The Search for Indentity

"In this business, we give our time and know-how to bring happiness." - perfumer Francis Kurkdjian for the Herald Tribune.

Read the rest of the article to find out more about l'Artisan Parfumeur's "Mon Numéro" line of single-edition perfumes by Bertrand Duchaufour, bespoke services by Cartier, Guerlain and Francis Kurkdjian.

Interestingly, they mention that some floral essences cost $5,000 per kilo ($146 per ounce). I can reassure you floral essences can cost far more than that. For example, Orange Blossom Absolute costs almost $400 per ounce; Genet (Broom) absolute costs over $500 per ounce; orris butter costs more than $700 per ounce; and the last time I checked, Boronia absolute was over $1,400 per ounce.

P.s. the above image is of a one-of-a-kind bottle, designed by Pascale Riberolles for L'Artisan Parfumeur's Mon Numéro.

Kyoto, Pagoto Kaimaki and Mastic

Mastic Pudding, originally uploaded by binnur.

In a deserted boulevard at night time in an Arab city, lit by neon street lights, a peculiar company of adults and children were lining up in search for a lost treasure: Gleeda Mastic. The chill of the dessert rolling on the tongue released a strange flavour, familir to the adults who longed for it for years on end; and a new, unforgettable experience to their youngsters who they dragged in their azure-blue Jeep in those streets one summer night in search for a childhood dream from an era long gone.

Comme des Garcons' Series 3: Incense is perhaps one of the most haunting of their entire collection. Amongst the heavily fumed smokes of Avignon and Zagorsk hides a little treasure of sheer light and icy pleasures – Kyoto.

Although it is said to be inspired by Japanese incense ceremonies (Kodo), and named after Japan’s ancient city that cultivates the Japanese traditions of ceremonial arts, Kyoto to me means one thing: “Gleeda Mastic”, meaning Mastic Ice Cream. In Greece this is called Pagoto Kaimaki. The same bush that I have raved about in my last post produces a fragrant gum, transparent pale yellow, brittle and fragile that can be readily powdered to flavour ice cream, puddings and sometimes accompany Sahleb.

Kyoto by Commes de Garcon in a delightful incense scent, that smells more like a steam bath with green leaves than burning and smoke. Although has no mastic listed as a note (according to LuckyScent, it contains notes of incense, cypress oil, coffee, teak wood, vetiver, patchouli, amber, everlasting flower, Virginian cedar), it smells exactly like the resin: sweet-balsamic, fresh, woody-resinous and almost pine-like but less sharp, with hints reminiscent of frankincense yet far less heavy, and a hint of greenness as well. And of course there is the unmistakable “Mastic” odour that has to be experienced on its own, either in the delicious Meditterranean desserts, or simply from the resin itself, which can be easily obtained in most Greek grocery stores. My nose detects also underlining notes of cedar and white musk, but Mastic is definitely the star of the show.

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