Parfums Dusita: A New Talent To Watch

Pissara Umavijani or Ploi Uma of Parfums Dusita. Photo: Paul Aroon. Source: about.me

Pissara Umavijani or Ploi Uma of Parfums Dusita. Photo: Paul Aroon. Source: about.me

There’s an impressive new talent on the perfume scene, Pissara Umavijani, the woman behind Parfums Dusita and three new fragrances whose superb openings left me smiling and, in one case, practically dumbstruck at its heart-stopping beauty, my breath caught in my throat as I felt simple happiness sweep over me.

Ms. Umavijani (who sometimes goes by “Ploi Uma” on Facebook or social media) is a self-taught perfumer and, judging by her maiden efforts, is remarkably gifted, sure-footed, and creative. Far more so than many a professionally trained “nose,” if you ask me. In her hands, the tired floral-oud combination becomes something special and distinctive, while her deconstruction of the fougère genre brings a new breath of life to the genre. As for her treatment of florals, it is something to behold, whether it’s my beloved white florals or the roses that normally leave me cold. I don’t know if it’s her finesse, the clearly exceptional quality of so many of her raw materials, or both, but this rose-hater was left wishing for a perfume with only her roses in it. Bottom line, she’s someone to watch if you are really serious about good perfumes, I’m impressed by her talent, and you should really try her stuff.

Dusita trio of fragrances. Source: Parfums Dusita. [Photo slightly cropped by me on the sides.]

Dusita trio of fragrances. Source: Parfums Dusita. [Photo slightly cropped by me on the sides.]

While her olfactory talent impresses me, the character of the beautiful woman behind the fragrances does so even more. In my correspondence with her, Ms. Umavijani is down-to-earth, warm, sweet, self-effacing and humble. In an interview she gave to Fragrantica, she shows her spiritual, cerebral, and emotional depths as well, whether it’s the philosophical underpinnings to her creations (like “Dusita,” the Siamese belief of a heavenly realm of inner happiness and contentment, or the impact of a book called Freedom from the Known on her first perfume), or whether it’s the enormous love she very clearly feels for her late father, Montri Umavijani, who was an internationally acclaimed Thai modern poet and translator. I’m very close to my own father, so I was deeply moved and got a bit sniffly at her mention of Mr. Umavijani’s deathbed words to her on his poetry, and her determination to bring his works to a wider audience as a result. In fact, all of three of her fragrances pay homage to and are inspired by her father’s words, even if she interprets the poetry through the lens of her own personal experiences as well.

Source: fr.linkedin.com

Source: fr.linkedin.com

You can feel the sincerity and authenticity behind every word Ms. Umavijani says in that interview. There is none of the nonsensical marketing hyperbole you find with some brands, nothing pontificating about how the fragrance is going to magically alter the space-time continuum, how it encapsulates Heidegger’s philosophy, or the like. There is only a daughter’s love, and the desire “to create perfumes that people will fall in love with for life, not just for as long as it’s fashionable. Therefore, we won’t need too many creations, just a few good ones per year.” It’s so damn refreshing, I can’t get over it.

Dusita Melodie de L'Amour. Source: Parfums Dusita. [Photo lightly cropped by me.]

Dusita Melodie de L’Amour. Source: Parfums Dusita. [Photo lightly cropped by me.]

Ms. Umavijani may be self-trained, but she had a childhood appreciation for scent that led to a love for vintage fragrances before she began composing things on her own about five years ago. At that time, in 2011, she moved from her native Thailand to Paris where she later founded Parfums Dusita (in 2015). All of her fragrances are pure parfums or extraits, and each one focuses on a particular genre: Oudh Infini is an animalic floral-oud; Issara, her first composition created five years ago, is a modern aromatic fougère; and Melodie de L’Amour is a white floral that was partially inspired by vintage Fracas, though I hasten to reassure those of you who are terrified by Fracas that it’s hardly identical or the same sort of powerhouse bulldozer. (This Fracas lover wishes it had been.)

As part of my new goal of streamlining or simplifying reviews, I won’t give the individual notes and official description for each scent, merely a link for you to be able to read more on the Dusita site, and I’ll get straight to my impressions.

OUDH INFINI:

Dusita Oudh Infini via Fragrantica.

Dusita Oudh Infini via Fragrantica.

“Sexy goats covered in roses” may seem like a strange way to begin a rave review, but it’s one of the things that repeatedly comes to mind when I take my first sniffs of Oudh Infini. The opening has a wonderfully authentic, multi-faceted oud that is rough and positively feral, but, also, surprisingly, unexpectedly, almost refined at the same time. Plush cream ripples out over the wood which initially, in the earliest minutes, smells like soft, sweet, baby goats (really, it does, I’m not kidding), then ripe chevre goat cheese with a sliver of Gorgonzola blue cheese, before it takes on the tell-tale roar of true, real, hardcore agarwood: dirty musk; furry goat and camel barnyard animalics with serious teeth; rawhide leather; lightly spiced earthiness; damp, wet soil; and a touch of smoke.

