While we hate to feed into the fetishization of raw materials, it’s impossible to deny that the scent of orris root is one of perfumery’s most fascinating. Harvested from the roots of iris flowers (Iris Pallida to be exact) after they’ve grown for three years, with a further three years required for the roots to dry, orris root is one of perfumery’s most expensive ingredients with prices ranging from from €12,000 to €50,000 per kilo.
Orris based fragrances are so compelling because orris is such a shapeshifter. It can give the impression of everything from silvery ghost carrots to Ancien Regime powdered luxury, and it’s used in perfumery from everything to the most romantic violet bouquets to creamy sandalwoods.
Bukhara is an intelligent spin on orris because it bridges two parallels. Its initial sprays play into orris root’s earthy richness and vegetable undertones; however, as the scent develops it takes on a misty, silken quality. And while Bukhara is an unmistakable orris fragrance, there’s a host of background players exaggerating the lines and keeping interest.
Composed by Ralf Schwieger, one of the industry’s most intelligent noses. Schwieger has a really interesting body of work. He's made blockbuster hits such as Lipstick Rose for Frederic Malle, Hermes’s Eau des Merveilles and Womanity for Thierry Mugler. But he's also made underground, cult hits with independent brands like Charenton Macerations.
Bukhara is a Finalist for the Fragrance Foundation's 2021 Award for Perfume Extraordinaire.
Tokyo is another story of incense taken outside the familiar church territory we’ve all probably smelled before. It’s a full-circle exploration of humid back streets leading to a sun dappled forest bath while chasing a tail of elusive smoke.
A fragrant mash-up of the ancient and modern. Istanbul tips its hat to the big ambery perfumes of the early 20th century, but revamps them to fit into a 21st century modern lifestyle. Warm, viscous resins in a gentle whirl of lighthearted aromatics. Your jumper’s going to smell so good.
In recent years, the unfortunate fruity floral has become much maligned as a run-of-the-mill department store beauty counter staple. Tel Aviv feels like a bit of a reclaim of this genre. It’s cheerful and happy-go-lucky. As easy to wear as really comfortable flats that were definitely expensive.