Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sleeper Standout 3: Sutra Ylang

The name alone conjures up golden temples at dawn, concubines and opium pipes. But this self-professed oriental by perfumer Enzo Galardi would be better described as a hesperidic chypre dressed up like the Empress Dowager of China. It’s a gutsy perfume, fueled by a top-note powerhouse (read: paradise) of half-parts bitter citrus and bay leaf, and it doesn’t go in for histrionics of any sort. Instead of wimping out, like so many orientals, with a screaming synthetic sandalwood base, it progresses slowly and methodically down an endless corridor of rose and violet tones. While the SA’s will market this to women, I think it would serve perfectly for formal wear on a man. Where the current formula of Caron’s (now discontinued) Alpona strayed into expensive furniture polish, this keeps to the path. Materials are deftly handled throughout. And I’m left thinking: It rules!


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