Essences and attars from India know just how to soften even the most hardened of perfume critics. Whatever olfactory theme is created from one or many, one thing is for certain – you cannot dispute the authenticity of the distinctly recognizable aromas. Any and all preconceived notions are dispelled when you recognize the rare attar of a Rose or the highly prized milkiness of Sandalwood.
Because the time-honoured methods of extracting such essences are dependent upon generational instruction and often shrouded in secrecy, and because these essentials are often produced in such small quantities, it’s best to visit the source. Which is more often than not, those small rustic villages far, far outside the bustling metropolitans of Delhi or Mumbai. Often excellent quality for the price, it’s often these dreamlike nuances which echo nature’s dynamism and bring those indescribable poignant shifts within a scent. Today’s gem acquired from the East? Saffron.
It’s what Julie Elliot, founder of In Fiore, actually wears. Revel in her signature scent Saffron of Kashmir ($65) – a realizable fantasy of where a buoyant Tunisian Neroli finesses a traditionally milkened Sandalwood, creamy to the touch and waft in that way only those obscure Indian villages still produce. The honeyed sweetness of Indian Saffron floats atop the Jojoba and Beeswax blend, forging a passion for what you may think is a deceptively simple floral parfum. Saffron of Kashmir is an enchanting scent renouncing its power of Oud onto you.
Oud? A transparent adornment of Oud brings a sort of radical fun but remains firmly attentuated in its Middle Eastern roots. Allow the solid about an hour on skin to witness a non-tarry but resinous hint that imprints the requisite mystique to any India-inspired scent. The theatrical flourish is ultra-smooth with a touch of animalism, but the kind that lacks that sort of manic energy seen in most Oud laced scents. The unpretentious delivery is quite refreshing.
In terms of artistry, Saffron of Kashmir is like poetry in a compact. It’s silent, peaceful and blended without the illusion of stillness that you’d expect from a solid perfume. And, it’s no surprise that Julie often sources her essences from long-forgotten villages in India to create her sensory mandalas of serenity.
Refined and aristocratic, if any scent can pay homage to the alluvial streaks of lusciously dark Saffron, In Fiore has done it.
Happy Diwali, dear readers.