Early in January I did the unthinkable: I spent five days wearing only one fragrance, Myrrhe Ardente! Despite my very promiscuous perfume life I had to travel and I wanted to travel light with something versatile, comforting and interesting at the same time. Of course finding something that is comforting an interesting at the same time can be a life long process, and I am not talking only about perfume.
Myrrhe Ardente was a birthday present from my sister last July which means that although I knew it and liked it my first full wearings were during hot summer weather. My winter wearings around this New Year Eve unfolded the Myrrhe Ardent experience with deeper layers of pleasure. Although myrrh has a clear medicinal and bitter quality, to my nose it imparts deeply sensuous qualities, although I cannot understand through which mechanisms and which associations. La Myrrhe for instance makes me think of beautifully naked skin. Myrrhe Ardente is a play on bitter and sweet throughout its development. It opens with a warm note of extinguished matchstick, burnt wood but without the harshness of smoke. This is very close to the smell produced when someone tries to saw wood and it gets very warm without getting black and charred. I love this smell because for some reason it makes me think of cool summer nights and fuzzy sweaters. The woody warmth of the opening is soon joined by a note that totally escaped me during summer time: the smell and taste of soft, sweet almond marzipan, the kind found in the heart of Stollen. It is soft and gooey with the velvety texture and taste of sweet almonds amped and condensed to a child-like comfort food level. Don’t be alarmed by thinking that this makes Myrrhe Ardente a sweet, gourmand concoction because the dry woodiness and bitter myrrh harnesses the edible aspect of the composition. As development progresses myrrh kicks in and I realise that the marzipan impression is actually an artefact, a by-product of the happy coexistence of myrrh with the other elements of the composition. Note listing from Parfumo includes beeswax, which I cannot identify per se but is probably responsible for the sweet, sticky vibe. Tonka bean also has an almondy quality. Gaiac wood is also listed which explains the warm radiance this composition has. Gaiac wood gradually proves to be probably my favourite wood ingredient in perfumes. It is responsible for the warm, breath-like quality that I get from perfumes like Le Labo Oud 27 and Tom Ford Urban Musk but please do not be alarmed as there is no hint of halitosis in Myrrhe Ardente. This is a perfectly civilized, warm, radiant and balanced fragrance. In the deep drydown it is dominated by slightly medicinal myrrh with just enough sweetness carried over from the top to make it comfortable. It lasts for many hours with moderate projection on me. Although this composition is extremely elegant I can mostly see myself wearing it at home, with comfortable, soft clothes, sitting by the fireplace. It has the softness and warmth of a duvet and I wouldn’t want to waste this experience in more social moments.
A big “thank you” to Camille Goutal and Isabelle Doyen for avoiding the cliché of pairing myrrh with incense and creating such a beautiful, sensuous comfort scent.
Notes from Parfumo: myrrh, beeswax, gaiac wood, benzoin, tonka bean
Notes from my nose: extinquished match, marzipan, myrrh
MemoryOfScent by Christos Karageorgos is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.