Source: utne.com

Source: utne.com

The overall effect is skanky but creamy, ripe from fermented cheese and musky animals (particularly goats), and, yet, it smells like the expensive, high-end version of all those things. This isn’t the head-on, full, oud camel caravan like some Middle Eastern scents; I don’t feel lambasted by dirty camel breath or hit with heaping piles of hot, steaming, cow dung. These “camels” have been washed enough to weaken their gritty, raw dirtiness into something more like goats. (From past experiences, I’m of the firm belief that the latter are several steps below camels in odor.)

Yet, ultimately, no amount of washing can ever get rid of truly innate, dirty animalics, and it’s no different here. After 20-30 minutes, the oud suddenly takes on quite a feral, ferocious roar as the musk, smoke, rawhide leather, and barnyard elements are take up several notches. (As Emeril Lagasse would say, “BAM!”) It’s a lot to take in, but thank heavens for the slightly filtering effects and counterbalance provided by the roses.

Rose de Mai. Source: chantecaille.com

Rose de Mai. Source: chantecaille.com

And what a roses they are, too, the most intoxicating rendition of the flower that I’ve encountered outside of an attar in a long, long time. The word “tender” came to mind, just as it did when I tried her Melodie de L’Amour, leading me to think that Ms. Umavijani has a gift for finding and recognising exceptionally naturalistic, expensive-smelling floral materials. (Kudos to her supplier, too.) I felt as though I’d stuck my nose into a huge bloom right in the garden. Pink and red, petal-soft and delicate but also heady, concentrated, and strong, Oudh Infini’s rose is fresh, immensely fragrant, and beautifully honeyed with a gentle undercurrent of raspberry and lemon. The overall sense is of floral sweetness and radiance taken straight from Mother Nature. Roses are near the bottom of my list of favourite flowers in perfumery, but I would happily wear a fragrance made purely and solely of whatever it is that Ms. Umavijani has used here. This rose is of a completely different caliber to what I typically encounter, and feels special.

Mysore sandalwood cross-section. Source: vk.com

Mysore sandalwood cross-section. Source: vk.com

I would say that the quality and radiance of the rose elevates Oudh Infini, but that would be unfair to the other notes. The oud’s quality, richness, and paradoxical contrasts (butch-refined, rough-smooth, animal-floral, snarling animalics-creamy softness, cheesy-but-woody-leathery) elevate the scent as well in the opening phase, and are just as responsible for making it feel sophisticated. Later on, it’s the Mysore sandalwood that turns my head and transforms the scent when it emerges roughly near the start of the 4th hour, smelling rich, deep, exceptionally creamy, and beautifully spiced. There is none of the green buttermilk character or generic, white woodsy blandness of Australian sandalwood. I’m a sandalwood snob, and that stuff simply doesn’t cut it in my books. But this… this is Mysore sandalwood in a way that harkens to the great orientals of yesteryear, and conjures up the India of its birth. This is fantastic, particularly when layered with the oud.

Photo: Christie at Girl Sees The World Blog. (Direct website link embedded within photo.)

Photo: Christie at Girl Sees The World Blog. (Direct website link embedded within photo.)

The Mysore is a big reason why I think the middle phase is when Oudh Infini begins to shine, even though the rose takes a step back and changes from its initial richness. Now, it’s shimmery, gauzy, and sheer, but that works almost as well, perhaps because the rose feels as soft as petals on the skin, or perhaps because the trio of spicy Mysore, oud, and rose feels so incredibly refined together. That increased sense of refinement is helped by the fact that the oud’s growl and animalics have been tamed into the softest purr at this point. The barnyard is merely a quiet undertone; the musky fur and animalic skank are pure sexiness; the cheese is a soft whisper; the leather is no longer like rawhide; and the smoke is a perfectly balanced ribbon that ties everything together, whether it’s the oud’s smoky side or the orange blossom which manifests itself indirectly at this point, mostly as a slightly smoky, slightly indolic floral sweetness deep in the background.

"The Tree of Life." Original artist unknown. Source: vk.com & Pinterest.

“The Tree of Life.” Original artist unknown. Source: vk.com & Pinterest.

If the heart stage is lovely, the drydown is simply superb. It begins roughly at the start of the 7th hour, and is dominated primarily by heavy waves of Mysore sandalwood and its spiced richness. It envelops the oud, encasing it, sometimes sublimating it into a whisper of incense-scented wood and cheesy earthiness. As someone who loves sandalwood far more than I could ever love oud, the shift in the balance of notes makes my heart sing. And there is sooo much Mysore here, too! I think its depth, purity, and richness may actually exceed that of Neela Vermeire‘s Trayee which, in my opinion, has one of the very best Mysore elements in any (non-attar) perfume on the market. Making things even better, the ambergris finally emerges to add the perfect finish touch of musky, slightly salty warmth and sweetness. Much later, well after the 10th hour, the orange blossom joins in, no longer an abstract, slightly indolic puff of floral sweetness in the background, but a truly hefty, lovely, languidly creamy, honeyed orange blossom with just a hint of a citrus tang and fruitiness to it.

