Today, we’ll look at two fragrances from Atelier des Ors, its upcoming, new Iris Fauve, and one of the fragrances it debuted last year, Lune Feline. The first is a floral woody musk centered on iris; the second is an intensely spiced and rather delectable vanilla oriental with a strong gourmand streak. Both fragrances are eau de parfums that were created by Marie Salamagne under the artistic direction of Jean-Philippe Clermont, Atelier des Ors’ founder. So, let’s get straight to it.
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.
Moresque Parfum is a relatively new Italian niche brand that was launched in 2015. Inspired by Moorish art, architecture, and the splendour of their dynasties, the company says it wants to imbue Arabic perfumery with “Italian design, fineness and taste,” as well as a “‘Made in Italy’ excellence[.]” Moresque has three different lines, the Black, White, and Art Collections, which are comprised in total of seven fragrances, each in eau de parfum concentration. Three of them also come in matching attar (concentrated perfume oils) strength which Moresque labels as “Esprit de Parfum.” All the fragrances were created by Andrea Thero Casotti.
Today, I’ll look at two of the eau de parfums: Al Andalus from The Black Collection and Aristoqrati from The Art Collection. I confess, I didn’t have high hopes going in because my past experiences with European interpretations of Arabic perfumery hasn’t impressed me much, but I was pleasantly surprised by Al Andalus, a woody spiced composition centered around ginger that bore tobacco-like tonalities, and a nice dose of amber and resins as well. Aristoqrati, though, was a generic disappointment that not only left me cold but so bored that I could barely summon up the interest to sniff my arm.
Bapteme du Feu, the latest release from Serge Lutens, is not a scent that lends itself to easy characterisation. What I can say is that it’s different, puts a sometimes bizarre twist on traditional fragrance categories or genres, and that the old Lutens eccentricity and creative twists are back. Wearing it left me flummoxed at times, highly ambivalent at other times, but at least it feels like a Lutens, for better or for worse.