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Friday, January 16, 2015

Olfactive Studio Ombre Indigo Review

I love blue.  I spent one year in my twenties in which I wore something blue every day.  The color grounds me and when I'm dealing with a bit of stress or anxiety I always don a piece of clothing in that range, whether aqua or azure, and let its calming color soothe my reactions, so any perfume with reference to blue is one that I will try.  Some have been disappointing, and some have simply not worked, but occasionally I find one that embodies the calming effect that blue has on my psyche.

Ombre Indigo is a very fitting name for this latest introduction by Olfactive Studio.  In my opinion, their line tends to invoke very extreme reactions from me, I either really like their scents or I don't enjoy them at all.  Ombre Indigo was unusual in the sense that it left me in a sort of limbo in the beginning and played with my indecision a bit.  I was forced to study it and eventually question and come to terms with my preference for the color.  In a sense, it indeed fits the definition of a meditative scent.

© Hupeng | - Camel Caravan In The Desert Dawn Photo
The fragrance opens with an dark, oiled leather and nighttime scent.  It's both cool and enveloping, and smells a bit like a luxury leather boutique.  Here the is touch of smoke from vetiver  and there, a sweetness from petitgrain.  The leather gives the impression of ink on paper and the dryness of a papyrus note is heightened by an air of incense.  This is indeed a blue scent and wraps you in quiet blanket of sophistication.  Tuberose here is shy and I suspect a bit's reminiscent of the tuberose I found in Mona Di Orio's, and vaguely oily, which may be the aspect I'm translating from the leather.  It's slightly sweet but acting more as a binding agent than an obvious floral.  When I put my nose to my wrist, i am surrounded by the leather and dry scents, but the second I pull away I am left with the after-image of incense and deep floral.  It's a little like someone walking by you wearing leather, but the minute you lean in you get the perfume and expensive hair product that they put on earlier in the day, and you want to lean in and inhale deeply.  There is an inherent indigo-ness about the time of day considered the 'gloaming' period....when the sky hits that intense blue purple, just after twilight but before dark.  L'Heure de Nuit and L'Heure Bleue focused on this time as well, but whereas the plush softness of those bring to mind a lady strolling by the river on her way to an elegant party in France, the edginess of this exemplifies a group of urban wealthy professionals in Dubai going to the latest high end club, with the almost visible energy of controlled expectations of the evening ahead.

The scent continues on its journey, and I get frankincense, which is a favorite of mine.  I love how it translates as incense when mixed with this particular tuberose.  It's not sweet per se, but gives the impression of being sweet.  The leather and ink fades but the paper quality still holds, turning it into a weathered parchment.  There is barely a tickle of saffron which adds the slight gilded edge but never becomes obvious.  I have a bottle of benzoin, so I recognize its sandy vanillic resinous sweetness, but it's only to serve as a decorative element to enhance the base of vaguely animalic yet dry musk in the bottom notes.  This base serves both as a boost for the spices and sensory contradiction for the papyrus.  The whole composition is a study in contrasts, an inky blue cold shadow with an unlikely
golden aura.   In the end, you are left with the lingering image of desert cold.....all the heat of the day has dissipated, but the cool evening allows for your focus to shift from the dust of the day to the other hidden scents of the surrounding environment.  The professionals have left the club and are regrouping at the edge of the desert, where the sand leads to an impermeable darkness and the ambiguous nature of night.

I wrote off this scent in the beginning but after one day, I started thinking about it again and couldn't really get it off my mind.  It was both disturbing and intriguing.  I tried it again.  And again.  And with each wearing I found something new to be examined and appreciated.  It's the person that you would usually stay away from but their mystery and aloof manner holds an undeniable pull and sensuality that simultaneously repels and attracts.  And isn't that what keeps us all interested on some primal level?

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