All of this goes on for hours upon glorious hours, and whenever I sniff my arm, I do nothing but smile. I want to snuggle and dive into my arm, to take a bath in this scent. In all candour, the early part of Oudh Infini doesn’t suit my personal tastes, no matter how much I admire it, but if Dusita could bottle solely the middle to late phases, I would keel over from joy and would buy a bottle even though the price is high for me personally. I find it utterly addictive.

The very final part of Oudh Infini’s drydown begins roughly around the 14th hour, and involves an oriental haze of red and gold: spiced, musky, dry-sweet, oudy, santal-y woodiness smudged with incense-like smoke, licked by a lush, orange-ish floralcy, and then enveloped in ambered warmth. It’s plush, soft, inviting, damn sexy, sensuous and, yet, comforting at the same time as well, a “cozy comfort” scent taken to decadent, luxurious extremes.

Good lord, this is a wonderful fragrance. Even with the challenging opening phase (and it is most definitely requires some patience, in my opinion), Oudh Infini is one of the best perfumes I’ve tried all year. In fact, I think it’s one of the very best ouds on the market from any year. Superb. A huge “Brava” to Ms. Umavijani.

ISSARA:

Source: wallpaperbeta.com

Source: wallpaperbeta.com

Issara opens with the sweet, dry, aromatic scent of a meadow on a sunny day in summer. There is freshly cut, golden hay, followed by sweet green grass, soft pine leaf, and fresh, crumbly, pine sawdust, all covered with handfuls of fresh and dry green herbs, a pinch of fresh clary sage (that smells like a much better, softer, and cleaner form of lavender), and a few drops of honey-scented pine resin. The whole thing is then placed atop a surprisingly golden, plush, warm bed of green made up of soft mosses, as well as a thin layer of vetiver that is simultaneously woody, earthy, mossy, and yes, sunny as well.

Source: wallpaperbeta.com

Source: wallpaperbeta.com

I’ve intentionally repeated the words “sunny,” “sun,” or “golden,” because Issara’s opening phase is truly imbued with a sense of light. I can’t figure out how the feat was done. Ambergris is part of Issara’s note list, but it doesn’t feel like the source of the sunshine because there is nothing caramel-scented, salty, marshy, chewy or musky about it. It also doesn’t resemble the (frequently synthetic) abstract impressionism one finds with perfumers like Jean-Claude Ellena. While there is a minimalism and a streamlined simplicity to Issara’s shimmering goldenness, it feels as though it stems from a very deft handling of the other materials instead, like the green accords, the aromatics, and coumarin. If it is the ambergris, it’s been transformed into a gossamer veil of luminosity over Issara’s heart, meat, and bones: fragrant meadows of hay layered with clary sage, pine leaf, delicate woods, and mossy greenness.

Source: naturesgardencandles.com

Source: naturesgardencandles.com

What consistently strikes me about Issara is Ms. Umavijani’s ingenious deconstruction of the traditional fougère. You know how molecular gastronomy chefs take apart the elements in classical dishes and then reassemble them into different shapes, tastes, or even images? That’s what’s been done here, in my opinion. The conventional top notes in so many old-school fougères — lemony citrus, dried (and frequently medicinal) lavender, leafy ferns, soapy cleanness, or some combination there — have been lopped off entirely here.

At the same time, the olfactory pyramid’s warm base notes have been inverted to form a protective coating over the hay-scented coumarin, the traditional middle layer that is such a fundamental, core characteristic of the fougère genre as a whole. That middle layer has actually become the real “top” of the pyramid here, except it’s completely devoid of its usual crisp, bracing, citrusy, or lavender-dominated elements. Even the usual intense cleanness of the conventional fougère opening has been altered because the early glimmers of white musk in Issara’s first 30 minutes are muted and unobtrusive, quite unlike the powerful shaving cream vibe of old-school aromatic fougères like Brut or oriental fougères like Old Spice. The cumulative effect here, with Issara, is not only worlds away from the bracing, brisk, barbershop colognes of the early to mid 20th century, but also from their traditionally masculine profile. Issara feels wholly unisex, in addition to being very modern in its interpretation.

Pine sap. Source: Pinterest via community.poppyswap.com

Pine sap. Source: Pinterest via community.poppyswap.com

While I’m impressed on a theoretical level by the technical construction of the scent, the more important thing for me is that the end result actually smells good. The clary sage avoids the medicinal pungency of dried lavender, wafting a softer, quieter form of aromatics that parallels the equally soft freshness of the herbs. The more important pine accord is simply beautiful with its fragrant leaves, soft woods, and sweet sap. When all of that is seamlessly blended with the sun-flecked vetiver, the other woody-mossy elements, the fresh grass, and the golden light, they serve to elevate the hay, turning it into something more interesting than it would be on its own or if it were the sole focus of the scent.

