A huge siren blare of a perfume – one could easily get lost in it. On your own head be it, if you use more than a single spray. It does drop in volume later on, but not for the first few hours.
A concentrated and jammily sweet Turkish rose is cleverly married to earthy, woody tones in such a way that allows the wearer to have their heavily iced cake and eat it, too. There is no attempt to recreate the rose scent as ‘fresh’, instead the opposite tendency is at play – this is a rose that is being aged and dirtied by the other notes and emerging the more mysterious for it.
At the start one gets that rose at full whack but also strong dark, musty woody notes bathed in an aura of terps – it has a solvent-like rush to it. Although impressed by the power and the attempted grab at glory, I did wonder at this early stage how much of this I could take. Would my poor nose give up and call it quits?
But as the notes began to settle, the solvent haze dissolved, and Trance’s true narcotic beauty came somewhat woozily into focus. First to reveal its hand is a truly complex labdanum, drily ambery, with overtones of aged leather. Along with the dark woods it teaches the roseate excess some manners, bringing it into more civilized company. And then comes a dank, wine cellar scent – likely the artemisia but without much by way of the herbal bitterness that I love. (The rose-artemisia pairing needs to be worked much more in perfumery – see MFK’s superlative Lumiere Noir PH for a very different take.) Here it imbues the rose with a liquerish aspect, but also gives it that subterranean feel evoked by the perfume’s name (which surely nods to Berlin’s trance-playing cavernous clubs). There are fleeting accents of fenugreek which blend surprisingly well.
What strikes me the most about Trance, is that it refuses to allow the heavy rose to muscle its way to the front, the woody, herbal, resinous aspects are an equal half, giving this creation a dark aura and a seedy decadence that will be just the thing for a grown-up audience.
It’s only after a full eight hours of wear that the balance shifts and Trance becomes a kissing cousin of Oud Satin Mood with the gourmand rose more evident. Heck, that’s still a great place to be ending up.