My family owned and operated a restaurant named "Bosfor" that was located right on the Bosphorus for over 50 years. Standing upon round blocks buried deep into the sea, it was surrounded by water on three sides, had a splendid view of the canal, the dark blue waves that rose and splashed against its windows, and the glorious sunsets of the Marmara Sea that conjured images of pure magic when I was growing up. My mom says that countless folks including many international celebrities over the years have patronized our restaurant and enjoyed our delicious food. It was eventually demolished by the merciless local government due to refurbishment of the old western side of the city. To me however, the Bosphorus and that restaurant will always have an irreplaceable place in my heart. Besides the standard steak, chicken, and seafood dishes that come out of most professional kitchens, we also served traditional deserts that my parents said many people came from all over the world specifically to sample. One of them was our famous, fresh made lokum, which our pastry chef made with a secret ingredient he never shared with anyone, not even my parents! I remember it being so much different than any of the lokums that you could buy in the stores. Though it was thick and chewy to the point sticking to your teeth, it made up for that little inconvenience by hitting your tongue with the right amount of sweet & savory that was to die for.
Traversée du Bosphore captures that lokum of my childhood perfectly. The hint of a pink flower, the powder, and the gel-like consistency... The pure creative genius of Bertrand Duchaufour is evident when you look at the notes pyramid and notice that instead of the traditional rose + vanilla + heliotrope to form the powdery notes, he took an unconventional route by combining iris and pink fruity notes to capture the flavor of a powdery confection. The leather, I believe, was added here to reflect the rubbery quality of lokum rather than to make a statement of virile sensuality. It was a most fruitful choice, because of all the lokum fragrances I've ever tried, this composition is the only one that gave me that impression so accurately. Lasting power is around 8 hours on my skin. Although in no way could this be described as a skin scent, the sillage is fairly close throughout its lifespan. I can only picture Mr. Duchaufour taking a bite out of a piece of lokum when he was traveling through Istanbul and being moved enough to want to go straight back to his laboratory to recreate that delicious sensation. Well, they don’t call them “Turkish Delight” for nothing! :) I recommend this fragrance not only because it is an exemplary mature gourmand, but also for the travel-lovers out there who might just be vicariously transported to the same time and place of my childhood and that of the nose behind it.
Mr. Duchaufour: Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for helping me relive my memories with this precious elixir.