DamascenaDamascena's Perfume Reviews

06/01/2018
5 Awards
A sanctuary of fragrant darkness guarding the entrance to Akhenaton’s tomb.

An ancient armory inside gilded by dusty wooden shrines, with splintered spears and broken arrows carved out of the cultivated sickness of the sacred agar tree, their leathery tips still coated in the blackest of oily tars; wooden shields covered in cracked painted animal hides resting against the empty anthropoid coffins.

Scarab amulets of jade, gifts of bundled strands of fiery-golden saffron forgotten in broken canopian jars and skeletons of floral bouquets laying scattered amongst families of fossilised Egyptian Rousetti, with Isis and Nephthys watching the earthly cycle from above in patient humility.

Oud Ankaa, the rare phoenix of ouds, is a tour de force of perfume art and a lesson in contemplative darkness. Evocative, memorable and monumental yet its aura radiates calmly without fear. Comprised of aged Indian agarwood ornated with minimalistic influences of floral spices and animalic leathers Oud Ankaa is now as extinct as the oud oils that created it. Lucky is who owns her.


03/09/2018
7 Awards
This review is for Baleshare oil

At high tide intensely animalic and salty with a soft floral trail during its counter movement Baleshare is not a scent that one will get acquainted with best by simply repeatedly sniffing one’s wrist waiting to perceive nuances over several applications; at least not unless one were to be a seasoned whale whisperer. Any of Coronation Ambergris’ concoctions call for creativity and action. It has been simply fun to play around with Baleshare in general and the olfactorily adventurous are likely to find wonder, beauty and rich reward in its applicability and versatility. Following are some illustrations how things played out for this writer using Baleshare oil, which hopefully can turn into inspiration for some.

Worn on its own:

A cool oceanic breeze of coconut flesh and salty rocks warms your epidermis and will be noticeably perceived by your surroundings. You may miss the scent by focussing solely on the point of application. It curiously feels like catching up with one’s own shadow as you step forward thus catching a waft of what could be described as the thing closest to one’s truest scent. Jean-Baptiste Grenouille would have been astounded ;-)

There will be times when smelling ambergris naturally poses a challenge as most will find wearing this five percent solution to be an acquired taste. That is to be expected and is part of the natural learning curve regarding true ambergris (and animalics in general) for most of us.

Worn layered:

The ambergris amps up existing fragrances and kaleidoscopically brightens and brings to the fore deep notes and bundles them into an olfactory punch; it subsequently acts like a mirrorball: the patchouli of (vintage) Givenchy Gentleman becomes jaw droppingly complex and clear like watching Gold Rush in HD; Grossmith’s Hasu No Hana EdP exhibits deeper chocolatey and truffle effects and now has extended longevity; the assertiveness of Puredistance M matures into a floral zeal with added violet, lily of the valley and rose celebrating a hitherto unexperienced flair and playful panache so that it becomes impossible not to smile.

Baleshare is not just an acquisition, it is an invitation to fall in love with your fragrance wardrobe once more.



Thank you to the nose and co-owner for early access to the scent, insights and the ambergris master classes.

Quote in the header courtesy of Herman Melville, Moby Dick