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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Isabey La Route d'Emeraude Review

The Emerald Route refers to and area across southeast Asia containing a multitude of gem mines, and I believe this scent was created to recapture the travels made by early explorers and the many discoveries and sensations that they would have experienced during the journey.  That's all I'm saying about that because frankly I have no idea what the scent has to do with the description, except that it's opulent and extravagant.

The opening of this fragrance screams 'very big floral' with a touch of grape candy.  I've gotten this grape element before both from fragrances containing Moroccan jasmine and orange blossom, so the presence of both of these leaves me with 10 minutes of purple sugar before it stops completely filling my nose and I can focus on the rest of the scent.  I can already tell that the one dab I applied to my wrist is enough to fill the immediate area with scent, treading carefully, I continue with my assessment.

There is a very apparent burst of orange blossom after the fruity effect disappears.  I find it more that a bit mind blowing when combined with the sambac and absolute.  It's very very feminine, and feels like one of those 'in your face' perfumes.  If this were earlier on in my love-of-perfume life, I would be running to scrub it off, but if I've learned anything in this journey of fragrance discovery it is that patience can really pay off.  Luckily, it's pretty, so I don't mind it too much.  I wait about ten minutes or so in a bit of discomfort in it as the unrelenting linear feel of the opening marches on.

Thankfully, the floral explorers finally come to a halt.  A wonderfully creamy tuberose decides to start parting the jasmine waters and opens, full bloom, surrounding itself with a mere drizzle of the delicate white petals of the previous ambrosia-filled tenants.  It adds heft to the fragrance, supporting the swirling cloud of floral syrup.   It continues in a steady hum of tuberose and I get the same sense of calm dignity and underlying sensuality that I get from many vintage scents.  It's a style that I don't see much nowadays and I find myself appreciating the obvious nature of it.  

The heat and humid feel of the tuberose eventually leads the remaining jasmine and orange blossoms upwards into the stratosphere,  leaving them to float above the surface.  There is a languid pace to this fragrance and its takes its time as it blossoms on the skin.  Slowly,  layers of floral start peeling back.  A glimmer of amber is revealed, and an essence of cinnamon is mildly apparent in the distance.  There is a solidity here,  encouraging the base to to develop further.  It's very rich and I finally find the benzoin weaving through the base and giving a boost to a veil of vanilla.  It's a welcome relief and adds depth to the flowers, adding fullness and acting as a touchstone for all the other notes to gravitate towards a central point of focus.

This is a very pretty, elegant fragrance.  It definitely holds a vintage appeal and I can't imagine that it can avoid the 'old lady fragrance' stigma, if only because it holds that sense of traditional perfumery and the lavish sense of the riches of the East.  However, I am at an age where I can wear anything without worrying about age perceptions.  If I can pull off a 'mature' fragrance, it's because I've earned it, and if I wear this fragrance I will do so proudly, because it means that my character has the strength to carry it.

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