"Morning Dew," Carolyn Cochrane at her Etsy store. (Direct website link embedded within.)

“Morning Dew,” Carolyn Cochrane at her Etsy store. (Direct website link embedded within.)

I really enjoy Issara’s opening stage but, I’ll be honest, I don’t think the rest of the scent lives up to it. There are a few reasons why. The first is my loathing for clean white musk. Here, the early glimmers turn concrete after a mere 45 minutes, then major after a few hours, pushing several of the other elements (particularly the pine leaf, moss, and vetiver) to the sidelines. By the start of the 6th hour, they’re brushed out of the picture entirely. On my skin, Issara’s middle and drydown phases basically consist of hay-infused musk with a lingering vestige of golden warmth and, until the 8th hour, an intangible suggestion of something aromatic and fougère-like. Everything feels like a blur whose specifics have been white-washed and largely suffocated by the musk and by its increasing soapy cleanness. So even if I put my musk issues aside, the amorphous haze is too shapeless and simplistic for me. More importantly, I don’t think it’s as interesting as the abundant, layered, richly aromatic fragrancy of the opening stage.

But that opening, that opening… I think Issara is well worth testing for that opening alone. It’s the sunniest and most creative, modern, unisex twists on the fougère classics that I’ve smelt in a while.

MELODIE DE L’AMOUR:

Evgenia Obraztsova of the Bolshoi. Photo source: dance.net

Evgenia Obraztsova of the Bolshoi. Photo source: dance.net

Speaking of openings, the white floral one of Melodie de L’Amour is like few things I have ever encountered in a non-vintage fragrance, and I can only summarize it as heartbreakingly, heart-stoppingly exquisite. You know when your heart seems to stop for a beat and your breath catches in your throat at the sight of something truly beautiful? That’s what happened the first, second, third times I tested Melodie de L’Amour, and what I’m sure is bound to happen each time thereafter as well. It’s a stunning, dizzying, utterly captivating bouquet of tuberose and gardenia, in addition to a “blend of 150 varieties of white flowers enhanced by the rich, golden notes of Wild Honey.” If Fracas was the divaesque Maria Callas of white florals, sweeping aside all in her path like one of Wagner’s Valkyries, then this partial tribute is a Swan Lake prima ballerina’s delicate, fluttering arms in the haute couture version of a tutu.

Photo: Cecil Beaton promotional image for My Fair Lady. Source: npg.org.uk [Photo lightly cropped by me.]

Photo: Cecil Beaton promotional image for My Fair Lady. Source: npg.org.uk [Photo lightly cropped by me.]

That’s not the only image which this incredibly evocative, opulent, but delicate scent evokes in me. There is the most elegant of Cinderellas, Audrey Hepburn, in diamonds and a sparkling, lace-covered, white column of a ball gown at the end of My Fair Lady. Or a bridal bouquet that’s been transformed into a crystal bell that rings out the purest, cleanest and sweetest of notes with the clarity of Alpine streams. And, finally, clotted cream. Yes, I said, “clotted cream.”

That’s because Melodie de L’Amour opens with layer upon layer of pure, real, unquestionably expensive gardenia that is as intensely creamy as the famous (and delicious) Devonshire clotted version. The gardenia is so creamy, in fact, that it reminded me of the one in Sultan Pasha‘s Borneo Gardenia, but that’s an attar, not a roughly 18% concentration parfum like this one. Borneo Gardenia used a very rare material, gardenia enfleurage, and I’d bet the same thing is responsible for Melodie capturing so authentically the depths of not just one gardenia growing fresh in the garden, but what feels like dozens of them. Their aroma is intoxicating without ever being heavy, earthy, or redolent of mushrooms the way the flowers can sometimes smell. I would almost call it “green” in its purity, but that would negate the wonderful creaminess. It’s a paradoxical contrast. So, too, is fact that the gardenia feels fragile and delicate, but also strong, powerful, and opulent at the same time.

Source: naturemagnificent.blogspot.com

Source: naturemagnificent.blogspot.com

The tuberose is the exact same way. It’s radiant, clean, lush, but also green, and it ripples out with an intoxicating headiness that never once feels heavy. I know how many of you are terrified of my poor, little tuberose, so let me reassure you that Melodie has a liquid floralcy that bears a beautiful crystal clarity but nary a whiff of anything indolic, ripe, fleshy, rubbery, blackened, camphorous, earthy, smoky, or synthetic on my skin.

And, if the mere thought of Fracas or Tuberueuse Criminelle puts you off, let me say that the I don’t think there is much similarity, at least not on my skin. On me, Melodie de L’Amour is more like Moon Bloom‘s virgin daughter, draped in gardenia, and wearing a chastity belt around anything remotely overpowering, skanky, or mentholated. If anything, I wish Melodie were actually more like Fracas, especially in terms of its might. For someone like me who fell in love with hardcore, vintage Fracas as a young child, spraying my mother’s bottle with reckless abandon whenever she was out of the room, Melodie de L’Amour is too light, delicate, ethereal, and purified in some ways. (Plus, I think it feels like an eau de parfum, not an extrait.) And, yet, all of that is what contributes to the head-turning, heart-stopping exquisiteness of the opening.

