(image Hyacinth by François Joseph Bosio, 1817)
Perfumer Calice Becker
The opening credits of some action blockbuster movies cram in everything but the entire film itself. A cast of stars, flash and bang to get you riled and more exposition than you’ll need. In fact the exposition is virtually a synopsis of the film, including hints of the ending. Story isn’t really the key to an action blockbuster, so best to get the unpleasantness out of the way early.
The topnotes of Ombre serve the same purpose, although I can’t call the rest of the perfume an action rollercoaster. The godzilla hyacinth that forms the topnote burns bright and quickly. After 10 minutes, the hyacinth is all but snuffed out in the soapy, green heartnotes. The heart is a galbanum-floral set of notes that grows woodier, eventually gaining a taste of metal as a violet leaf note comes forward. The heart is not unattractive, but it isn’t distinctive or alluring. From action adventure to soapy drama. Have you ever left a movie and thought the credits were the best part?
Lutens’s Bas de Soie covers the same ground as Ombre but is more dynamic and ventures further out the limb than Ombre, making the hissy, iris heartnotes truly metallic.