Bull’s Blood yet again opens with that briney blast of black olive – a bitter herbal accord that brings to mind numerous fragrances by O’Driu - only here it is at a much more approachable intensity. I love it! Considering this same note was in Violet Disguise, I’m guessing there’s some plum in this one too. Quickly uprises a heated cinnamon, violently bitter and dusty - with something animalic lurking underneath it. The olives burn off and the cinnamon is left mingled with a sharp, slightly metallic patchouli and the bunch of dirty musks underneath.
Bull’s Blood, even from the opening, manages to stay relatively light on the skin, despite the intensity of all these pungent ingredients, something which I’m really grateful for – it’s construction and presentation is polite but it’s personality is bitter and twisted.
A faint rose in the background contrasts with the spice, earth and musk as it’s clean and calm, almost like a tea rose – completely buried neck-deep in a thick grease of soiling ingredients. The clarity of the note becomes clearer as you begin to recognize it and makes Bull’s Blood far more approachable each time your pull your nose in.
A smooth, sweet note that has the “breathy” quality that turns me off in so many fragrances adds a density underneath, that means it’s either vanilla, amber, myrrh or costus. My guess is all minus the myrrh, although I do get a sharp incense note in this - intermingled with the patchouli to create the metallic knife-edge through this. The rose, mystery plum, incense and patchouli brings to mind Voleur De Roses by L’Artisan Parfumeur – however the cinnamon, musk and resinous base give it a new direction (and a more solid one). The cinnamon from the opening looses a lot of weight until it is a more transparent, but still potent, heated spice laying a deep red sheen over Bull’s Blood.
As the fragrance dries down, the smokiness becomes more fragrant – tobacco. The animalic presence is lighter but still unclean due to the costus more than anything, and the patchouli/rose combo is sharp and balanced – the drydown seems amber dominated with a hint of smoke and some fecal musk. The contrast of red hues, metallic notes, the sweet but dirty resins and musk fit perfectly with the name of the fragrance, and I can’t help but think of blood and meat when I smell this – but obviously far more fragrant than literally!!
Bull’s Blood is not my favourite in the line, but my guess is it will be the most successful, it is the Oud27 of the Imaginary Authors house. A really great fragrance – filthy but light, a contrast of textures, spice, florals, musk and earth (and a tiny bit of oud in the base?). The perfumer’s signature is strong in the drydown – but is something I can’t put my finger on, it’s just… smooth. Keep your eyes and nose out for this one!
Bull’s Blood 60ml EDP Imaginary Authors – $89 www.imaginaryauthors.com