The Phuong Dang Collection: Leather Up, Obscure Oud & The Calling (+ Cryptic & Vermillion Promise)

Ms. Phuong Dang. Sources: her website & girlboss.com

Ms. Phuong Dang. Sources: her website & girlboss.com

Phuong Dang Perfumes is a new luxury brand that recently debuted this year with 10 fragrances, 9 of which were created by Bertrand Duchaufour. According to her biography, Ms. Dang is a mixed-media artist who was born in Vietnam and now resides in Singapore. She’s had a varied career, ranging from the high fashion industry, to being the Creative Director for Elite Modeling Agency, a makeup artist, and, now, a visual artist. Her biography states that her sculptural paintings have been exhibited around the world, but that she’s also had a longstanding interest in perfumery and created fragrances for herself from her collection of oils.

She chose Bertrand Duchaufour to turn her perfume dreams into reality. According to an interview that Ms. Dang gave to a site called Girl Boss, she wrote to him blindly and presented her ideas and artwork. He replied, “This is the project I’ve been waiting for.”

The Phuong Dang Collection. Photo sent to me by Autumn PR, and lightly cropped at the top and bottom by me.

The Phuong Dang Collection. Photo sent to me by Autumn PR, and lightly cropped at the top and bottom by me.

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Sultan Pasha Attars Tabac Grande

A tableau of musky, humid Havana painted in dense, opaque oils; an old-fashioned speakeasy where the rum runs wild; the refined drawing rooms of an old, aristocratic London club where the rich leather armchairs are always accompanied by snifters of the best cognac and a fresh pipe; and a testosterone-laden version of China’s osmanthus, given musculature through an emphasis on its leather, smoky black tea, and apricot tang — there is so much more to Tabac Grande than merely the tobacco in its name. It’s a complex attar from Sultan Pasha Attars, and its review today will mark the start of a short series on several new releases from the brand.

Tabac Grande. Photo: my own.

Tabac Grande. Photo: my own.

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Xerjoff XJ 1861 Naxos

The XJ 1861 Collection. Source: xerjoff.com

The XJ 1861 Collection. Source: xerjoff.com

1861 Naxos via Xerjoff's website. [Image lightly cropped by me on the sides.]

1861 Naxos via Xerjoff’s website. [Image lightly cropped on the sides by me.]

Officially, Xerjoff‘s XJ 1861 Naxos celebrates Sicily and the richness of its hesperidic traditions. In reality, I found it to be predominantly a tobacco fragrance, and a very enjoyable one at that. Prismatically complex, opulent, powerful, and rich, it’s a unisex composition that seems to take the tobacco plant from its budding flowers to its fragrant green leaves and beyond, slathering it with dark honey, lush jasmine, and bright, sun-kissed citruses, then placing it against a multi-dimensional backdrop dominated by aromatic, fresh lavender.

Yet, that is only one part of the tale because 1861 Naxos is like a kaleidoscope where the images change and realign themselves into different shapes with every click, especially in the first half of its life. Over time, the images and the notes change faster and faster, thanks to the impact of silky vanilla, dry woods, incense-like smokiness, spicy patchouli, and even some ambered booziness. The result is a bold powerhouse that has already become a big favourite with perfumistas, chosen by Basenotes readers as one of the best niche fragrances released in 2015 and frequently sold out on places like Luckyscent or Twisted Lily.

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Sammarco Bond-T: The Promised Land Beckons

We all have a promised land in perfumery, one where we gambol and cavort with our favourite olfactory notes, all combined in such a way that the pleasure, comfort, and joy amounts to a sense of a perfect fit, ease, or even the feeling of being “home.” There are many promised lands, each falling within a different genre, each so difficult to find that it’s as though we’re searching for the Holy Grail. (At this point, I’m convinced that my personal Vanilla Valhalla does not exist.) The difficulty stems from the perfection that is implicitly involved in such a magical creation, the coalescence of personal, subjective factors to form one perfect bouquet like no other.

Source: wallpaperup.com

Source: wallpaperup.com

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