A powerful blast of olibanum and patchouli greet my nose and hint of good things to come.
However, it practically stops where it begins. I get no spices whatsoever, just the pleasant scent of a Christian Easter service where the blended incense smoke fills both the church and your lungs…or…as someone else here so aptly put it…a sawmill.
There may be some myrrh here, as in all good incense blends, since it does round out with a new warmth, which takes over from the sharp opening about fifteen minutes into the experience. The sawmill experience may be due to cedar or cypress oils.
I get no oakmoss as Turin states in his two word summary, "resinous oakmoss."
All in all, a pleasant incense scent, but rather linear for me and not outstanding or complex, as say Etro's Messe de Minuit.
A blast of pines and hesperidic notes in the opening, fresh and balsamic at the same time as only terpenes could be. This forest on the slopes of Hindu Kush is sun kissed- though high and, hence, cool-rather than misty or shady. The resins glisten and melt into a perfect blend of spices- none particularly prominent but all together conveying a green, peppery, resinous feel.
Under this coniferous top a thick, cooler bed of moss lies, slightly bitter, reinforced with a dark, earthy patchouli. The heart and base of HK play around a rich incense note that stands out among the signature resins blend of AbdesSalaam Attar fragrances.
A superb fragrance, rather simple in its composition yet rich, complex and profoundly meditative. One of the best scents on the forest theme, in my opinion, definitely one of the most beloved in my own wardrobe. Totally unisex, with good projection and lasting power.
Hindu Kush, namely a bit Coze 02, an "hint" chypre classicism, a "touch" Profumum Arso and a tad Cuoio Tartaro and Muschio di Quercia, is a mystical and mossy-luxurious Dubrana's performance surrounded by resinous patterns, rich spices, earthy nuances and oriental elements. I detect by soon sweet spices, ginger and pepper in notable amount in a while joined by barely resinous mild frankincense, oily hesperides, seasoned woods and smoky oakmoss. There is a really musky/grassy aura all around but the aroma is basically musky/animalic, spicy/resinous, smokey, earthy and mossy (in a classically chypre spicy-rooty way). Probably cloves and nutmeg are included in the blend while the note of incense is smokey and possibly rounded by sweet spices, musks, a whiff of balsams and hints of tobacco. The more the aroma evolves the more a sort of musky greenness appears with minimal hints of grass, resins (mild and perfumed), leather and camphor. The pepper (as joined by prickly spices - saffron, cumin?) is in my opinion dominant till the end. Probably a minimal hint of vetiver and amber is appointed along the base. The note of dry frankincense is magistrally appointed. I see the association with the experience of taking a walk in an indian market with the aroma of spices merging with the incensey smoke exhaling by the open doors of temples. Anyway Indu Kush is basically the aroma of the untouched high mountain (green, cool, somewhere steamy), fierce and appalling but is at once able to perform a final (completely opposite and highly "civilized") sort of baroque/decadent high class vibe. Another spicy/carnal performance by Monsieur Dominique Dubrana.
15th May, 2014 (last edited: 28th April, 2015)
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"Hindu Kush" is one of the most aptly named perfumes I have ever come across. It smells exactly like the Hindu Kush-mountains look like: Very sparse, stony, airy and cold, with some woods underneath the mountains. I can even smell the wind blowing! There is just a little coziness in it, like sitting by a small campfire and trying to catch at least a little bit of warmth. Together with the somewhat mysterious "Mecca Balsam" is this my favourite perfume that I have sampled from the "Scents of the Soul"-line. Whereas "Mecca Balsam" is warm, uplifting and inviting, an indoor kind of smell, "Hindu Kush" is more grounded, rough and cold, an outdoor kind of smell, and I must admit that it's not always easy to wear 'cause it's so austere. Although the both perfumes are totally different, they share a certain quality that is able to put me in a meditative state of mind. Awesome stuff!
25th September, 2012 (last edited: 10th March, 2013)
Funny how I could smell the deep green mossy undertones within minutes of application. Beyond the aromatic spices and uplifting incense, HINDU KUSH shows surprising depth, with beguiling balsamic facets that put me in a meditative, even contemplative mood. Luca Turin hit the nail on the head when he described it as 'resinous oakmoss'.
Soothing, spiritual and uplifting.
My favorite fragrances have resinous woods and incense, and I'm loving this. 5 stars, full bottle worthy.
