Thursday, April 05, 2012

Blood Orange & Vetiver

Blood Oranges by INGLESsamuel_CD2/10
Blood Oranges, a photo by INGLESsamuel_CD2/10 on Flickr.

Striking contrast between the brownness of vetiver and the robust red pulp of blood oranges is at the same time a surprising yet obvious pairing. Like red desert mountains set against azure blue sea, the contrast is most welcome.

Vetiver’s tart coolness stems partly from the presence of some citrus-like molecules in its oil. But in this composition, like most everything that comes from Soivohle's atelier, there’s more than meets the nose at first sniff. To begin with, rather than opting for a locale that produces a cleaner and leaner vetiver oil, the perfumer picked a smoky, rich one reminiscent of barbecued meats on a South Asian seashore weaving velvety streams of smoke into thick drapery.

Nutty nuances are further warmed by a dusting of red cinnamon. And tinctures of other unidentified woods (which seem to be the signature of this perfumer’s natural line) add body and mystery that makes the perfume smell less ethereal and more of a tangible object, like a piece of driftwood or old furniture.

As for the blood orange – you’ll find it in there but it’s not nearly as prominent as the vetiver. It’s there just to add a drop of blood, a hint of redness… The dryout is surprisingly dry and mossy, even though I’m quite certain the oakmoss is there mostly for fixative properties.

Top notes: Blood Orange, Cardamom
Heart notes: Cinnamon, Nutmeg
Base notes: Vetiver, Oakmoss, Sandalwood, Vanilla

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