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Or du Sérail


This 2014 Naomi Goodsir scent created by Bertrand Duchaufour is focused on the tobacco note, but there's something much more goin gon in the opening accord than simply tobacco. Right out of the bottle, there is a whiff of sour fermention which quickly becomes boozy and fruity. Freshly-cut orange and mango, apple and honey and coconut, rum-soaked, make a potent brew that is tart and luscious, fruity and aromatic so that it’s sweet but not sugary. It’s a gourmand cocktail, layered lightly with the aroma of tobacco leaves dried in the sun, golden in colour, flavoured with wisps of hay and herbs and beeswax that add a natural earthiness to the boozy opening.

As the top accord dries into the heart it shifts, becoming lighter and more airy. Soft florals emerge, wafting invisibly like the nicotiana (tobacco flowers) in my front garden when they bloom in the early evening – sweet with a teasing herbal tobacco twist . 

Very slowly, Or du Sérail reveals deeper facets.  The tobacco note becomes more aromatic, cedar and woody notes are layered in, then amber, vanilla, labdanum and musks, but the notes seem to appear and rotate through the scent individually in waves rather than swirl together in a heavy dark mix, so that the base remains as textured, and as golden and luscious as the opening accord. 

Or du Sérail hints of decadence, it has a quiet but seductive charm from start to finish. The Naomi Goodsir site says that the scent was inspired by the Delacroix painting, Women of Algiers, which depicts the interior of a seraglio, or harem, with women lounging and smoking a hookah, the quiet interior scene decorated with exotic textures and objects and infused with a golden light. Or du Sérail captures the sensation I get from the painting, of quietly waiting in lush comfort for decadence and seduction to begin.



Price: $6.00