lundi 21 janvier 2013

Aurore Nomade by Bertrand Duchaufour for TDF: Caroming into the Tropics

Unless you haven’t read a perfume blog for a year, you’re aware that I’ve worked with Bertrand Duchaufour, so obviously any review I write of his work must take that fact into account. But since Paris under a thick coat of snow, I couldn’t resist reaching for a tropical scent I hadn’t written up yet. So there you go. Calypso is like so...

Aurore Nomade is an oddball. The top note, carambola (aka starfruit) spells out its whole program in French: carambole designates the fruit, but the verb caramboler means “to carom” (cue Merriam-Webster: “a shot in billiards in which the cue ball strikes each of two object balls”). 

And that’s pretty much what happens in the notes: tropical slammed into mineral, hot dunked into wet.The scent, launched as part of The Different Company’s “Collection Excessive”, seems like a different take on the idea sketched out in Mon Numéro 6 at L’Artisan Parfumeur, which blended sulfur-tinged exotic fruit (mango, guava, passion fruit) with white flowers (tuberose and jasmine sambac), indolic notes amped up until they give off the smell of raindrops on heated tarmac, with crackling ozone effects.

Aurore Nomade haunts the same tropical landscapes, maintaining the tough mineral backdrop but toppling the ozonic note of N°6 over into aquatic territory, with melony facets amping up the banana note in ylang. It also caroms into Duchaufour’s boozier palette with rum, cinnamon and clove, creating such contrast that the scent manages to convey both heat and coolness.

The result smells like an exotic cocktail splashed on sun-heated asphalt: there’s something tough and playful about it, teetering on the edge of olfactive disaster. An oddly compelling hybrid of tropical, aquatic and spicy that could be Duchaufour’s badass mercenary answer to another, distinctly tamer and more literal-minded tropical cocktail that came out in 2010… Not that he’d tell.

Illustration: album cover for Calypso is like so, another tropical oddball by another badass character, Robert Mitchum.

5 commentaires:

  1. I like your idea of crossing seasons, which you also did for one of you quarterly posts last year. Manoumalia is another tropical scent that can stand up to cold weather, and I've enjoyed sleeping with Organza Jasmine 2007 recently.

  2. Sorry for leaving off my name, that was nozknoz re Manoumalia. ~~nozknoz

  3. Nozknoz, thanks for breaking the thunderous silence! ;-) I don't think Aurore Nomade made a lot of waves, I just found it to be a compelling weirdo but never got round to reviewing it until now (hence the counter-seasonal programming).
    I do agree Manoumalia, despite its tropical inspiration, is dark and hefty enough to withstand cold weather.

  4. I'd like to try Aurore Nomade, but I'm not seeing it yet on LuckyScent or Surrender to Chance, my usual sample sources. We'll probably have tropical heat and humidity again by the time I get to try it.

    It's our coldest weather in four years here in the Washington, DC, area, and zero humidity, so I'm enjoying some heavy-hitting 80s classics. ~~nozknoz

  5. True, I haven't seen it on Luckyscent either... it's freezing cold in Paris as well (it snowed for three days non-stop last weekend, which is highly unusual). My top 10 of winter is coming out tomorrow, leaning hard on sandalwood. Hell on skin, isn't it? And that's from a Canadian!