The final two of the 6 fragrances from The Exotic Island Perfumer I have 5ml roll ons of all of these so have lived with them for ages now – truly one of the best lines I’ve discovered this year, I really love them.
Waters Of Aswan reminds me of a fragrant balsamic vinegar on opening, it is almost a savoury gourmand – leafy greens drenched in water, a salad-dressing like tartness with a subtle lactonic quality. There’s strong hints of citrus fruits, apples, pears, even a hint of peach, a fruity water with a truly luminous presence on the skin. It smells both thin and light, whilst being complex with actual density to it.
The fruity water and leafy greens (to put it bluntly), is joined by a white floral accord dominated by jasmine, and a listed blue lotus. I always struggle picking up blue lotus but have adored it every time I have smelt it dominating… like it is here. It seems to be one of the few floral notes that I forget exists until I get my nose on it. Here, its scent isn’t what I’m usually familiar with (an almost aquatic, blue-tinted gardenia smell)… but having said that, it has a similar scent to the gardenia accord in TEIP’s Gardenia Exuberante… including that hint of green fig leaf. This aquatic-laden fruity floral lacks any additional sweetness, it also loses the acidic bite of the opening, but is kept interesting by hints of spice, ginger? mace? floral spice? I’m not sure.
The base is rich in more bitter greenery and musk. There’s a subtle, salty earth scent, again, drenched in a fresh water accord, lightened by the remaining hints of fruit, lotus and jasmine. It’s a beautiful piece of work: subtle, exceptionally elegant, and a spring/summer staple – truly outstanding.
Santal Exotique is without a doubt one of the greatest sandalwood-dominated fragrances I’ve smelt. It is a spice-basket of a sandalwood, riddled with gingerbread, cinnamon, hot frothy milk, an abrasive pepper note and a blanket of dry woods. There’s frankincense, rich vanilla, tonka bean, whiffs of burnt butter… remaining bitter and true to it’s core (of sandalwood) enough so that it never falls into all-out gourmand territory. It is much “fuller” and more crowded than any of the Lutens’ interpretations of sandalwood, and falls more into the Untitled #2 by Magnetic Scent side… with a similar “chai tea latte” vibe… although without the lashings of candied sweetness, overly heavy lactonics and the uncomfortable “murray mint”-vibe (don’t get me wrong I really like Untitled #2!).
It is undoubtedly a Christmas-y sandalwood. A festive scent, that I’d hate to hear anyone describe as “Yankee-candle-like” which I could see happening. Sure, all the spices and food-y aspects are there, but without the hideous plastic-y, high-pitched screech that goes with that. It lasts forever in a richly spiced layer of dry, butter-y wood with an amber-heavy base, rich in a perfect vanilla and frankincense. It is plush, a gorgeous exploration sandalwood that is so comfortable on the skin it literally makes me melt. A joy to wear.
Available from The Exotic Island Perfumer’s Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ExoticIslandAromas