Source: crazy-frankenstein.com

Source: crazy-frankenstein.com

There is little else to distract one’s attention from the gardenia and tuberose in the opening stage. There are occasional hints of other white florals folded within the bouquet, but they’re rarely distinct in any clearly delineated fashion except for fleeting whispers of a fresh, sweet jasmine. Like Issara, there are glimmers of clean white musk, but they’re even more heavily muffled, muted, and minor here in the first hour. For the most part, there is only the luminosity of the main two notes.

Edward Steichen photo, 1931. Molyneux dress. The Condé Nast collection.

Edward Steichen photo, 1931. Molyneux dress. The Condé Nast collection.

The cumulative effect is romantic, extremely expensive-smelling, and, perhaps just as important, a fully grown-up, sophisticated take on feminine white florals. I think the latter is what would impress me about the opening even if I didn’t love tuberose above all other flowers, and even if I weren’t rather keen on gardenia as well. This is a modern white floral for a sophisticated adult who doesn’t need the infantilizing comfort blanket of cotton candy, sugar-drenched berries, vanilla, caramel vanilla, or, worst of all, that goopy abomination known as fruitchouli. (Yes, Guerlain, I’m staring straight at you and your latest, ultra-sugared, cotton candy, blueberry version of La Petite Robe Noire. I’m twitching merely writing those words.)

I’ve spent so much time on Melodie de L’Amour’s opening stage because, for me, I’m afraid the rest of the fragrance doesn’t live up to that heart-stopping, tender beauty, and the reasons are identical to what I wrote earlier about Issara. There is far, far too much white musk from the middle stage onwards; the bouquet turns completely amorphous and shapeless; the musk essentially whitewashes the depth and richness of the notes into one-dimensional anonymity; and the drydown is a generic, overly simplistic “clean floralcy.”

Luca Turin. Source: Amazon.uk

Luca Turin. Source: Amazon.uk

Luca Turin interpreted the changes quite differently in his positive, admiring review for the Parfums Dusita trio, where he wrote about a “drifting grey fog” that “muted” or “faded” the notes and saw it as an original voice:

Judging by the three extant Dusita fragrances, I reckon there may be a beautiful new voice out there. The first I smelled was Mélodie de l’Amour. It is a white floral, and a very good one at that, but disconcertingly rendered in faded grey tones that remind me of the paper note in Dzing! Note that, for once, faded and grey do not here mean weak or indistinct. MdA has a powerful presence, but feels like it is heard through radio static on short wave: immediately recognisable, yet veiled and remote. Then I smelled Oudh Infini. It could hardly be more different, powerfully animalic and musty. But again, the weird, drifting grey fog was there, this time muting the bright colors of orange flower and rose. I moved on to Issara, a fougère that smells of rain, wet tea leaves and cold cigars. To paraphrase Lady Bracknell, three begins to look like intent.

I understand what he means, even if the visuals, colour, or my interpretation is quite different. He’s right about how there’s a movement sweeps in like a rolling blanket of fog to render the notes “remote.” It happens to both Issara and Melodie de L’Amour, but I don’t see it as a positive thing. It’s not only because the “fog” consists entirely of white musk, often with soapy facets, and sometimes laundry-like ones, too. It’s also because the blasted thing effectively silences what the fragrance is really supposed to be about, squashing its fundamental essence into a blip under the radar. After having spoken with Ms. Umavijani, I don’t think I don’t think that was intentional or part of a signature voice. In fact, she said she is avoiding any white musk in two new scents that she’s currently experimenting with, which makes me incredibly eager to see what Dusita comes up with next.

For all my issues about Melodie de L’Amour’s later stages and drydown, it’s still a scent that is worth experiencing and that I strongly recommend trying for yourself if you’re a hardcore white floral lover. Who knows, maybe the “muting” fog won’t show up on your skin as prominently or have quite such a silencing effect. It’s worth testing to see, if only to experience that gloriously romantic, tender, spellbinding opening stage. It’s exquisite, pure and simple.

PRACTICAL DETAILS, REVIEWS, SAMPLES & WEBSITE INFORMATION:

There are several practical details that I’ve intentionally left to the end. First, all the fragrances have low projection, typical for an extrait. The sillage was initially moderate before gradually turning softer on my skin, with the exception of Melodie de L’Amour which had the least reach. Oudh Infini had the greatest. Issara was in the middle. None of them are what I would call powerhouses, though. In fact, I actually thought Melodie and Issara were eau de parfums at first, due to their lightest and airiness. That doesn’t mean that they were weak in strength, merely lightweight in body and feel. Issara was actually quite strong on my skin, probably because my skin seems to amplify any scent that has a lot of white musk in it. Oudh Infini is the only one of the three that had the weight, body, and feel of an extrait. It’s also the one which lasted the longest on my skin, typically 18-20 hours with 2 good sprays from the atomiser or 14-15 hours with one. The others had lower numbers. Melodie generally lasted about 10-10.5 hours with 2 sprays, but only 7-8 hours with one. Issara, as always, fell in the middle, coming in at either 12 hours or 10 hours depending on whether I used two sprays or one.

