Readers recall how I had requested input in what to offer you next. Personal preferences came high on the list of requests and I have catered to this demand by sharing a List of my Favorite Less Celebrated Fragrances, as well as Oohing and Aahing Together on my Favorite Chypre Fragrances. (Both subject to edits/updates as they're not carved in marble).
The time has come to share those particular nuggets of Orient-via-European-Aesthetics that make me tick. Please feel free to share yours in the comments below!
Please note I'm excluding straight-forward musks (of which I love many), predominantly woody fragrances, and florientals, which I consider a bit like baklava-light; there's a time and place for that too, but not today.
In alphabetical order
Ambre 114 (Histoires de Parfums)
Resinous goodness in the classic style of great French perfumes. It's substantial enough to really get the amber through, but light enough not to smother you like your angora-sweater-wearing obese great-aunt. Sounds funny, but really is high praise.
Angelique Encens (Creed)
It helped that a legend apparently wore it, Marlen Dietrich. But it was the name that lured me personally. Incense and angelica, a source of vegetal musk. The effect is mystical.
Among my favorite men's perfumes. A girl friend smelling it actually purred...Men, you now know this.
Arabie (Serge Lutens)
I seem to be alone in the blogosphere in actually enjoying this dried fruit orgy that recalls the souk like few things can. More for me, I guess!
Black (Bulgari) the original unisex edition
Is there any perfumephile worth their salt who doesn't like Black? Anick Menardo's brain child has a genius IQ. Half rubber, half vanilla. Half BDSM, half, well, vanilla. What a riot!
Cinema (Yves Saint Laurent)
Seems simple and middle of the road, but it stays on hair and clothes (and pillows...) for days on end, making you wonder "just what is it that smells so good?". It's a great script.
Douce Amere (Serge Lutens)
Bittersweet symphony of melancholy and comfort. Like love, like an old wound, like life.
Feminite du Bois (Shiseido)
There's something about this spicy mix with dried fruits and cedarwood in the drydown that makes the head spin. If Cleopatra wore a dress made of carved wood dripping of honey this would be it.
Myrrh Ardente (Annick Goutal)
I have a great affinity for the bittersweet facet of myrrh resin and I like almost all scents where it's prominently featured, something that I'm not sure labels me as entirely sane in my greater entourage. But no bother. This oriental Goutal fragrance is for endoscopists anyway.
(I also LOVE La Myrrhe by Lutens, but do not consider it a true oriental. Rather an aldehydic one.)
L de Lolita Lempicka
Every perfume lover craves a pomander scent from time to time and this combo of vanilla, clove and cinnamon is especially good. Nothing marine about it despite the advertising images of mermaids and fishnets.
Nu (Yves Saint Laurent)
Another one of the Tom Ford sanctioned scents that wrote history, it was ahead of its time. Sadly discontinued it marries spice with incense and feels like angels and demons are dancing on your skin.
Opium (Yves Saint Laurent) vintage of course!
This used to be my companion, my self, my id for many many years. They have eclipsed it and spat on its grave. I'm livid.
Rykiel woman (Sonia Rykiel)
Very under the radar. Powdery suede-like and rich on dates, of all things. It manages to be very softly beckoning but not submissive in the least.
Tolu (Ormonde Jayne)
This is how proper night-time perfume for a rendez-vous should smell like. Comforting and luxurious like a mink coat, balsamic in scent. Minus the cruelty. Priceless.
Tonka Imperial (Guerlain)
Tonka beans are rich in coumarin and coumarin is among my most favorite smells. Enough said. Satisfying and sinful like a full meal on a diet day.
Vol de Nuit (Guerlain)
This great classic has a smoldering quality about it with its green touch on top and its jonquil floralcy later on. Still the base is unmistakably Guerlain; calorific, dressy, soft to the touch, very French-smelling.
Please let me know which oriental perfumes adorn your previous selves the most!