My Secret Thoughts Stash
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24 days ago - 11.11.2022
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Rituals... A Turkish Bath & Hammam in Istanbul

Have you ever been to a Rituals store? Pity! Yes, because entering one of their shops is like visiting a Turkish Bath & Hammam Spa in Marrakech or Istanbul. The soft lights, the display shelves, the relaxing colours, and the smells transport you to the ancestral rituals of Morocco. And so I let this temptation attract me, and I walked around the shop, browsing products to care for the body and perfume the home, until I found myself in front of the exhibitor of the perfume collection, the Iconic Collection as they call it. They display each essence with the only large 50ml size flanked by its colourful box and surrounded by 15ml travel-size mini bottles. That’s all? No, there is more.

Next to each perfume, there is a plate describing the olfactory family and three keynotes, and a small glass bell housing a disc of porous material, a sort of ceramic coin. The disc is used to spray the tester and savour the essence. I know that the verb to savour means to enjoy a food or drink by holding it in your mouth to taste it for a long time and make the sensation more pleasant, but the art of savouring the world with your nose is a unique and indescribable experience. That said, I went through all the tags one by one, focusing on the ones whose notes sounded good on my strings. Although at least five had caught my attention, only two of these were love at first sight. I’m talking about Oriental Essence - Elixir d'Orient / Eau d'OrientOriental Essence - Elixir d'Orient and Oriental Essence - Roi d'OrientOriental Essence - Roi d'Orient. Are you curious to know what sensations these fragrances give me? Read on and I’ll try to interpret them. But, before I dive into the fragrances, I want you to know that you can buy two travel-size items for just €25, which is perfect for testing before buying.

Roi d’Orient

The cologne keeps dusty, nutty, and smoky nuances besides the spicy and musky tones. Roi d’Orient unfurls with a blast of amber atmospheres. In the initial mix, I get an unexpected anise and liquorice vibe, which is stronger than the mentioned spicy white pepper. A feeble citrusy from the bergamot is present but does not make the opening too harsh.

It gets more and more powdery while approaching the heart. The cologne reveals nutty and rosy edges, with a nougat subtlety and sweet amber hints. The more it grows, the more I get the lipstick vibe of the iris, buttery and powdery. I guess the nose behind this cologne went heavy with the Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone molecule, but in a good way. That powdery edge lingers until the end of the perfume’s lifetime.

Finally, when the scent dries down, it turns a tinge sweet, with spicy and powdery coumarin from vanilla pods or tonka beans, another hidden note that is pretty clear in the output. Although the fragrance features musk at the base, I get more of the leathery facet, which I do not dislike at all.

If I have to match it with another renowned cologne, I would choose Valentino Uomo (2014) (Eau de Toilette)Valentino Uomo (2014) Eau de Toilette or Dior Homme Original (2011) (Eau de Toilette)Dior Homme Original (2011) Eau de Toilette, perhaps closer to the former. It is forceful and gentle at the same time. The robustness of its format makes Roi d’Orient suitable for fall and winter months, and better during evening and night out. It is so elegant, intriguing, and refined.

Eau d’Orient

To some extent, the scent is even darker than Roi d’Orient with aromatic, dry, resinous, spicy, and smoky subtleties. Eau d’Orient opens with a cold spicy pepper note, besides woody and damp grass hints. It is quite weird, likeable and unlikeable, polarising, with prominent gummy and waxy facets. I get the smell of a lit candle, or rather that of burnt wax, and the smoke that is created when it goes out.

Slowly, a dark floral accord exudes from the heart. It’s not the conventional bouquet, but something floral with dewy and smoky overtones. I imagine I am in a decadent garden. The air smells of damp grass in the early evening, during the autumn sunsets and just before nightfall; around me is a lot of white-edged Swedish ivy with its incense smell. Wow, what beautiful sensations this perfume gives me!

I get a resinous, mushy, and sweet benzoin-like aura when the fragrance dries. The waxiness is still present, even if it takes a back seat. I want to clarify that the smell of wax that I perceive is not that of the wax produced by bees, with its honeyed aroma. Instead, it is more similar to that of vegetable stearin waxes or paraffin minerals, like most of the candles we find on the market today.

No matter how hard I try, I cannot match this fragrance with another one more famous or known. This is more suited for an evening scent, so nice and cosy, and perfect in winter.

That’s all for now. I liked these two gems, and can’t wait to try the latest fragrance added to the collection, L'EssentielL'Essentiel.

I base my opinion and review on travel bottles I have owned since October 2022.


Last updated 16.11.2022 - 02:46 PM
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