Hello Niche Nerds,
Keiko Mecheri houses her fragrances in fabulous bottles. I love the whole enjoyment of holding them in my hand and spritzing, it adds luster to a house that for some reason I feel close to. In my collection I have the fabulous old Loukhoum bottle
Photo Stolen LuckyScent
and Jour d’Ete, which was my first salty coconut and jasmine fragrance, one of my all time favourite mixtures. Keiko Mecheri is one of the houses like Guerlain and Patricia de Nicolai that I have often felt as if they are made with me in mind, even though not all the fragrances work on or for me. I just like the houses aesthetic.
Oliban by Keiko Mecheri 2004
Photo Stolen Libertine Parfumerie
Fragrsntica gives these featured accords in one line:
Virginia cedar, incense, olibanum, (blonde) tobacco, (Damascene) rose, palisander rosewood, tonka bean, ambergris
Sweet, jammy rose and woods surrounded by lovely incense. It all smells like a VERY expensive hotel foyer. Loads of woods and beeswax shine, I get a hint of leather too and the tobacco/honey accord is beautiful. Oliban opens so well and with such a heady religious air that I swoon every time.
While wearing and writing this article I chatted to a mate on Facebook at Australian Fragrance Network and during her ride she noticed tea, specifically the spicy Indian cooked black tea with milk and spices called chai. Now through the incense and woods, the honey and leather I get a distinct memory/feeling of chai. It’s like sitting up in Mcleodganj in the Indian Himalayas where the Dalai Lama is in exile. Sitting and watching the prayer flags fluttering outside while in a wooden tea house. The whole mountain top smells of incense and most of the tea shop/restaurants used to smell of wood, cigarettes and beeswax. Progress has smartened them up though and they are much more Westerner friendly nowadays than they were. Still some of the accommodation on the top of the hill has the old wooden beeswax smell, it’s fabulous. Taeko, my friend didn’t get the frankincense till a couple of hours in on her skin but I get it from the very first spritz, it’s warm scratchy resinous scent fueling the whole fragrance for me. Interesting how different people get dissimilar rides, even in the same temp zone.
Photo Stolen Flickr
From I Smell Therefore I Am (sometimes someone else gets it so right, in this case Abigail): It’s a fabulously well crafted incense fragrance with gorgeous whiffs of blond tobacco, woods, rose and honey. The initial burst of incense and cedar are refreshingly spiritual (don’t most incense frags seem rather churchy to you?). Oliban, especially at the start, seems soothing, calming, centering and cleansing. When I feel harried, rattled or just tired, Oliban serves as a meditative pick me up.
Photo Stolen Flickr
If you are after an incense bomb then please look elsewhere. Oliban is incense, with a lovely softening rose accord and a warm honey/tobacco accord that also stop the incense and woods from being too hefty and unfeminine, anyone can and should wear Oliban. It will never be so loud as to override your own skins fragrance but will work harmoniously with it and create a patina of scent that could be worn anywhere and will be particularly good for very up close and intimate encounters. Soft enough for work, different enough to set you apart from the crowd. I think it is a tad too soft for it to be a fb in my collection; too tasteful, sophisticated and too suavely elegant to really fit with my bigness. I could buy this for almost any of my friends though and know that they would be incredibly happy with my choice for them, and that it could be a signature for quite a few of them too.
Oliban is worth a try.