Thursday, June 08, 2006

REVIEW: Art of Perfumery #5 (2006)

Name: Art of Perfumery #5

Pros: An incomparable floriental with rich overtones of white petals, bright citrus edges and a cushion of warm vanillic basenotes.

Cons: As far as the aroma goes - none; Extremely exclusive and hard to find, but take heart, samples are available!

Notes: Madagascan ylang, Chinese geranium, Italian mandarin, Argentinian lemon, Italian bergamot, clove, cardamom, vanilla, tonka, benzoin, myrrh, patchouli, and sandalwood.

Reminds me of: I can't really think of anything! I get echoes of creamy white petals, Hawaiian Punch and L'Artisan Vanilia!

Development: At first sniff, I think I can detect wait, make that, it's changed again, it's jasmine. Ylang makes an appearance and then fades as the citrus brightens the composition and adds a vibrant and youthful freshness to the composition before the top and middle give way to an extremely subtle and flawlessly blended base of sandalwood and tonka. Could that vanilla reference actually be Comores blossoms rather than vanilla pod?

The composeur writes:
When I was asked to participate in this project I decided that I wanted to work with the spirit of the original orientals. The idea was always to go deep into the odour area and not be afraid of it. Too many orientals today seem almost shy of themselves and, in my opinion lack any authenticity. But I didn’t just want to go down the retro route. I wanted all of that original power but I wanted to layer some modernity into the structure. The central theme is based around vanilla extracts, tonka beans, benzoin, myrrh, sandalwood and patchouli - these are the key elements of my oriental structure and give the fragrance its soul. I wanted to emphasise that exotic nature with a spice character and I used one of my favourite combinations of clove and cardamom to which I added just a trace of nutmeg. This gives a dry freshness to the theme which I “moistened” a little with Chinese geranium and ylang ylang from Madagascar. There is a lovely perfumery “trompe d’oeil” in the body of the perfume – a light touch of a beautiful aniseed, almost liquorice note which has been created purely through the interaction of the ingredients - there is absolutely no aniseed at all in the creation. For the top of the fragrance I’ve used a trio of essential oils - mandarin, lemon and bergamot - which give an incredible lift to the opening effect. Both the bergamot and the mandarin are Italian sourced but the lemon is an Argentinian oil which gave me the sharpness I was looking for. It’s a stunning start.

Longevity: Excellent, though the topnotes began to fade after an hour, the warmth of the basenotes really began to bloom.

Sillage: Better than average.

Where can I buy it? 75 Euros for a 50ml edp spray; 3 Euros for a 2ml sample spray at

Bottleworthy? Definitely try before you buy, as this isn't your typical oriental.

The Bottom Line: Juicy, soft, complex, rich, deep, velveteen, heady, textured....these are all adjectives that came to mind within the first few minutes of trying this exquisite new fragrance. Having never smelled this before and having not even read the list of notes, I sprayed this one on with absolutely zero preconceived notions, and boy, was I in luck. I love this stuff!

The notes are a little misleading, giving an impression of a scent that is richer, darker and sweeter than it actually is. Having never been a fan of the classic #5 (think double c's), this is a #5 to bathe in, take solace in, and relax in. Conjuring images of tropical orchards and gardens, their only boundaries a white sandy beach with rocky outcroppings on one side, and on the other, lush green hills, the sky is an electric blue and the only sound is the tumbling of the waves. Paradise.

Rating (out of 10): 8

Have you tried any of the fragrances from this line yet?

1 comment:

Flora said...

Wow - this is the first I have heard of this perfume, and I only just found out about this line. This sounds like it is EXACTLY perfect for me. Of course, that usually means it's only available in Europe. Whatever! Too bad the exchange rate betwwen Euros and dollars is so lousy. -this is pretty spendy. However, it seems to be worth every bit of the price.