l’Artisan Parfumeur Traversée du Bosphore, 2010

bosphore paper

Perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour

In the wrong hands this perfume might just have been an exercise. How do you take a food known as much for its texture and viscosity and make its scent appear out of thin air?

Turkish delight doesn’t have the effusive quality of many other food scents. Think of a piece loukhoum as a planet. The aroma is like a planet’s atmosphere, denser near the surface and thinner at altitude. It’s a scent that implies gravity and therefore solidity and weight.

Traversée du Bosphore shears the scent from the solidity of its subject with the transparency that Duchaufour manages find in even the densest subjects, and he does it with a clever bait and switch.  Turksih delight is flavored with classically aromatic ingredients such as rose water, orange blossom, citrus and mastic.  It takes elements that the Western nose identifies as scents, not flavors, and makes food with them.  Duchaufour steals them back and makes an olfactory depiction of the aromatic confection.

After an effusive, papery iris start, Traversée du Bosphore settles into its whispery play on loukhoum in a linear but rich fashion. It lasts from morning to night remaining noticeable but never loud. Even the vaguely leathery tobacco note is lasting yet airy. More than most perfumes, a little bit of heat and sweat jumpstart Traversée du Bosphore and you find yourself going for the ride again.

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