Cardamom & Black Pepper Pure J.Ess™, Nutmeg Essence
Milk accord, Rose, Maté Absolute
Cedar Essence, Labdanum Resin, Leather, Amber wood
When travelling through India one is confronted with the jewels of Nature and recurring moments of beauty that touch the Divine. (Our recent London experiences of smog are long forgotten as we barter for silks.)
Our mountain train’s arrival into Bombay was greeted by an explosion of sound that dazzled our reverie and shook us awake. Vivid colourful saris, Paithani, swirl all around, and to complete the sensory overload, before long there is the welcoming smell of spicy hot tea! Added to it, as tradition dictates, an agreeable explosion of spice (cardamom, nutmeg and pepper - the fragrant holy trinity). The soothing aspect of a silky, milky rose, serves as a rousing caress. Soon there is the famed cedar from Himachal Pradesh that blends with the smell of leather trunks. Because travel has always been the greatest feat of independence. And to best capture the feeling of our faithful companion, the sun - bountiful, low and full - rich amber infuses and illuminates the end of the day.
I visited the Canary Wharf boutique to purchase Halfeti, but was especially intrigued to try out both Agarbathi and Paithani after reading about them on the website.
Of the two, I personally prefer Paithani from top notes down to the dry down. Initially, all I could smell was cardamom and warming spices - one of my favourite scents. It was almost reminiscent of Cartier's Declaration, but without the brash cumin note. For this reason I was hesitant to go for it over my beloved Halfeti, which I find more complex and interesting. I had wanted to go away and come back in ten minutes or so, but was being pestered by my fidgety sister.
It was only after I left the shop that the spices gave way to an interesting mix of resinous labdanum made plummy with heady rose, and the camphoraceous freshness of cedar.
I found this period of the scent's development a little harsh on my skin, but as the day went on and even after I washed my hands many times, everything had mellowed to perfection by the evening.
There was still the distinct fragrance of cardamom, but now it was more like the freshly opened green pod thanks to the cedar. The roe still lent its sweetness to the overall dry down of comforting leather and warm resins.
Although Agarbathi has been labelled the men's fragrance of the two, I found it much sweeter, almost acrid, yet floral and vibrant, even once it had completely settled. Paithani, on the other hand, smelled more like my actual skin like my cardamom teas every morning, like the amber rose incense I burn throughout the day, like the leather jacket I'm always seen in.
This fragrance is nect on my list.... more
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