Hello fragrance friends and welcome to another session of Mood Scent 4. Each month my fragrant partners and myself team up to share some fragrance love highlighting a specific theme. The Mood Scent 4 team features Portia at A Bottled Rose (Australia), L’Esperessence (Netherlands) and I Scent You A Day (Wales, United Kingdom) and we are your perfume selectors today for spicy scents.
It’s often said that variety is the spice of life and so it is with fragrances. I do like a spicy fragrance myself and many specific spice interpretations in perfumery. Favourite spices include ginger, cardamom, clove and saffron. I also adore immortelle which has a fantastic spicy aspect and tends to be a love or hate odour. I think if you like spicy foods you also will enjoy a bit of edge with your fragrance. Can’t say I love a cumin overdose in a scent though, it just reminds me of the sort of bad body odour you’ll encounter in a very hot country in scorchng heat. A dash of cumin can most definitely add something to the fragrance when it’s subtle but if it’s amplified on my skin to a high level then the scent needs to come off tout de suite!
So I’m looking forward to reading what the other Mood Scent 4 team will be writing about for this episode and let’s open up the spice market for you.
Opium : Yves Saint Laurent: Jean Amic, Jean-Louis Sieuzac, Raymond Chaillan : 1977
This is most definitely a spicy fragrance and I’m writing about how I remember Opium and it’s not really how it is today, but I still enjoy the current version, even it it’s something far less opulent.
Opium has pedigree, and will always remain my number one spicy fragrance. I adore the name and the mystique that has been created around the scent. Fragrance addicts search out vintage varieties and rejoice when they have their elusive bottle in hand. It’s a tour de force spice bomb with panache and I wore this as a teenager even though it always felt too ‘old’ for me. I must have thought it would help get me into bars when I was underage. It definitely had that air of confidence that I most definitely needed. The cloves and the incense with the va va zoom amber cocktail were a heady drug for sure. Opium is from the era when a fragrance launch meant something. It was a real event back then and you can only imagine the decadence involved with this one.
Santal de Mysore : Serge Lutens : Christopher Sheldrake : 1991
This is an oldie in my collection of Lutens fragrances. For me Lutens was my entrée into the world of perfumery but today I don’t reach for these perfumes as often as I once did. Yet when I smell Santal de Mysore for the purposes of this Mood Scent 4, I am wondering why I’m not wearing this gorgeous scent all through winter and can see its abundant charms. The scent feels like it has more than a dash of Mysore sandalwood and it is an old bottle so the chances are higher than with a new formulation. So think smooth, creamy sandalwood topped with Indian spices and a boozy ambered feel.
The whole scent for me is very beautiful with a sexy allure. Santal de Mysore is definitely an under appreciated Lutens, although often the bell jar fragrances are. Although there is cumin in this fragrance, it never crosses that uneasy sweaty spot and I find that the fragrance overall has a syrupy side to it and also a touch of the gourmand too. It’s hard to believe that this was created so long ago as it doesn’t feel dated and my bottle still feels very much alive. Also this fragrance has extreme longevity, if that is important to you. If you’ve only tried Tom Ford’s Santal Blush then the Lutens is more sultry and a little on the temperamental side, whereas Santal Blush errs to the demure.
Bohemian Spice : April Aromatics : Tanja Bochnig : 2011
April Aromatics makes a frequent appearance on Mood Scent 4 and this is because I genuinely love Tanja‘s fragrances and feel they have hit the zeitgeist of these times. Bohemian Spice is like a finely aged wine with a beautiful layer of natural aged patchouli wrapped around orange and frankincense with spicy hints of clove and cinnamon. There’s a sweeter layer too with a vanilla accord that is gorgeously subtle. The fragrance has a real bohemian vibe as expected so you can imagine you’re wafting around somewhere far flung and exotic wearing a caftan right about now.
Musc Immortel : Atelier Des Ors : Marie Salamagne : 2017
I’ve included an immortelle fragrance as I find the scent of this flower incredibly spicy with a mild curried like effect that is dialled up or down depending on the fragrance. Immortelle can also smell sweet like maple syrup too, so the scent is quite unusual. For me the odour is pure bliss and I generally adore fragrances where the note is prominent. Sables from Annick Goutal is a favourite although it is very strong (the old version) so it’s not one that I choose to wear that often.
Musc Immortel features immortelle, however in a much softer way. For autumn and winter I find this fragrance is a perfect blend. The fragrance also has a powdery musky effect with lovely lashings of iris and patchouli. I find Musc Immortel a little chameleon like as it can feel very cosy but at other times has a flirtatious appeal. It’s not too heavy, nor too light yet has a steady hand swathed in a golden woody gaze. It’s one of those dress up or down fragances yet always makes you feel like your better self.
So that’s a wrap for this edition of Mood Scent 4. Thank you so much for stopping by and please make sure to read my fellow Mood Scent 4 group writers : Portia at A Bottled Rose, Samantha on I Scent You A Day and Esperanza on L’Esperessence.
What are your favourite spicy scents?
Notes : Images from the brand websites.
Disclosure : I provide services to Atelier Des Ors and the perfume was provided by the brand. Bohemian Spice was gratefully received from the brand.