The results of the judges are still trickling in so we’ll soon, VERY SOON, get the reveal: which perfumers are behind each of the, up to this point, numbered designs as well as where the ranking is. Of course, we all have our fingers crossed for our labors of love. One thing I do know at this point is that with such a diverse group of ‘patch test bunnies’ (aka judges) every perfume will find a lover; no one will be left behind. And I am happy to report that just after listing my three designs on the site one kind sampler of the three has emailed to say that she has not only found the patchouli project scent she desires but perhaps her ‘holy grail’ patchouli perfume. Of course, this makes me immensely happy. Her choice? Bodhisattva: my number 3 patchouli project perfume.
Bodhisattva was actually the very first concept that came after being asked to take part in the PLAP project. As I mentioned in an earlier post about ‘PLAP’, I was having Indian food and drinking a lassi and thinking about patchouli when the first hit came: the home of patchouli is India. And this lassi I’m drinking is sending me over the edge in swirls of creamy delicious glowing, orange-colored clouds. It’s sublime. I want to make a patchouli perfume that sails on clouds of divinity. It’s spiritual and yet earthly. Something or someone who has a foot in both worlds. Then the Thangka image popped into my head. Yes, like this: a patchouli perfume that smells like this *feels* to look at…exactly like what this image invokes. That was where it started… the lassi, the Thangka (Tibetan) and India. I chose nearly all the notes from traditional Ayurvedic / Indian perfumery and set out to create heavenly orange / red clouds swirling and billowing up with flowers that float down to rest on the soft earth of patchouli, sandalwood, incense and subtle spices. Oh yes, and a little sparkle in the very top note like a gleam from a knowing eye.
The resultant perfume is a subtlely fruity floriental patchouli. The fruity nuance is ‘plum-like’ and one of my favorite fruit notes to pair with patchouli. (Did I mention that there are many perfume ‘precedents’ for the use of patchouli with plum? and also peach? Many great perfumes contain this ‘dialogue’ between these two notes. It was especially popular in the late ’70’s through the ’90’s. Magie Noir by Lancome, Poison by Dior, Nahema by Guerlain, and Feminite du Bois by Shiseido / Lutens all contain this juxtaposition to great effect). The heart is redolent of champaca, orange blossom and centifolia with the base of the spiced wood and incense. It has a creamy luminousness and a deep spiritual quality in the drydown while maintaining the theme of patchouli very well. I also like to think it’s a graceful patchouli walking softly.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I personally love all three of my very different patchouli progeny.