Walimah is one of several brand-new, upcoming fragrances from Areej Le Doré and is intended to be a celebration of love and marriage. It was created by Russian Adam in tribute to “the beautiful union of two souls from different corners of the globe” and their wedding late last year, so it’s quite symbolic that the fragrance’s two versions — a parfum and an attar — act as yin and yang. Although they have the same notes and formula, they are surprisingly different on my skin: the spray is feminine, ethereally bridal and, later, sensuously creamy); the attar casts dark, masculine shadows upon its luminous, radiant, white florals, sometimes shrouding them almost entirely. The attar is not only more complex but it is also a shape-shifter. In addition, it is unisex-to-masculine in its character, veering between co-equal unisex elements and an elegantly rugged masculinity that has an occasional animalic growl. I’ve been told that the spray version will eventually age into something closer in scent and character to the attar but, even as they are right now, both versions are striking in their own way.
This year, Amouage‘s annual masculine and feminine duo is called Figment. I’ll take a look at them both today.
Today, we’ll look at a four releases from Lubin, Amouage, Roja Dove, and Byredo: Epidor, Bracken Woman, Tuberose, and Velvet Haze. They’ll be briefer takes than normal; I’m behind on covering recent niche fragrances after my long absence and I’m afraid I’ll never catch up if I write one of my typical reviews for each scent. Plus, the only way someone as verbose as myself can manage to write short descriptions is if I stick to the most impressionist overview possible, and skip the usual detailed breakdown in development, sharing other people’s perspectives, or arduously looking up retail links around the world. I’ll try to provide a few relevant details or links at the end, should you wish to pursue the scent further, but not many. So, let’s get to it.
Superstitious is the latest fragrance from Frédéric Malle, created in conjunction with the great couturier, Alber Elbaz. Monsieur Elbaz is perhaps best known for his stunning work at Lanvin in the 2000s, but what is less well-known is that he had his start when Yves Saint-Laurent‘s partner, Pierre Bergé, handpicked him in the late 1990s to take the helm of that august fashion house where he successfully carried on the Maestro’s style, albeit with his own twist.
At first glance, this might seem to be nothing more than an irrelevant factoid or bit of biographical background, meaningful only to those of us, like myself, who continue to worship Monsieur Saint Laurent (a god, a total fashion god!) because, let’s face it, there is usually no olfactory connection between a couture house’s design style and how their perfumes actually smell.
Superstitious, however, is a rare exception. You could have knocked me over with a spoon when I tried it because the early hours of the scent reflect not only Monsieur Elbaz’s sleek, bold, streamlined, seamless, and incredibly sophisticated personal design aesthetic but also, and above all else, the Yves Saint Laurent olfactory signature as exemplified by its early floral-aldehydic fragrances like (vintage) Rive Gauche and Y. Superstitious was intentionally created to be both vintage and modern in feel, but where it stands out for me is in its early hours when it is a perfect rendition of the grand old style of the YSL classics. I’m unenthused by the fragrance’s second chapter when the Ropion olfactory signature kicks in and Superstitious dissolves into something wholly modern, structureless, and excessively clean, but those early hours were the boldest that I’ve seen from a Malle fragrance in a long, long time.