towards a “happy go lucky with a spring in my step” sort of vibe. A citrus sweet opening gives way to bright floral heart and vanilla and soft woody base. Pineapple, patchouli and the pink pepper give this scent ‘spikiness’ and florals are fresh and fragrant. This is an inoffensive pleasant scent but like I said earlier I would’ve loved it to be more mysterious and special much like the concept of luck, you either have it or you don’t, and even a little bit takes you a long way!
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A fresh new approach to perfumery from the eyes of a wanderer and an artistic explorer by bringing unique perfume presentations that remain true to the eclectic spirit of TLN.
I am Avantika Bedi.
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