Monday, May 3, 2021

Baruti Nooud: fragrance review

 Nooud started with the spermatic idea by Spyros Drosopoulos, creative force behind the Dutch-based Baruti niche brand, of getting inside the construction of oud bases, used widely in the perfume industry these days, and searching for his own formula, his own truth. In this journey he stumbled upon the notion of nude, of skin, of bareness; and so from oud and nude evolved...Nooud!


If it also suggests there is no actual oud in it, it's because there isn't. Hence the magic of the illusion.

The Nooud fragrance remains the brand's best-seller, which is understandable, due to the wide demand for sensuous oriental scents for niche audiences all over the world nowadays. It feels like it's full of ambrette, or the musky odorants in its core at least, and it's truly compelling, poised between attractively bitterish botanical and skin-warm indulgent like the finest suede. 

Although aimed at those who would be welcoming the idea of an oudh, burning Bakhour, I can definitely recommend it to people who love unsweetened musks. I can very well see how it's the best-seller!

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Kenzo Parfum d'Ete: fragrance review & reminiscences

The first encounter I had with this unique ethereal green floral fragrance was with its predecessor in the misty glass and plastic bottle with the huge dew drop on the leaf that served as cap. The 1992 Parfum d'été

It was an eventful summer for me, with lots of glorious escapades that marked my youth, and the company of this delicate green jasmine that sang on the verdant throes of lily of the valley was the perfect embodiment of that carefree summery disposition which remains a wonderful memory. Back then, all I knew about Kenzo was that he was a Far Eastern designer who resided in Paris. And the fragrance in my mind seemed to embody both ends of the spectrum, being light and cerebral, like I imagined the Japanese to be, judging by their elaborate tea ceremony, and at the same time insidiously sensuous and subtly sexy in a carefree way, in the way models on the French Elle magazine spreads used to sprawl under the sun in the French countryside; I used to devour those magazines. Alongside Kenzo Homme, a revolutionary aquatic for men with an algae-woody backdrop, for a long time these two represented the new fresh breath of air that the Far East blew into the perfume scene, for me.  

Enter 10 years later and the 2002 edition of Parfum d'été substituted my lovely bottle with a more architectural, sparser design. At first, I was afraid that the repackaging was worse, and therefore the experience would be tarnished as well (though reformulations were not as big, nor as well known as nowadays, but the aesthetic was part of why the first edition had caught my eye in the first place). Thankfully I was soon proven wrong. The spicy green top note remains, as if a drop of galbanum had been dropped into a giant vat of lily of the valley materials with a side helping of my beloved hyacinth; cool, dewy, and sharp at first, delicate and whispering later on with musk remaining on the skin for a long time, though subtly perceptible. 

As fresh as tomorrow! If only we could graft this mood onto ourselves as well, sometimes...

Monday, April 5, 2021

Perfume Collection (partial)

 A glimpse of the ongoing madness...

It doesn't seem to ebb. This probably 1/5 of the collection. 

Friday, April 2, 2021

Baruti Onder de Linde: fragrance review

 Exploring the Baruti line, a niche collection by Greek perfumer Spyros Drosopoulos, based in the Netherlands, I found myself transfixed by Onder de Linde, which roughly translates from the Dutch as "under the linden trees." (Sounds dreamy, doesn't it?)

This extrait de parfum has a way of speaking of blue skies and honeyed blossoms in a modern, totally unexpected way, as the floralcy does not arise till halfway in the heart notes. It might be that it came right when we were facing a very ominous winter, with the hope of spring far in the air, so this promise of joy and uplifting optimism was a much needed glimpse of a better future. It acts like an anti-depressant, almost, on a weary soul. It's honeyed, but restrained in the sweetness, not veering into gourmand territory at any rate. It's neither powdery, which many fragrances in this genre tend to fall into, especially ones which couple the heliotropin and aubepine molecules into mimosa notes that embrace lindens. It's soft like a feather, enduring like the faith of youth in itself.

The brand implies added notes of pear and lilac, which I do not detect per se (and I do love lilacs), but the effect is nothing short of a magical late spring, early summer morning when the birds are chirping and you're on to the love rendezvous you've been awaiting all your life, or – more prosaically – the career step you've always hoped for. It's that joyous, honestly. 

With the assistance of Madeleine Hillen (perfumer's assistant and lab manager) and Maria Chetskaya (brand manager), Baruti is going forward, plunging into the demanding niche sector, where you have to put your money where your mouth is to survive among hundreds of companies building their portfolio of scents day by day, year by year. It's clear they're destined for a bright future!

This Month's Popular Posts on Perfume Shrine