Wednesday, January 7, 2009

REVIEW: Jade EDP by Olivier Durbano

Olivier Durbano's newest fragrance, Jade, is a continuation of his series of gemstone perfume poems. Long worshipped as the stone of immortality and a symbol of love and power, jade is also thought to bring inner peace, justice and harmony. Durbano’s olfactory rendering of the stone is a beautifully realized green-woody scent. Though we think of jade the ornamental stone as cool and opaque, Jade the perfume has a flavoring of coolness yet is at its heart warm, deep, earthy and refreshingly clear capturing the soul of the stone versus its hard exterior.

Durbano didn't start as a perfumer by profession. An architect by training and a jewelry designer by profession, Olivier Durbano found himself drawn even deeper into the mysterious world of gemstone jewelry, fascinated by their stories and sharing an obsession that has entranced mankind from the dawn of time. The gems, stones and crystals that adorn these pieces and their long histories of whispered charms and omens had a personal meaning to Durbano, one that he connected with fragrance as both lay on the skin and create a mood to both the wearer and the admirer. He decided to explore this “poetic dimension,” taking his time to infuse perfumes with the feel of mystery, beauty and intrigue of gems and making each scent a perfume poem, a magical olfactory ode to the gem or crystal which is represents. Seven fragrances are planned for his unique Bijoux de Pierres Poèmes (Perfumes of Stones Poems), each one unearthing fragments of buried memories and emotions, the scents themselves linking to precious or primitive stones -- contemporary talismans to offer to a world in search of pureness, harmony and serenity.

As the fragrance opens, what strikes me is the mint, yet this is not a peppermint or spearmint sweetness, more the crisp essence of mint after its lingered amongst your senses for a while, lending the quality of refreshment. The tea, vetiver, patchouli and musk blend harmoniously deepening the heart of the fragrance and giving it its warmth. The amber is very subtle, warming, further enriching its earthy quality. The scent takes on a decidedly more masculine feel in character however is delicate in nature, not at all robust. This is not a sweet, frilly creation. The mood of Jade is calm yet freshly renewed. Its green color reiterates its gemstone muse housed in a simple, modern, architecturally-clean bottle.

Jade notes: green tea, star anise, mint, cardamom, iris, jasmine, Chinese cinnamon, amber, patchouli, vetiver, moss, musk, immortale, mathé

Bottle - 100 ml $125

To learn more about frenchman Oliver Durbano and what inspires him, I strongly encourage you to check out The Scented Salamander's splendid interview with the designer. Jade by Olivier Durbano is available at Luckyscent. You may request a small sample (1/32 oz - $4) of Jade, or just about any other fragrance in their offerings, from the dear angels at Luckyscent. It's a fantastic way to try a fragrance before purchasing the bottle. I just adore Luckyscent - so many delicious fragrances, so little time.

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