A few days ago, I could feel the spring in the air, the sun was shining from a clear blue sky, birds were singing, bees were out to gather the first nectar of the year, and I was just about to pack away my winter coat and share with you the lovely photos to proof all this in a spring greetings post. Alas, today as it should be officially spring time, it’s snowing!
So, somewhat randomly three different ‘shared’ scents were sat on my desk. They have quite a few traits in common, being cosy scents to suit the weather, rather than the season, and each also has a nice sense of heritage from their origin; England, Italy and Sweden.
The Odd Fellow’s Bouquet by Atkinson’s is meant to evoke the fragrant image of “the return of Lawrence of Arabia to the fireside luxuries of London’s most storied gentleman’s club”. The Odd Fellow’s Bouquet (OFB) has the signatures of an oriental fragrance, there’s the amber base of vanilla and resins, quite a substantial heliotrope at the heart which melds powdery cherry sweetness with the haze of hookah tobacco smoke. Up top is a sharpness of pepper and ginger, exactly enough to justify its suitability for gentlemen as well as ladies. At times I could swear I also get something herbal, sharp in the opening which isn’t the ginger or pepper, and which I like for that tiny bit of an edge. For a real touch of gentlemen’s club they should probably have added a bit of old well-worn leather armchair, stiff white collars, and perhaps a glass of whiskey with that. But for the cold, grey, snowy afternoon, and my minds imagery of cosy fireplace, cashmere houndtooths shawls and the scent of gentlemanly boyfriend sweater, this one hits the mark.
The Italian version oddly has the English joke. Xerjoff’s Bouquet Ideale doesn’t hold a single flower (, that’s unless we count the tobacco flowers). It’s a bouquet in which the main ‘blossoms’ are called resin, wood and spice. Now, alone for that joke I have to love it. You can see that Italian Signor trying to sell you Bouquet Ideale, saying ‘oh, Signor/-a, but I have all the right flowers for you here, prego’ accompanied by a flirtatious smile. Worried customer, afraid of florals doesn’t dare to resist, and smiles with great relief upon smelling the bouquet unfolding. Honeyed resins, with that glowing balance between amber coloured sweet and chewy dark tangy. Here the tobacco adds that piquant aftertaste which honey can have, rather than accentuating its sweetness as it is done in OFB. It’s a dusty and rich oriental full of resiny goodness, knocking on the door of Gourmand. It’s a linear fragrance, but in that generous Italian way where linear is good, because it keeps you smelling ‘ideal’.
Whereas both OFB and BI have that recognizable oriental feel, Swedish brand Agonist’s The Infidels is the contemporary cool version… Even if the notes make you think you are in for a similarly classic oriental, in fact this one has ‘new niche’ written all over it. It starts off, almost mandatory with pink pepper and lemon, then slowly myrrh and patchouli mixes in and makes for a smoky vibe, but in a grey mist incense stick kind of way, rather than the tobacco of the other two perfumes. The delicate sweetness of the ambery dry down stays chill, and feels grey rather than amber coloured. And like ashes rather than embers, the sillage is minimal like the style of the perfume. There’s something bone-dry almost drained about The infidels, like those Scandinavian homes kept all black, white and perfect . For me this is a scandi-cool fragrance; urban hipster male with his e-cigarette.
Notes for The Odd Fellow’s Bouquet; heliotrope, tobacco, ginger, pepper, benzoin and labdanum.
Notes for Bouquet Ideale; Top notes are nutmeg and cinnamon; middle notes are sandalwood, guaiac wood, virginia cedar and papyrus; base notes are musk, french labdanum, vanille, coumarin and tobacco blossom.
Notes for The Infidels; Pink Pepper Corn, Sicilian Lemon, Cloves, Indian Davana and Elemi, May Rose, Turkish Rose, Sambac Jasmine, Egyptian Jasmine, Burmese Magnolia, Iris, Comoros Ylang Ylang, Somali Myrrh, Opoponax, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Cistus, Peruvian Balm, Lebanese Cedarwood, Virginia Cedarwood, Indian Amber, Bourbon Vanilla
Feat pic is mine, three interior photos are from unknow (pinterest) sources. Samples as well as fragrances either from dear friends or bought.