Bottled Scent · Uncategorized

A Hearty Vanilla

Ayala Moriel’s Immortelle L’amour exploits the versatility of vanilla as a universally favourite essence. The first thing you smell is a very concentrated, extract-like vanilla, which fills you with delight as you’re reminded of making magical bakes in a cosy kitchen. Complementing this vanilla are subtle dessert notes of caramelised pecan, maple syrup, and honeycomb, which are never too glucosic but instead have a wholesome sweetness-with-substance that enriches the very pure vanilla so that it’s not two-dimensional, but full-bodied and satisfying in all its sweet, spicy and delicious glory. These nutty nuances also lend an oriental musk, which enhances the exotic, addictive quality that makes vanilla delectable to every palate on the planet.

vanilla gold
Source: Simply Organic

But here’s the curious thing. Immortelle L’amour doesn’t stop at dessert, but works backwards onto the main course. Once on the skin, the bold vanilla spice of the dessert unfurls to reveal a full-on curry herb at the heart meal. What you have to remember about curry herb, or immortelle, is that it’s not a full-cooked-curry kind of spicy. It’s actually a fresh, autumnal spice with notes of cordial chamomile. So while the combination of vanilla and curry herb is definitely daring, the two work very effectively towards one appetising, warming and reassuring whole.

Complementing the main meal and the sweet dish is a nonintrusive, delicately oriental and spiced red tea. It comes in little sips that intensifies the warmth of vanilla and the comfort of curry herb, while orange peel lightly ‘pickles’ the intriguing mix, its stimulating citrus balancing the sweet and savoury characters. Underlying both is a soft myrrh-like quality, resinous and earthy and possibly woven by the golden hay notes of broom and wheat.

The name ‘Immortelle L’amour’ immediately suggests to me ‘immortal love’, but I don’t interpret the scent as either romantic or spiritual. I feel it represents passion rather than love, a celebration of the temporary sensory appetite rather than an everlasting transcendental bliss. It is extremely gourmand, presenting itself like a plate of delicious possibilities, and very adventurous in composition. As such, its virtue is rebelliousness, not faithfulness. The fragrance does retain a precious quality because of the sheer intensity and deliciousness of the flavour and the golden earthy and liquid ruby notes that enrich it. But, this preciousness is not the eternal flame of love, it’s the finite spark of life.



Aromatic Plants · Bottled Scent

If the Earth Were Cake Crumbs

Vetivert is truly one of the most gorgeous essential essences. Known as the ‘oil of tranquillity’ in tropical Asia where it grows, it is as rich and mysterious as the deep, sacred earth itself. In fact, if the soft, nurturing brown earth were actually the crumbs of a luxurious chocolate cake, its divine aroma would whisper, ‘vetivert’.

Source: Waitrose Recipes

For the scent is wholesome to the point of being dangerously indulgent, its brownness comforting to the point of pushing you into a heart of pure pleasure. The delicious enchantment of vetivert seems to come from a magical mix of dark cocoa and addictive coffee, plus a fluid, dreamy touch of amber brandy. The bewitching trio creates something curiously accurate to a smooth, romantic tiramisu.

The whole experience is intimately kissed with a warm, smoky character like sparks on raw stones or the bonfire’s perfume lingering in a starlit dream. This special scent can really take us ‘down the rabbit hole’ and make us feel as though Earth were a mesmerising galaxy, and the cosmos a cosy cup of mocha.

Indeed, vetivert really sinks into the earth like a submarine, its roots reaching up to 10ft. The grounding yet uplifting essential oil offers us stability and vigour, as it soothes anxiety, strengthens the nerves, and stimulates red blood cells. The earthy and aphrodisiac aroma is also reflective of the oil’s benefits to digestion, appetite, and love.