Oud fragrances have become so ubiquitous they’ve almost become a genre unto themselves. A lot of them are followed by words like “extreme”, “noir” or “intense” (sometimes all three at once) and are so loud they announce your arrival while you’re still miles away.
Badawi is an oud that isn’t an oud. It’s made with Gahrau Buaya, which has come to be known as white oud. It’s harvested from an entirely different species of tree. But Badawi utilises a clever roster of smells to create a trajectory of aromas you’d find in oud. A cool, piney whir of cardamom and sweet, tea-like smell of davana lend a cool richness to earthy woods dripping with immortelle’s honeyed sweat.
Medullary-ray takes sandalwood to a Mediterranean countryside. A fresco of gilded flowers, saccharine red fruits and lazily harvested Tuscan fruits in an olfactory encounter with crafted woods, dry grasses and balsamic resins.
Fig leaf, Cardamom, Olive, Juniper
Frankincense, Orris Butter, Rose Absolute, Pomegranate
"With Nectary we wanted to create a surreal and untamed garden... for the skin. A garden where the flowers were in brilliant technicolour, 6ft high flowerheads, scythe-like thorns, huge elephant-ear-like rubbery leaves, gigantic terracotta pots and a really 'close' atmosphere. As such, we wanted to push each of the facets a little so as to try to translate this narrative. The animalics are a key structural component as they give an alluring diffusion that seems to undulate, shimmer and radiate.”
“The oud acts a bit like glue - binding each of the sensations that almost seem to be shattering and diffusing in negative directions, each repelling one another, the oud grounds this aromatic 'polarity'. Focussing on the oud for a moment, we wanted to add texture here too, not that real oud require doing so, but we wanted to exaggerate the inherent minerality of the oud that we use in Nectary.” Euan McCall, Jorum Studio.
I mean, it really doesn’t get much better than when it comes from the perfumer himself, does it?
Wearing a perfume like Nectary is one of those olfactory encounters that takes things to the next level. This is fragrance beyond scent as an accessory. Nectary has Presence (capital P required). We retired Malle’s Portrait of a Lady for this one.
The day you'll encounter in Playalinda is dreamy, witnessed through the haze of memory. It leads with hyper realistic, sun-warmed peach rendered through generous doses of osmanthus and full-bodied jasmine sambac. Also featured is the dirty-hair aspect of ambrette seed undergirded by familiar, grounding patchouli and vetiver. A gentle touch of sulfuric white grapefruit affords the composition a deeply human smell of skin bronzed and kissed with sweat under the day's hot sun.
And it's in Playalinda's musty base full of smoke, the inky heft of oakmoss and brine of fresh seaweed washing ashore. The glorious yet underutilized choya nakh, made from crushed and toasted seashells, reinforces Playalinda's dreamy memoryscape by the sea.
The real Playalinda is a nude beach sat on immaculate and pristine land's end. Among its many charms is a paradox: it is so untouched by modern development, yet so close to some of the most advanced technology on earth—rocket launchpads—that it seems to exist independent of time.
Live Copper Wire,Ambrette Seed, White Grapefruit, Suntanned Skin
Spite Eau de Parfum is not an intense variation of Spite Eau de Toilette, but rather a new adaptation and a different fragrance altogether and the second installment in a broader, ongoing series of work exploring the many facets of spiteful urges and their consequences, as well as the situations within which they manifest.
The narrative informing the composition of Spite brings together four spiteful spirits from history, literature and Greek mythology. Every note you might discover in the perfume’s trajectory relates back to these characters - Shakespeare’s Viola, Oscar Wilde, Mary Magdalene and Cynara from Greek Mythology.
The exploration of green notes in Spite EdP have no sylvan freshness or diaphanous fairy wings. They’re all sepia-toned, withered and thorny. Accompanied by a scorn of cold, bloodless floral notes and earthy vegetation which surrounds a surprisingly soft centre that you only catch the briefest flashes of.
Pimento Berry, Plai, Peony, French Lavender, White Rose of York, Bourbon Rose, Guava, Red Thyme
Rose Vine & Thorn, Tuberose, Green Carnation, Molle Jasmine, Nasturtium, Artichoke, Iranian Galbanum
Chrysanthemum, Ruh Khus, Spikenard, Crystalline Rose Otto, Green Sacra Frankincense, Hawaiian Sandalwood
An olfactory temper tantrum built around a collision of a leather and scalded sugar, ashy orris root and smouldered violets. Spite is the result of perfumer Carter Weeks-Maddox’s frustrations in attempting to compose a classically styled rose that was taking itself too seriously.
So many perfumes want to dance around all of the light and fluffy feelings and emotions. This one is a reminder that sometimes it’s okay to throw your toys, and you might as well have a scent to go with it.
Christophe Laudamiel, the world’s foremost Master Perfumer, described Carter’s work as, “what a feat”, which is incredibly high praise for a perfumer just dipping his toes into the water. Definitely one to keep your nose on!