"And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not" (John 1:5)
Pink Lotus by Aftelier is a study of pink lotus absolute – a difficult material to work with, on several levels: first of all, it has a dark bright orange colour that likes to leave stains behind. That aside, it is difficult to describe its odour profile. It’s not at all what you’d expect from a water flower. It’s complex, heavy, murky even; fading into a non-descript heavy powdery oblivion that can either suffocate or disappoint.
What this perfume does is highlight this floral absolute's qualities. Instead of pretending to be anything else, it expands on the darker qualities of pink lotus, without making it any more “pink” in personality than wearing black mascara would do to make the lips appear redder.
Other complex florals help brighten the beginning of Pink Lotus, making it more palatable than it would have been on its own – jasmine, rose and ylang ylang, and also bright citrus notes of bitter orange and the floral nuances of bergamot, which nicely go with a hint of pepper. I'm also smelling a whisper of resin in the background - perhaps opoponax or myrrh. Although antique sandalwood is one of the main ingredients listed on the Aftelier website, I am not smelling it on my own skin.
But soon enough, oakmoss brings out the murky characteristics of this strange absolute, which points to the roots of this sacred plant – one that has its feet in the dirty, dark water of decay, and which transforms itself into a thing of beauty with a thousand petals.