To me, this seems to be a deconstruction and reconstruction of what I know as Rum. Rather than typical molasses and scummings, this seems to be liquor derived from the purest of sugarcane in which has been steeped Vietnamese Cinnamon, Madagascar Vanilla, and highest-quality Tobacco Leaves & Laurel. There is a wonderful greenness throughout, in the sense that everything feels very clean and organic, but of course there is also a fantastic herbaceousness and unctuousness that is definitely a house signature.
A golden (aurum) combination of laurel plus rhum (Laurhum indeed) for sure but i would equally place on the stage a starring mouldy cinnamon enveloping all the elements as this limited edition olfactory masterpiece is a real ode to the majestic note of cinnamon in the Perfumery. This artistic and evocative fragrance is almost impossibile to describe thoroughly in all its untold beauty. Rarely i inhaled something far similar in luxury to this heavenly potion, above all with regards to the top notes with all their concert of facets and nuances. Boozy, spicy and mouldy this is the juice of the men projected in winning the world through uncontaminated lands and scary oceans. Rare spices, ancient caribbean liqueurs, seasoned tobacco and aromatic plants of the far coasts (the laurel and the papyrus indeed) are magistrally combined in order to forecast the disclosure of a new unknown mysterious island. The cinnamon (or better the rhum seasoned in the woody barrels by toasted tobacco and spices) is heady and dominating. Everything is wrapped in a boozy and smoky atmosphere. Sweet citrus (the starting mandarine), fruity notes, woody-mouldy nuances and aromatic plants represent the botanic initial side of the juice while the balsams (an exotic vanilla) and some far in the memory ylang-ylang embody the exotic side of the moon. The citrusy laurel in the top notes (a reminiscence of the old woody distinguished nobiliar barber-shops lost in the memory of the the last century's first years) is characterizing with its aromatic-toilette kind-mentholated approach, notable in its connection with grapefruit, tart-green citrus, edible oil (kind of olive juice in the effects), fragrant tobacco and cinnamon. While the latter holds on stout till the end of the trip, the laurel progressively fades melted in the mouldy camphor and the aromatic tobacco. The central note of vanilla (as already specified an high quality silky-exotic vanilla) prepares at this point its rounding introdution, joining its compelling high quality richness with the cinnamon and the liqueur in order to create a refined boozy juice (as told sweet but never affected or yummy) that is anyway prevented (due to a more "material" dry down) to become too dense (despite its oily consistence), holding, on the contrary, to be a balanced XO seasoned dry distillate. The dry down indeed is a dark averagely bodied liqueur full of Art Deco', Liberty and vintage nuances of balsams, tobacco, ancient woods and moulds that is ideal in order to spend a classy and intellectual gala night in a luxurious ancient castle with Lords and Madames baroquelly dressed. Nobility of the perfumery.
Let's start from the name. A pretty brilliant combination of things: Laurhum ----> (L') Aurum (latin word for gold, hence the colour of the bottle). Laurhum is also Laurel + Rhum, which are two of the main elements of this composition. Here's the official list of notes: Amyris Balsamifera, Citrus Reticolata, Vanilla Planifolia, Citrus Aurantinum, Nicotiana Tabacum, Matricaria Chamomilla, Cangara Odorata, Laurus Nobilis, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum.
Now for the juice. The fragrance strikes as slightly simpler if compared to other deliveries from the house but don't expect anything minimalistic, transparent or light hearted. Laurhum is a bold, viscous/oily potion of extreme beauty and, just like most of the other deliveries by Mr.Pregoni, it needs some wearings to get warm to it. The opening is kinda brutal (as usual) with a blast of laurel juxtaposed to a green citrusy presence and god knows what else. A true to life cigar note breaks in right away and together with amyris add a salty, kinda urinous vibe. Intensely aromatic and sort of pungent in its literal reproduction of a cuban cigar factory and aged rum. Rough, extremely natural and...challenging.
Vanilla, the real star here, joins the party and provides, together with cinnamon, some sweetness. The fagrance takes form and morphes into an incredibly elegant and wearable masculine concoction of woody tobacco and top quality vanilla enriched by spices and laurel serving as perfect refinements. An overall boozy vibe preserves Laurhum from becoming overly sweet or affected while a moldy presence provides the typical O'Drił challenging twist.
Laurhum is a bespoke fragrance made for Campomarzio70 and released in very limted batches of 33 pieces each. For those who don't know, Campomarzio70 is possibly the best niche shop in Italy. In their three stores located in Rome they carry almost anything available on the niche market including all the main brands plus a huge selection of avant-garde offerings by extremely exclusive high-end houses and uber-niche firms. A mandatory stop for anyone visiting the city.
A (minor) word of caution: the juice is colored an intense dark yellow/green and stains paper and fabric almost as olive oil would.
Laurhum opens with a combination of a strong olive note mixed with cinnamon and nutmeg spiced orange, that while on first glance might seem odd, it actually works extremely well. Joining the top notes is a non-powdery semi-sweet vanilla peeping through from the heart notes. The vanilla which starts in a supporting role up top before growing into one of the co-stars of the scent has a strong resemblance to the high quality vanilla used in O'driu's own Leva. Laurel is the other co-star, and it emerges into a sublime "bay rum-like" accord mingling with the vanilla. Speaking of rum, I get a nice rum note that joins the heart notes as support for the starring laurel and spiced vanilla tandem. The base features a gorgeous tobacco leaf note, adding both further support for the scent and depth combining with a very subtle mould accord that does not come off as weird or off-putting at all, instead hanging well into the background creating an old-fashioned touch. Laurhum leans towards the sweet side of the spectrum from start to finish, but never veers too far into that territory where it could become cloying. Projection is average, and longevity is exceptional at well over 12 hours on skin.
Laurhum impressed early on and only continued to impress throughout. It is a bit less complex and more linear than some of the other O'driu offerings, with the vanilla and laurel as the co-stars nearly throughout, but using some killer quality supporting notes that work so well together and distinguish it. There is just a trace of the O'driu signature house spice in the opening notes with the olive, but Laurhum is a lot more accessible than most any of the other scents in the line. It is the kind of scent that a fragrance aficionado will want to wear for themselves to appreciate the skill and talent readily evident in its composition by rising star Angelo Orazio Pregoni, while at the same time feeling quite comfortable wearing it anywhere with pride and absolute pleasure. I find with every wearing I enjoy it just a bit more and discover hidden facets I missed with prior outings. The bottom line is Laurhum is truly excellent and full bottle worthy. 4 to 4.5 stars out of 5.
08th June, 2012 (last edited: 01st April, 2013)