The most unusual perfumes are ones that have a strongly familiar scent. The sneaky, abstract nature of the human brain often mystifies the identity or the cause for the familiarity of a scent. Yet. it cannot conceal the fact that when it does that, when a new scent has a matching vibration to a significant scent from a different point in space in time – a person might suddenly move to different realm.
True, this does not happen with a flash of blue lightening a-la Quantum Leap. Rather, it happens gradually and gently, like melting through a gauze screen. First – my nose started sniffing ahead of my body, than my heart and lungs were filled with joy, my skin felt a familiar, pleasant shiver, and finally - my eyes became blurry and I sensed that I am no longer in the room (or wherever I was at the moment, it didn’t matter anymore): I suddenly found myself sitting on the mountain above my house in my home village, in a warm, sunny winter day under a bright azure skies, and surrounded by blood-red arbutus trees, striving oaks, velvety sages, Dam Hamacabbim (droplet-of-blood-shaped-blossoms of Helichrysum Sanguineum), and rockroses in full bloom.
That is what happened to me when I spritzed on some 100% Love, expecting chocolate and roses floating on water – and discovered none other than my favourite note of all times. No, it’s not rose. It’s Rockrose. Better known as Labdanum. Labdanum is simply the richest, roundest, most interesting note there is. A perfumer should not be biased, and should love all notes equally. And I do practice this when I design and create my perfumes. But I am also a woman who has her own personal preferences. It’s been well known to me for quite some time, that if I will ever need to pick only one note to wear for the rest of my life, I will choose without a moment of hesitation to grow old with Labdanum. It is many things at once, and I love it’s complexity, richness and depth: resinous, ambery, incensey, earthy, sweet, leathery, dark, sultry and reminiscent of dry blood, and despite the fact that it does NOT come from the pretty, wild-rose-like flowers, which by the way possess very little scent - but rather from the resin that covers the branches, leaves and twigs, boiled in water and than distilled into an absolute.
After a blind date with this unusual beauty (thank you, Victoria!), which was extended into three days now, I am quite in love with…100% Love.
It opens with roses and a backdrop of caramely chocolate – dark but sweet. But very quickly you will realize that neither rose nor chocolate are the real heroes of love here. The labdanum pervades the composition for hours, and since it is such a complex scent, it is perfect that way. After about 6 hours, a lovely, subtle musk note crawls out of its satin bed, with a comfortable sexy yawn, and invites you to join in. If you stay long enough Vetiver may join in as well – a very quiet, dry Vetiver, woody and almost unnoticeable.
If you expected this to be a bouquet of roses (or rather - a bottle of YSL Paris or Bvlgari pour Femme or Tresor) accompanied with a heart-shaped box of fine chocolates, you may be disappointed. This is quite an unusual Sophia Grojsman composition – though it is Grojsman in the sense that it is simple and pared down to the essential elements – while maintaining a bold, sensual and unusual statement. Despite the minimalism in notes, this is a very rich, down to earth, and I believe full of natural essences. The rose smells like rose absolute and rose otto (as opposed to a synthetic rose compound, or, if you will, damanscones). The chocolate smells like the pure cocoa absolute. And I think I already talked enough about the labdanum. The musk at the end is the only synthetic smelling note, and it makes for an interesting underlining accent for the rest of the notes. It’s a perfume – not a bouquet of roses and a box of chocolates. To me, this is Sophia Grojsman at her best.
Heart notes: Rose Absolute, Cocoa absolute, Labdanum
Base notes: Labdanum, Musk, Vetiver