Mamluk by Sonia Espelta and Laura Santander for Xerjoff 2012


Post by Trésor


I have a fascination with gold. To me there is something so powerfully mesmeric about the opulent splendor of visions graced by the hand of Midas. Anything from the lustrous sheen of a treasured piece of jewelry to the scintillating hue of a lover’s skin bathed in a radiant aura of summer sunlight, just before the star collapses into dusk. I am enraptured. For ages I’ve been on a ravenous hunt for fragrances which mirror the essence of this exquisite ore and very few have fully realized my desire. Very few except for Mamluk.

Mamluk by Sonia Espelta and Laura Santander for Xerjoff 2012

Mamluk Xerjoff FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Musk, osmanthus, jasmine, amber, benzoin, vanilla, bergamot, agarwood (oud), honey, caramel

Mamluk opens in a most extraordinarily ebullient sequence of rich, highly sacchariferous honey and a lemon who’s skin seems almost bio-luminescent in its vivid incandescence. It is a prismatic pas de deux, illuminated citron trapezing alongside the toothsome honey’s molten gold as if in a cosmic light show. There is a fleeting animalic undercurrent, the very faintest whiff of urinous vapors making way for scintillating flashes of an almost candied oud.

Mamluk Xerjoff Scintillating water drops Steve Beger FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

This is not the challenging, fecal oud found by the tola in prolific collections of connoisseurs but oud envisioned as an utter confectionery delight. Beneath the oud lay a bed of blossoming jasmine flowers, their indolic form bathed in the oozing fluid luxuriance of decadent and flowing caramel. It’s sumptuous amber hue held in glorious juxtaposition with narcotic white petals, all the while maintaining a perpetual radiance which never quite disappears despite being ensconced in an exorbitantly dulcet density.

BenQ Digital CameraPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

As the composition progresses your sensory experience is permeated with the dazzling facets of a beautiful crystalline musk that calls to mind the scent of salty, sun soaked skin but as seen through the fractured light of broken crystal. It bounces and refracts in the most peculiar way that leaves me in a state where I am transfixed, my wrist glued to my nose. The hours pass and the composition gains a speherical quality and becomes exquisitely diffuse until finally it registers at a faint hum of honeyed sweetness just above the skin.

Mamluk Xerjoff  blue_line_swinger derekdavalos DeviantARTPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

A word to the wise: this is one potent elixir so I implore you not to go guns blazing with the atomizer. A single spray (or two if you’re a hedonist like me) will do, trust me. When I first received my bottle I sprayed at least 6 times and thought I just might just drown in those gilded, thrashing tides of honey. This darling has quite a gorgeous, fairly powerful sillage and wears like iron. I get a good ten to twelve hours, quite impressive if I do say so myself.

Further reading: Kafkaesque and Perfume Posse
First In Fragrance have €247/50ml
Surrender To Chance have samples starting at $7/.5ml

So tell me, my sweet honeybees, what are your favourite fragrances for those who’ve an appetite for the olfactory manifestation of this precious ore?

Trésor xx

11 thoughts on “Mamluk by Sonia Espelta and Laura Santander for Xerjoff 2012

  1. Hi Trésor,

    loooove this review. You are a wizard with words. I love honey, especially honey and chocolate in food… I hardly encounter honey in fragrance though! Need to explore the world some more.

    -Liam 🙂


    • Thank you, Liam. What a beautiful thing to say!

      I am a bit of a honeymaniac myself. Some of my favourites are by Kilian’s Back to Black, MFK’s Absolute Pour Le Soir <3, Ginestet's Botrytis, Smell Bent's St. Tropez Dispenser (it's so campy and loud, I love it) and of course Mamluk.

      I also have quite a thing for chocolate but we won't even get into that, LOL.


  2. Hey there Trésor,
    I loved this post. I usually write Xerjoff off as a hype without foundation. You’ve made me rethink my stance. I will pursue this while in the USA in the next three weeks.
    Portia xx


    • Yes, they’re is much ado about the bottles and air of faux exclusivity but beyond that there are some very lovely, well made fragrances. I find them easy to wear and with niche that’s not always the case. It’s a line one must sniff without buying into the marketing or preconcieved notions for they will set expectations too high and ruin the experience altogether.


  3. Hi Trésor! Maybe, if I come across this, which I doubt, I will try it. Haha. I won’t go out my way. BUT, I love this review. I stick with Vero’s honey, and buy my chocolate by the half ton for the cookies!! Big hug. xxx


  4. Oh yes, I pounced on a sampler set of Xerjoffs back when they were released. From memory I loved XXY, Richwood, and especially Irisss which came awfully close to knocking ISM off its hallowed pedestal….but even my profligate spending tendencies were pulled up by the cost! This sounds like an oud I could love, it’s the one note I still have trouble adoring…..fabulous writing BTW!


    • Damarose was my first, then Irisss, then Richwood and finally Mamluk. Irisss in particular is exquisite, it really is nearly an ISM killer. Not quite, but nearly.

      Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s