In terms of other people’s experiences, I’ve quoted Luca Turin’s review up above, but the comments on Fragrantica are very positive as well. As part of my attempt to simplify my reviews, I’ll merely provide you with links to each perfume’s entry page: Oudh Infini, Issara, and Melodie.

There are also two Fragrantica editorial reviews. The first is called Dusita: Wearable Avant Garde by Raluca Kirschner who found it “very refreshing to discover a new perfume line that comes across as courageous, creative and unpredictable from each angle you look at it.” She adds that Ms. Umavijani “brings the best out of [.. the] statement elements [in each scent], mixing them as a fairy would into hauntingly beautiful vapors of perfumes.”

The second Fragrantica piece is Dusita Paris: A New Paradise by Sergey Borisov who calls Dusita his “greatest discovery of all new brands at the Milan exhibition.” He raves about Oudh Infini, which he thought was “like no other oud perfume.” He loved the “sweet and nasty” opening, but, even more so, it’s “great (or even GREAT) flower heart with musk and sandalwood.” He was also fond of Issara, describing it as a “dry woody and sweet fougere fragrance and a masculine coumarin bomb (although women who also like to hug a tree will like this scent too)[.]” He concluded with high praise, calling Issara an “extremely well-made” modern “reincarnation of Fougère Royale Houbigant, the forefather of all fougeres.” Melodie de L’Amour, however, seems to have been his nemesis, probably because his words indicate he’s not a white floral or tuberose lover. He called the scent “a pure drug,” before adding in that feeble, trembling voice so typical of one who is trying to be diplomatic about his horrified, terrified feelings in the face of a white floral and tuberose bomb: such “a large volume of beauty just is too much for me.” I grin every time I read it.

Mr. Borisov’s terror at the tuberose brings me to a few caveats about all three Dusita fragrances. For most men, Melodie de L’Amour will be a purely feminine fragrance, although I personally don’t hold with gender characterisations and know a number of guys who could wear the scent with panache and aplomb. There are a few male readers in particular (you know who you are) who should practically run to order a sample. Go, go now! For the everyone else, including women who don’t like even green, clean tuberose, Melodie obviously won’t be your cup of tea.

Oudh Infini will probably been seen by many as the masculine one of the lot, but the greater issue for the average consumer is the oud. If you’re accustomed to the heavily filtered style of Western “ouds,” particularly the sort from Kilian or Tom Ford, the heavily animalic, goaty, musky, cheesy, feral aromas of the real thing will probably be far too raw and brutish for you for the first 2 hours. It was the first 4 hours for a friend of mine who, despite being highly knowledgeable about niche, has little experience with Middle Eastern scents or agarwood. He called Oudh Infini a “tough” scent at first, and it was only when raw animalics faded, the oud weakened, and the sandalwood kicked in that he began to enjoy it. I think his feelings will be mirrored by others who are unfamiliar with real agarwood, so if you prefer a clean, heavily refined oud (and there is absolutely nothing wrong if you do), then you may want to skip Oudh Infini, or else recalibrate your expectations and be patient until the glorious middle stage begins.

As for Issara, it is the Goldilocks of the trio in many ways, and I think it’s unisex so long as you love the aromas of a country meadow.

With regard to pricing, samples, and availability, I normally cover that in the Details section at the end of every review, but Dusita is so new that things are in flux, and it would be easier if I explained it here. First, the fragrances cost €295 or €395 (in the case of Oudh Infini) for 50 mls of pure parfum. So, they’re not cheap but, with the exception of the musk, the materials smell very expensive and high-end. You get what you pay for, particularly when it comes to Mysore sandalwood, gardenia, tuberose, and Laotian oud.

Dusita 5 ml samples. Source: Fragrantica.

Dusita 5 ml samples. Source: Fragrantica.

However, there are a few alternatives to the full bottle prices. Dusita offers a sample set of all three fragrances in 5 ml atomisers for €30. In addition, 2 ml sample vials will be included for free. Shipping or postage depends on the region: 15 euros for Europe; 20 euros for the US and North America; and 25 euros for Russia, Australia, and New Zealand. If you’re in another part of the world, you can write to Dusita at the contact links provided in the Details section to inquire about the shipping rate. (As a side note, the old deal of free 5 ml samples with only a nominal fee for postage is no longer valid.) Furthermore, by or before September, there should also be a Collector’s Set of larger travel sizes: 3 x 15 ml glass bottles. The price is not fully set but will probably be €235 for the 45 ml total, with shipping included.

