Caravans loaded with spices wheeling across the ancient trade routes, horsemen in turbans and wispy beards riding past raising a cloud of dust, the afternoon sun has begun its descent and the old city with its bustling spice markets is visible just at the horizon....
Something aged, something spicy, something rustic, something fleeting and something exotic
Patchouli, caraway, chilli, pepper, oak moss, virginia cedar, oak
I have been working on this post since Sunday and finally got down to publishing it. I was gathering the right inspiration to string together a truly original and articulate review, one that does full justice to this scent, which will pay my first homage to master perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena’s one of many works, this in particular from the Hermessence series. I wish to begin by elaborating on the name Poivre Samarcande, where poivre means pepper in french and Samarkund is a city on the ancient spice and silk trade routes, that served many a travellers and traders crossing through, from east making their way to west. The name invokes ancient imagery, horses galloping through dusty roads and horsemen clad in turbans, carrying spices, warm unforgiving sun that descends to make way for a cool starry night….
My olfactory impression of Poivre Samarcande could not be formed without going back to Terre D’hermes, which I reviewed many months ago. Though I often smell Terre, owing to the fact that my better half loves and wears it regularly, I only managed to smell Poivre Samarcande on a test strip, and one spray on my skin that lasted till next morning. I could not help but relate Terre and Samarcande to a book and its prequel respectively. A prelude that’s spicy, aged and fleeting as the spicy peppery accords with chilli create an earthy core, the dry woods add rusticity and an antiquity to the profile. This prelude, the journey across dusty roads leads to a destination where the lorn traveller finds some relief, parched throat and lips are soothed by citrus nectars, much like the grapefruit and orange accords in Terre.
My experience of Poivre Samarcande and perhaps most of the scents in the Hermessence series, is one of romance and storytelling or rather it inspires me to think of it like a tale, a chapter that ends and leads to the next and isn’t that what a perfume should invoke....
Winter evenings, leans more toward a masculine typo, someone who is well travelled so maybe while travelling to an exotic destination like Petra, Jordon, or Cappadocia, Turkey....
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