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Tzora - I know the place it takes me to… - March 16, 2015

“If you could go back to anyplace in the world you have visited, where would you go?” I asked Sam.

Sam is a good friend and colleague and one of the most well-travelled people I know. He’s been everywhere and I love hearing his stories about his trips to Viet Nam, Peru or Russia, so when I asked him the question I was a little surprised by his answer.

“Israel” he said, “I spent some time on a kibbutz called Tzora about 20 kilometers from Jerusalem, and it’s so ancient, so Biblical, and so profoundly beautiful. You know, Tzora was Samson's birthplace and his grave is near there. I remember visiting it. The kibbutz was an amazing experience. Of all the places I have spent time in, none has affected me as deeply as Tzora. It was the most memorable trip of my life.” And over a coffee I heard about soft chalk hills, history and life in a place that became more and more real to me as I listened to Sam speak.

I was reminded of this conversation when I discovered Tzora Eau de Parfum by designer Anat Fritz. Based in Berlin, Ms. Fritz is best known for her accessories - hats, scarfs and bags - made of wool, fur & leather. Tzora is her second fragrance. Technically, it’s her third. The first was simply called Anat Fritz – a cult favourite that I love and we offer here. Now discontinued, it was reworked in 2013 and named ‘Classical’.

Tzora is named for the same kibbutz my friend Sam told me about.  Ms. Fritz summers there often and it has had the same effect on her as it had on Sam. To her it is the most beautiful place in the world so she commissioned Berlin-based perfumer Geza Schoen, to create an olfactory expression of it.

Tzora opens with a note of crisp, bitter bergamot and tart, fruity black currant. The black currant has a pungent ammonia aspect, a characteristic “cat piss” smell that passes through the opening - a declaration that we are in nature. Aromatic clary sage gives it an herbal brightness while Peruvian pepper warms the opening up so that it smells of citrus trees, herbs and earth that have been warmed by the sun.

As it evolves, a floral heart of magnolia, osmanthus and jasmine blooms against the fading top notes. On me they are soft and perfectly balanced so that I can’t really experience them individually, but I can smell them, like they are being carried by a breeze. At the base, it gets woody and resinous from cedar, earthy, deep – but not heavy or dark - from vetiver and patchouli and gently bitter and piney from oakmoss.

The drydown is dry, clean and fresh and perfectly unisex. It feels lighthearted, as opposed to heavy and weighed down the way you might expect a fragrance about an ancient, holy place to smell like. And maybe that’s the point – a fragrance named for an ancient place that is not about that place, but about someone’s joy at being there.  Don’t we all have a place like that?

So, while I have never been to Israel and I don’t know what it smells like, I know the place this EdP takes me to and I love the way this it takes me there.

Tzora is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $4.00 for 1 ml.