Some of these details are up in the air at the time of this review, June 17th, because the Dusita website was launched very recently and is still undergoing modification. There are also changes being made to the logo and packaging of the fragrances. There is a complicated story behind it all but, the bottom line is, the 50 ml bottles are limited to the website for now. However, a handful of European retailers (like Jovoy Paris) will start to carry the fragrance sometime around mid to late July. Regarding the samples, there is no mention of samples on the site at this time, and no direct page that I can direct you to at the moment, but that will eventually change. In the meantime, you can contact Ms. Umavijani to order. All the necessary information is listed in the Details section at the end of this review, along with website links and the names of future retailers.

Finally, I can only repeat what I said at the start of this review: Ms. Umavijani has major talent and I’m impressed. Her creations are evocative fragrances that use luxurious materials in a deft or creative way, frequently blending the modern and the classical for a result that is consistently distinctive. The Oudh, in particular, stands out from the endless crowd of rose-oud, floral-oud, or even basic spiced, amber ouds that you see everywhere. Everything about Dusita from the scents to the woman behind them feels like a breath of fresh air. Perhaps, this time around, one of the genres or the core notes in the debut trio won’t be for you but, if you are serious about genuinely good perfumes, Parfums Dusita is one to watch for the future because I think she’ll do great things.

Disclosure: My samples were provided courtesy of Parfums Dusita. That did not impact this review. I do not do paid reviews, and my opinions are my own.

DETAILS:
Cost & Availability: All three fragrances are pure parfums that only come in a 50 ml bottle. Oudh Infini costs €395; Issara is €295; and Melodie de L’Amour is also €295. At the time of this review, you can only find them at Dusita at the following links: Oudh Infini, Issara, and Melodie de L’Amour. All three fragrances are shown on the overall Collections page as well. Other retailers: In late July or early August, Dusita fragrances should be available at: Jovoy Paris, Spitzenhaus Zurich, and Mazzolari Italy. [UPDATE: Dusita is now at Luckyscent: Oudh, Issara, and Melodie.] Samples: For the next few months, samples will only be available from Dusita. If something is sold out, you can inquire about when a product will be available again via the Dusita Contact page or the Dusita Facebook page.

32 thoughts on “Parfums Dusita: A New Talent To Watch

  1. I held my breath at gardenia because other than Sultan’s Borneo gardenia, there is no other for me. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for this perfumer. Thanks and thrilled you had fun with these.

    • You know, each of these fragrances has something that you’d love, enormously, Paskale, but I know enough of your specific tastes to say that I can only see Oudh Infini as being a possibility for you when one takes the scent in total and from start to finish. (Plus, white floral bombs really aren’t your thing. Your mother is the one who would love Melodie. lol)

      But you’ve grown to love really smoky, leathery, dark scents, as well as oud, so if you were patient with Oudh Infini’s opening, I think you’d adore the rest. Also, I may be mistaken, but I really have the impression that your skin muffles and mutes animalics to a degree, no? If so, then perhaps the opening wouldn’t be quite so raw and feral on you as it was on me? Perhaps you can write to her to ask for a single 2 ml sample? I think she’d gladly send that by itself just for you to try.

      • That’s the one I would get a sample of! I have turned towards Ouds and wanted your suggestions for ones you thought I might like. I will definitely write to her and let you know how it turns out. Thanks as always

  2. These sound absolutely exquisite. Your descriptions literally gave me goosebumps. At the very least, I want to try samples. They all sound like I’d love them, but I’m most interested in Mélodie de l’Amour.

    • Ravennightmyst, I don’t know a ton about your tastes, but I know enough to say that I think you’ll get far more than goosebumps if you try Melodie de L’Amour. I think that opening will blow you off your feet, so you should DEFINITELY order a sample. No question. Two floral lovers I know (both men, actually) were utterly stunned by Melodie de L’Amour, so I’d be fascinated to see what your thoughts are. Promise to report back once you’ve tried it, okay?

      • I’ve sent a message to them inquiring about purchasing samples. Once I receive them, I will definitely report back. I’m really jazzed about these, and would love to be blown off my feet !

  3. Thank you for reviewing them! They sound so gorgeous, I am so interested in the Oud Infini, (“sexy goats covered in roses” makes it sound so good to me!!) I can’t wait to sample them all anyway.

  4. I caught a glimpse of the Fragrantica article on Parfums Dusita but didn’t really look it up. Guess it’s a good thing I follow your blog; otherwise, I would’ve missed what sounds like a possible top 10 for you this year.

    I’m intrigued by Oudh Infini the most out of the three. Rose-oud fragrances are just done to death and hardly any stands out from the rest. I want to personally know how the oud in Oudh Infini fares; I hear that high-quality oud is an extremely acquired scent that is not supposed to please everyone. “Goats” and “blue cheese”… hmm good indicators. They definitely beat low-quality synthetic ouds that are sickly-sweet (burn, Versace Oud Noir!)

