One Thousand Scents

Friday, February 08, 2013

The Truth Dawns: L'Artisan Parfumer Seville à l'Aube

As I have said any number of times, orange blossom doesn't usually work for me: unless it is a minor player, unless it is kept in careful check by other ingredients, I nearly always find it noxious and oppressive. Like any perfumery note, it has its die-hard adherents, but with minor exceptions such as Dior's Fahrenheit 32, which adds enough vanilla to take the curse off it, the attraction of naked orange-flower has always evaded me, until now, because Seville à l'Aube — "Seville at dawn" — is ravishing. It took me a few wearings to really get it, to adjust my nose to this new experience, but once that had happened I found I couldn't get enough of it.

Seville à l'Aube is approximately a soliflore, but not a brutally single-minded one like Gorilla Perfumes' version: there is decoration and embellishment, but just enough to give it interest, to keep it from being boringly monochromatic. The top is spicy, with a splash of breezy lavender, and the base is a contrast of vanillic benzoin and dry incense, all notes that can and in this case do read as masculine (or at least unisex-trending-masculine): but they are bookends to the star of the show, an orange-blossom which seems to glint and shimmer like a diamond held up to the sun, now creamy and plush, now sharp and focused. It is the smell of pure happiness.

Seville à l'Aube is glorious, quite possibly perfect. How did I never know that orange blossom could smell like this?

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