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In two of Roudnitska's late masterpieces, Diorella and Le parfum de Thérèse, the dominant motif - or the goal of his perfumery explorations was the famous over-ripe melon accord. And by the time he came to compose Dzongkha, Bertrand Duchaufour seemed to have already arrived at the rotting heart of Roudnitska's olfactosphere and established it as his Base Camp.

Dzongkha accepts the premise, or the promise, of rotten fruit, but then, like all great students, Duchaufour does his damnest to outstrip the master. In his hands Roudnitska's melon becomes a piquant, over-ripe abstract fruit based on [green] lychee and pear. And this he exalts into a sweet-and-sour luminous cloud, like some burnt offering to a fierce animist god.

Fierce because the sweet and sour fruit has been dressed with incense, cedar, woody ambers, musks, vetiver and [green] leather, and this takes the profile far from any territory Roudnitska occupied. And the goal of Duchaufour's expedition? To link up the ghost of Diorella's rotting melon with the kind of dark leathery bitterness found in Or Black.

This is not an easy scent, it's not meant to be. It's a fascinating scent. And being a collaboration between one of the greatest avant-garde perfumers of the day and a (still at the time) independent fragrance publisher, it shouldn't have been any thing less.

Updated 15th July 2019 at 04:56 PM by Wild Gardener




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