    • The “Blue Cheese” character of authentic agarwood is definitely apparent here, and it’s really one of the main reasons why I struggle with really hardcore, in-your-face, Eastern style ouds. Blue Cheese is one of the things I avoid whenever and wherever possible in real life, even though cheese is generally one of my favourite foods, even the stinky sort. But something about Gorgozola or extra strong, oozy Stilton… *shudder* I can’t imagine ever wanting to waft it from my own skin.

      Still, it’s not a major part of Oudh Infini when you take the fragrance as a whole, and the camel-goat-blue cheese aspects definitely quieten over time.

      And, yes, Rose-Ouds really are a done to death. I think Oudh Infini is more than just a rose-oud, though, since that flower is dominant mostly in the first half, and is replaced eventually by Mysore and orange blossom. That change is one of the many reasons why the fragrance feels more distinctive than the norm. I hope you order a sample, Nazrul, and try it for yourself.

      (BTW, the Versace Oud Noir burn made me grin.I haven’t tried it, but I can only imagine….)

  5. I agree with everything you said about Ploi Uma’s sincerity, genuine niceness, and lack of hyperbole. The comments about her father and his final comments were extremely touching. Excellent review!

  6. Halleleujah Kafka!!!!! Finally something to finally truly enjoy ( I can’t think of more appropriate words though but get my drift) ….. never heard of her, she is beautiful ….I read read read and said I want I want I want…..at least to smell but some how OUDH INFINI caught my heart with my beloved goats, animalics, authentic smelling ROSES, truly K? Real Mysore omg, even better than Trayee, no! Be still my mending heart. Ahhhh the joy of the real stuff and like you said kudos to supplier! I am happy for you also that you have had at least a few enjoyments testing because I was feeling sad about what you were saying. Cheers dear! Thanks for the awesome review as always. D

    • btw those goats are identical to my dad’s babies! Oh I also like the design of the Dusita bottles…plus yesterday I took over a bottle of something I really enjoy that has real oud in it because she has never smelled it so I explained all the facets to it etc…she loved it but when I sample the OI I will definitely let her get a whiff. Also turned on to your blog said you are the best blogger around. 😉

  7. I’m oud collector and this perfume Oudh infini look really so heavenly I really enjoyed your review thanks Kafkaesque 🙂

    • Welcome to the blog, Mandeel. 🙂 I’m pleased you enjoyed the review, and I hope you end up loving the fragrance. Let me know what you think when you try it.

  8. Another superb read 🙂
    I have contacted through the website,there is a waiting list for the fragrances,have been added 😉 looking forward to trying these

    • Welcome to the site, Stephen, and nice to see you here (as opposed to just FB)! I’m so pleased you followed by suggestion to read more about the Dusita scents and possibly get the decant set. I don’t know much about your perfume tastes or the notes you love/hate beyond the little we talked about with Myths Woman, so which one of the Dusita trio intrigued or tempted you? The floral Mélodie? By the way, are you an oud/agarwood person? I’m trying to get a better sense of your tastes.

      • Thank you for the welcome ,
        I have registered for both the melodie and the infinite . I do love floral scents and our ! I also am quite taken with vanilla based scents 🙂 . I also owe you a big thanks for your reviews of Salome and sensual and decedent ,I now own both fragrances . I look forward continuing the fragrance journey that I have just started

  9. Thank you Kafka for letting me know about Dusita via hour blog.
    I hope to read more here from the perfumistas that ordered the sample set so to compare opinions and how they manifest on skin; i also oredered the set.

  10. Thanks again Kafka for a great review ! I’ve contacted Ms. Umavijani via their website contact link to order the 5ml sample set. I’m really excited to try these. When you are “really” effusive about a frag, I know it’s something special, and you haven’t steered me wrong yet 🙂 ~Kate~

  11. It’s always exciting when a perfume house uses top quality ingredients to make something great. I have also ordered a sample set from Parfums Dusita. Really prompt replies and sincere service. Even if the fragrances don’t agree with my skin, I think they are worth collecting.

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  13. This is an excellent, well written summary. Thank you! I purchased a bottle of Issara from Luckyscent this evening and I can’t wait for it to arrive!

    Oudh Infini sounds absolutely dreamy and its definitely been added to my list.

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  17. Hello,
    Great review (like all the others)!
    I released that Dusita – Oudh Infini is out of stock (at parfumsdusita.com) but samples are available.
    I released also that if you buy 17 samples you got 51ml and it is less expensive than buying the bootle 🙂

    cheers,
    Rui

  18. I feel the same about Oudh Infini early phase; I think for West taste it’s too daring… but wow, the rest is so sensational that I made up my mind to buy a bottle.
    I hope the two new edp will be as beautiful as the extracts; also she said she will present something new at our Pitti’s on September, even if she still didn’t decide about an Iris, rose or Osmanthus-based perfume…
    I really hope she will go for Iris 🙂

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