July 31, 2013

EnVoyage Part 2

Detail of a portrait of the Marquise of Villena by Tovar,  for me illustrates the gift of perfume
Part 2:  Perfumes for Couples

En Voyage Perfumes by Shelley Waddington has produced more than a few special stunners. I especially admire those that are conceived as couples, which while they can stand alone, enhance and reflect each other. 

These perfumes balance several emotional scent associations. I enjoy the lightly intoxicating quality that then clings to everything they touch  --   clothing, mood, and even in a subtle way the surfaces where you rest your hands or your head. Mysteriously, they are both delicate and strong.  Their structures are influenced by classical perfume traditions, but also bring in the perfumer's unique personality, and leave room for your own, too. They are the kind of perfumes you can get lost in all by yourself, but each is part of a matched set, individually leaning towards the masculine and feminine side, that if worn by a couple together would compatibly work to heighten the atmosphere between the two.

Vents Ardents is part of a tropically themed project, as a mirror perfume to one made by Juan Perez called Nectar des Iles, which I imagine could be meant for a celebratory bride and groom on their Caribbean island honeymoon.  Vents Ardents undergoes a metamorphosis on the skin, beginning with a soft  brightness, that turns into an addictively sweet and humid floral/vanilla, and then dries down to a powdered amber that continues to hold the refinements of the notes that came before. 

Vents Ardents opening scent signals of rum and Curacao have an expansive relaxing effect; the mood is enlivened by wild orange, soothed and warmed by tonka bean set beside heliotrope, magnolia and French narcissus, floating over amber and mahogany,  then released into the slightly trance-y effect of the essence of tobacco, dry oak and driftwood, musky vanilla and balsams.  The final impression is of a vanilla/amber laced with floral notes.  Rewarding close attention, there is a lot of detail as in the more you look the more you will find.  To focus on these perfumes as the layers are revealed, is to pleasurably have your attention led through the process.

Its practically narcotic companion piece, Nectar des Iles, is a creamy gardenia shaded with jasmine, ylang ylang and frangipani over an amber/vanilla/musk base.  Both are stand alone fragrances but I can imagine the sumptuous effect created when each is worn by two people beside each other.  As a couple they would magnify the beauty of their elements together.

Tagetes Homme and Tagetes Femme are another kind of perfume couple. Both are centered on the more unusual perfume theme of marigold; that unassuming bright flower symbolic of summer, especially beloved in India.  Its bright colored flower belies its seriously dry green fragrance, here modified with sage and violet leaves, made even more complex by resins, woods and patchouli.  Femme is softened with berry, while Homme emphasizes green astringency, and both linger out to a bittersweet end.

Perfect for the intense humidity of my summer, because it cuts through the haze with clarity as it connects to the refreshing power of a concentrated dark green life force.

In India people create garlands of marigolds to drape around themselves, or the room, and then meditate within the purified atmosphere. These perfumes reference Genda Attar, the traditional Indian fragrance therapeutically used to cleanse the air, of marigold and sandalwood.  These two perfumes build on that traditional form to incorporate deeper incense and amber accords for a multi-faceted effect, divided into yin and yang versions, one softer and sweeter and the other ultra dry.

I can imagine a couple having both sets of these coupled perfumes, as they would reflect two sides among many facets of a relationship. One could be a souvenir of the honeymoon, and and the other could be the gracefully enhanced peace and quiet of a lucky everyday life.

Please visit the EnVoyage website for samples, more reviews, prices, descriptions of the other collections,  and detailed note lists.   Please see my prior post -  Part 1 for more impressions of EnVoyage Perfumes.

Copyright 2013 Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved
Samples provided to me by the perfumer.



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