Post by Tina G
I first laid eyes on Ombre Indigo in the lead up to Esxence in Milan, March 2014. I’d just written a few articles for APJ on Olfactive Studio scents, so nearly hit the floor when I spotted that they had a new one coming out! And the colour of that juice… oh my goodness… instant, unadulterated, WANT.
So, when I was gifted with a sample I was thrilled. And I couldn’t wait to try it. But when I did, I was hit with confusion. I didn’t love it. It was cloying and heavy and hurt my head. I didn’t really know what to do from there – I was supposed to be enthralled. Look at the colour of it, how could you not be? It is soooo pretty! What I didn’t realise at the time was that I was just at the beginning of one of the worst colds I’ve had in a decade, knocked me flat for about 2 weeks. The nose knows, it seems. I’ve come back to it under more friendly circumstances, and found the love.
Ombre Indigo by Mylène Arlan @ Robertet for Olfactive Studio 2014
Ombre Indigo Photographer: Gustavo Pellizzon
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Plum, saffron, pettigrain, tuberose
Heart: Vetiver, papyrus, leather, olibanum
Base: Benzoin, musk, ambergris
The opening for me is strong incense and dry woods, the papyrus lifting and separating the incense from darker plum underlying it. Occasionally I will burn frankincense or myrrh on charcoal bricks so when I say “incense”, that’s what I’m finding here, a resin smoke. And the plums are heavy, in a sweet decay where they’ve just turned inedible by a matter of days. That smell you get when plums look OK from the top, but when you pick them up their skin is moist and splits as you touch it.
The image I get from this is walking through a neglected and overgrown orchard. The trees that fruited have dropped their baubles in the overgrown grass at their bases. Other trees have died, and their branches bare. Walking through the orchard there is a dappled autumnal light scattering through the trees, and my skin is at once cooled by the shadow and warmed by the sun.
Photo Stolen Olfactive Studio
After about 2 hours saffron joins the undertones, and a clean but fleshy tuberose comes into the middle of the notes. The fragrance then settles at around 4 hours into a musky floral, powdery amber combo, which I find quite delicious. Some of the listed notes I’ve not quite found, but my sample has now run dry so I need to decide on next steps…
I’ve read reviews on Ombre Indigo that quite happily assign this to being a summer scent, but here in Australia in the dead of winter (as much as we have one) the incense and wood is comforting. I wore the fragrance on a crisp bright sunshiny-day walk along St Kilda Beach whilst being pummelled by Antarctic winds straight out of Bass Strait. Ombre Indigo had ensconced itself thoroughly in my scarf, which allowed me nuzzle down, breathe deeply and keep a smile on my face against the howling wind.
Photo Stolen Flickr
Further reading: Now Smell This and Chemist In A Bottle
Olfactive Studio has a World Page where you can order wherever you are.
First In Fragrance has €85/50ml and samples
Peony Melbourne has $145/50ml
Do you have a favourite incense fragrance? What time of year does it work best for you?
Tina G xx