Indigo starts with a hit of rose that wouldn’t seem out-of-place paired next to an upcoming oud – but it doesn’t happen… instead a bitter herbal, resinous aroma that I honestly struggle to place comes in. I get a hit of tart green pine, an overtly sour citrus that doesn’t seem too far from yuzu, and a gingery…earthy…vegetal scent that I’m guessing is the angelica? It’s a truly fabulous combination of complicated notes that I’ve rarely sniffed.
What comes next scares me a little – and I initially jotted it down as “costus and castoreum” – that sweaty smell of hair and dirty skin as used in Oud 27. After a quick chat with the perfumer – he told me it is merely the hyacinth note. Now, I have hyacinth’s at home but have never given them a true sniff, but this extracted note – is a hell of a thing. It’s a dirty, soiled, vegetal note - an intense, piercingly sharp floral that is hard to pin down, but desperately uncomfortable. Is it swampy? Is it narcotic? Hell knows, it’s extremely dark and mysterious – it’s like sniffing a clean floral through a pungent fog. I love this smell. The rose from the opening is cleaner, a tea rose I think, and paired with this hyacinth just about rounds it out into something wearable, challenging and beautiful.
The contrast of textures in the heart is awesome. There’s still a sour accord going on, a gummy texture from the mastic, the soiled animalic hyacinth, clean tea rose, the remains of bitter herbs that brings to mind dill and an almost carrot-y angelica. Cedar wood is the first note that begins to break through the heart from the base – bone dry and almost charred, bringing with it a subtle incense smoke and a vegetal musk. A mineralic, flinty aroma darts in and out of focus, adding potent metallic elements throughout Indigo. The great thing about Indigo is that it is not at all sweet, in fact, it’s completely bitter. The bizarre juiciness adds a mouthwatering quality but the unapologetic bitter notes completely contrast to it, slapping you across the face when you try to hunt for something more conventional in there! It’s a brutal rose fragrance – and that is what I’d classify it as, because whilst there is so much more going on – and often leading – the rose ties all these notes together and is the only thread keeping Indigo together. It isn’t a seamless fragrance, but that’s why it is so good!
As it finally begins to drydown, the cedar/incense combo leads, with a hint of heavily resinous amber underneath. There’s still metallic elements, the occasional flash of sour fruit, the tea rose (the only thing remotely perfume-y in Indigo), and a mysterious animalic undercurrent. It smells just as complicated as it is to describe and it’s a relief when the drydown comes so you can finally get your ahead around it. Indigo is great fun to sniff, a challenging fragrance without a doubt, and one of the most creative compositions I’ve smelt in a good while – well done Magnetic Scent – brilliant work!
Indigo 50ml Magnetic Scent – 110 Euros http://www.magnetic-scent.com