The opening accord comes along with roaring sillage. Spiced wood, wrapped up in a distinct, austere and leathery saffron, make for a dark and deep impression. A ubiquitous, self-assured entry, neither shrill nor pungent yet intriguingly odd due to a medicinal side to it. The latter is rather complex and reminiscent of a damp, leaf-covered forest floor, which emanates from the background. At the same time it strikes me as fruity, somewhat sweet and lush. It goes nicely with the resins and spiced wood that are to the fore. This profound yet refined blend I find gorgeously opulent and appealing.
Eutopie does not explicitly follow the oud-hype with this composition. Instead, perfumer Prakash Narayanan cleverly turned to bakhour, the Arabic name of scented wood chips, I have learned, mainly agarwood, soaked in fragrant oils and mixed with other ingredients such as resin, ambergris, musk and sandalwood. This scented potpourri is burned in charcoal or incense burners to perfume home and clothing with the fragrant and rich smoke on special occasions.
No. 2 is less oud-centric than e.g. Xerjoff's Gao and the comparison ends with the addition of a mellifluous but restrained tobacco note. Progressing into a sleek, harmonious heart, the rose adds tenderness. The flower continues to reveal more facets, featuring fruitiness and seizes on the spicy aspect but stays silken and delicate. The fragrance never loses its iridescent introductory note, which settled down in the elegantly fused, seamless formation. The deliberate Arabic borrowing sets it apart from fragrances such as Czech and Speake's Dark Rose, which is similar but less daring. Into the dry down a honeyed whiff I ascribe to the musk, rounds everything off.
The combination of rose, saffron and 'bakhour' may not be off the beaten track but that does not necessarily make it uninspired – quite the contrary, this take on the theme is captivating, forging a ravishing bridge from wanton melodramatics to polished grace.
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