Others here are better at describing the notes as I'm new so I'll just comment experience wearing this - because wearing this is: an experience. It's the kind of scent I reach for when I'm in meditative or contemplative mood, or for when I want to feel calm and grounded. I have a little collection of calming resinous scents and this so far is my favorite go to of the bunch.
I've sample about 10 from this "house" and this and Hindu Kush so far are my favorite.
14th March, 2011 (last edited: 07th September, 2011)
This is the sort of fragrance that makes me think: "Ah! There you are." It revives memories of a time hen I wore patchoulis, musks, and sandalwoods, and when everyone burned incense. Yet it does not have that thick, earnest, linear, "head-shop" character.
The beauty of Hindu Kush for me is how it manages to be rich but dry, dry but cozy, cozy but airy, airy but assertive, assertive but graceful. As a result, it warms in the winter and cools in the summer.
The weather is very hot and humid now. A dry scent is just the ticket. Often the fragrances associated with summer (green and aquatic scents, especially) can be actually quite syrupy, and a bit clumsy. Not Hindu Kush. It defies gravity.
Hindu Kush is an appealing spicy Oriental fragrance and an all-natural frankincense perfume that anyone who likes incense ought to love. It starts with a conglomoration of exotic spices, both pungent and sweet, each appearing quickly at different intervals. The incense is high-quality and rich. At the base is a thick, deep labdanum--a dark amber--smelling of wood and, in combination with the spices, a bit smoky with subtle, maple nuances. Altogether, it creates a mystical, adventurous, rather sexy fragrance.
Quarry has written an absolutely fabulous commentary on Hindu Kush! For me, I get the initial blast of green - almost camphorous - which disappears almost as mysteriously as it came...yet somehow, it leaves a residual green that combines with dry woods and incense. Maybe because I'm sampling it during a 18 degree blustery winters' snow, it feels like the dry & cozy warmth of a small cabin whose only source of heat is a woodburner! I find this association quite charming. It's character reminds me somewhat of Juozas Statkevicius' fragrance, sans flowers. My personal preferences don't usually run in the direction of incense based fragrances, but I find myself intrigued and impressed!
My notion of new-sawn wood is vastly different from yours, I'm sure. I expect your experiences harken from freshly cut trees or home-improvement-center lumber or year-old firewood. Whereas the most impressionable wood from my life is much older, as are the buildings and furnishings that make up our home. Even as my dear husband renovates our house, he's using lumber harvested generations ago and stored through most of the 1900s by my frugal father. The green vapors have dissipated from this stuff; it is tightly grained, resin-sweet, and musty-dusty in a good way. To my mind, this kind of wood is the primary ingredient in Hindu Kush. Its creator talks of "taking a walk in an Indian market, where clouds of incense smoke escape through the open doors of temples to be mixed with the perfumes of the east, ginger, cumin, nutmeg and pepper." Not having any experiences like that, I associate HK's secondary accord to be like walking past the open door of a Penzeys Spices store--there's just that general melange of comforting scents--not firey, not sharp. And this, my friends, is the totality of Hindu Kush: simplicity, beauty, timelessness, and without gender. Unlike any other of the hundreds of bottled fragrances I've smelled, I want to draw in HK's scent deeply, like you would steam from a pungent soup or narcotic smoke. It feels like you should breath Hindu Kush, and I suppose at least part of that is due to its being composed of natural ingredients.
When I first sampled HK from a bottle with a reducer opening, I thought the scent faded away too quickly, but once I applied it from an atomizer and allowed the overspray to hit my cuffs, I was rewarded with hours and hours of aroma. Now, having gotten to know the scent over many days, I can find only one drawback to wearing it: I am too contented. Where other fragrances may make me kick up my heals or swoon or smile, Hindu Kush will let me settle and feel lazy, wistful. So it isn't a workday fragrance--at least not a workday where you actually want to get anything accomplished.
An interesting phenomenon arrived with this bottle: My husband asked to wear this fragrance, and asked again. So I've split the scent between us, and it's the only one we share in this way. Of course he forgets the name and calls it The Sawdust One. He's also fascinated by the hay scent sold by Profumo.it, while I think my favorite sample yet may be the Scents of the Soul Oak Moss.
To further sell you on sampling from this perfume house, know that it was the only natural perfume source Luca Turin included in The Guide, giving Hindu Kush four stars and labeling it "resinous oakmoss," the floor-wax-and-church-incense start of Mitsouko.