Areej Le Doré Siberian Musk: Vintage Grandeur & Sex Appeal

Lauren Bacall via Pinterest.

One of the best fragrances that I’ve tried this year is Siberian Musk by Areej Le Doré, which is the fragrance arm of Feel Oud‘s Russian Adam. A kaleidoscopic scent, it starts as a head-turning chypre with such a lavish greenness of spirit that it evoked not only fragrances like Chypre Palatin but, more importantly, vintage days long since lost. From there, it slowly transitions into a floral oriental with a strong kinship to the glorious vintage Bal à Versailles, a fruity floral vetiver, a smoky woody-oud oriental, and a sexy, cozy, inviting amber-musk that’s flecked by honeyed floral sweetness.

A central vein of deer musk runs throughout it all. While it varies in its animalics and intensity, it never rises to the level of some of the more famous (or infamous) animalic fragrances, like MAAI, Montecristo, or Muscs Koublai Khan on my skin. Some of the time, it simply evokes an expensive fur coat infused with vintage perfume, musky velvet, or even heated, musky, suede-like skin. But all of the time, it adds a very sensual and sexy touch to a glamorous, opulent, and sophisticated fragrance.

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Bogue Gardelia: Vintage Luxury Reborn

Photo: Jerry Uelsmann," Untitled, [Reclining nude Woman, River waterfall and Yosemite Landscape], 1992," Telluride Gallery. (Direct link to his website embedded within.)

Photo: Jerry Uelsmann,” Untitled, [Reclining nude Woman, River waterfall and Yosemite Landscape], 1992,” Telluride Gallery. (Direct link to his website embedded within.)

Gardelia by Antonio Gardoni of Bogue Perfumes is a remarkable fragrance. An opulent, baroque, and complex symphony of notes that deluge the senses, evoking the very best of the vintage chypre style, and so much more as well. Animalic, lush, tropical, floral, vegetal, mossy, resinous, furry, musky, and indolic elements shine in pitch-perfect balance within a prismatic kaleidoscope that clearly nods to Gardoni’s famous MAAI, but also to vintage Mitsouko parfum, albeit a Mitsouko that is given a tuberose and gardenia twist. It’s like stumbling upon an unexpected nook of hot-house flowers growing deep within the recesses of a mossy, dark forest, unfolding like a furry and autumnal twist on the Rite of Spring. Roja Dove’s Mitsouko-inspired Diaghilev sought to do something similar, but that fragrance never impacted me the way Gardelia has. I think it’s superb.

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Slumberhouse New Sibet

Opulent iris butter as thick as cream turned ashen from cinders dropped by smoked woods; grey floral suede and leather wrapped up in vapours of pink and red, first from carnation, and later from roses; the flanks of an animal heated from an afternoon ride, its golden muskiness pulsating softly through its heartbeat to cling to your cool hands as you stroke fur that is as smooth as satin and infinitely creamy — these are parts of the tableau painted by New Sibet, the latest fragrance from Slumberhouse and it’s quite a departure from the brand’s usual style. Gone is the rugged aesthetic of old created from dense, forceful, practically opaque bases imbued with sweetness, spices, or brooding darkness.

Instead of nature-based landscapes slashed with colour and loaded with weight, this is a coolly elegant, sophisticated scent, soft and vaporous, worn with sleek city suits, furs, or cashmere, and constructed in a fashion that is often as much about tactile texture as it is about scent. Often, even more so, because it’s frequently an impressionistic scent where its elements are sensed almost on a subconscious, intuitive, and subliminal level rather than an actual one, its notes a suggestion that pass on the breeze — there and, yet, not there at the same time. It is scent that is often rendered through a filter, notes tinted in sepia hues like an old photograph, and it’s all done in a way that is extremely artistic and sensory.

New Sibet. Photo: my own.

New Sibet. Photo: my own.

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Les Liquides Imaginaires Peau de Bete: Sex & The Beast

Photo: Mert & Marcus from their video for Madonna, "Girl gone wild." Source: kontraplan.com

Photo: Mert & Marcus from their video for Madonna, “Girl gone wild.” Source: kontraplan.com

Sex, heated skin, animalic musk, wild horses sweaty after their ride through forests, sweaty balls, and even S&M leather — they’re all things that come to mind with the very evocative and aptly named Peau de Bete (or “Skin of the Beast”) from Les Liquides Imaginaires. An immensely animalic fragrance, it is bold in aroma, but skin-like in both its feel and soft reach. Above all else, though, its animalic muskiness is redolent of human sexuality.

While other fragrances have trodden this path before, most recently Papillon‘s fantastic Salome, few of them have done so with quite as much singularity as Peau de Bete. It strips everything away but its sexualized animalics; there are no extraneous elements like chyprish bergamot top accords or middle-layer florals to adulterate the purity of vision. It’s as though the composition were merely one, single (albeit multi-faceted) base accord. Depending on your tastes and on your experience levels with raunchy, sexual, and dirty animalic musk fragrances, that’s either a good thing or something that will make you scrub right away. I happened to think Peau de Bete was damn sexy, but it is certainly not a scent for everyone.

Peau de Bete. Source: beautik.ro

Peau de Bete. Source: beautik.ro

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