Olivier Durbano is a French jewelry designer whose keen interest in gemstones has expanded to perfume as an olfactory poem to the gem it represents. The correlation between precious stones and perfume is not a novel concept as it has already been explored in Armani Prive fragrances (Cuir Amethyste, Eau de Jade, Pierre de Lune) as well as the eclectic Stoned. The concept as such might not be novel but the approach certainly is – to convey the mood, the symbolism of each stone. This proved to be true for me as I caught myself focusing on the general feel of the scent more than its ingredients. The first two fragrances in the line are Rock Crystal and Amethyst (with five more to come), created in collaboration with the perfumers of Grasse.
Rock Crystal (the colorless variety of quartz) represents the belief that wearing quartz crystals benefits health and spiritual well-being. Hence, it is an incense scent built around frankincense and dry spices. Rock Crystal evokes images of old, forgotten small village churches with dusty interior and incense smoke instilled in the air. It’s dark but not brooding, aloof but not cold. I find Rock Crystal soothing and contemplative. It embraces and stays close to skin. While not particularly original (Rock Crystal could be a cousin to the Incense series by Comme des Garcons or Armani Prive Bois d’Encens), it is definitely well-balanced, a sort of a mellow take on incense.The scent features the notes of orange, pepper, coriander, cardamom, cumin, olibanum, benzoin, myrrh, cistus, sandalwood, cedar, vetiver, everlasting flower, oakmoss, musk.
In contrast, Amethyst, much like the gemstone, is a vivid, robust scent. Symbolizing peace of mind and protection, it is a playful composition with an uplifting effect. The scent is built around fruity and floral notes (quite successfully, I must say), spiced up by pepper, and rounded by vanillic orris. It’s rather sweet and aromatic bringing to mind such scents as Haute Couture by Givenchy or even Putain des Palaces by Etat Libre D’Orange. The incense here has a suede-like, slightly minty undertone. The scent very much conveys the intensity of the color purple. While I find it quite pleasant, it doesn’t seem to grab me as much as Rock Crystal does (which is probably due to my general lack of interest in fruity-florals). The featured notes are bergamot, pepper, grape, raspberry, incense, palisander wood, jasmine, orris, vegetable amber, sandalwood, musk, vanilla.
Image source: luckyscent.com
12 comments April 8th, 2007