Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Love Letter to Turkey: Featuring Parfum d'Empire Corsica Furiosa

This is a hurried review because I feel compelled to express support and love for one of the most amazing countries I have ever visited: Turkey. Yesterday's events are so tragic, sad, and scary and my heart goes out to the Turkish people whose county is literally positioned at the gates of the barbarians. As often happens, when tragic events unfold my heart turns to beauty for healing, in this case a perfume memory.

I have been planning to write a series of perfume impressions about Turkey because it is such a fascinating country on so many levels. It has so many historical antiquity sites, impressive architecture, gorgeous beaches, and beautiful food. There is so much to explore and I look forward to going back to see more than I was able to experience in a short ten days.

There is a perume that brought my mind back to Turkey when I first smelled it: Parfums d'Empire Corsica Furiosa.  This perfume is built around lentiscus, a shrub prevalent in the Mediterranean region, and evidently widely found on the island of Corsica, which I have not yet been fortunate enough to visit.  Parts of Turkey have this Mediterranean foliage and climate, and lentiscus is also found in Turkey. Lentiscus is an evergreen shrub and a member of the pistachio genus and is able to grow in all sorts of soil and in salty environments, thus it is often found near the sea. The trees have an aromatic resin smell and can be cultivated so that the resin can be gathered. In Turkey mastic, the resin, is used for making ice cream and puddings. Lentiscus oil, which is the ingredient in Corsica Furiosa, is gathered through a distillation process. This oil is said to be more complex than the mastic oil and it hs a scent that is lemony, resinous, and balsamic.

Parfums d'Empire Corsica Furiosa at first breath is slightly resinous but almost instantly it blooms into a scent that I became familiar with in my travels around Turkey. It is a slightly herbal, slightly lemony smell, but the lintiscus oil has its own unusual smell which I find difficult to describe as it is very unique. Other notes listed in Corsica Furiosa are eau-de-vie (a colorless, light fruit brandy), nepita (a wild mint), tomato leaf, and pepper. These are well blended but the overall impression is of a green perfume, but this is not a verdant green. It is dry and arid, the kind of landscape where bushes cling stubbornly to rocky terrain, scenting the air with herbs and resins. The tomato leaf adds a tiny touch of bitterness and the pepper is fleeting but discernible. Cistus, which can be more commonly referred to as rock rose, is also in the mix. Cistus and labdanum are distilled from the same plant, but cistus comes from the leaves while labdanum comes from the gummy residue. Cistic has the balsamic aroma present in labdanum but it is more earthy and herbaceous. Oakmoss grounds the perfume.

This is a unique perfume which explores a facet of green to which I had no previous exposure. I find it really replicates the smell in the Mediterranean  particular to coastal regions with an arid climate. I would describe it as green, bracing, and somewhat calming due to its balsamic undertones. It is unisex and wears lightly after the first hour.  I will wear this today to remind me of a trip to a beautiful country that is in mourning today.

For another perfume that reminds me of Turkey, look here.

Top photo my own. Sample from Luckyscent my own.


Undina said...

I'm not sure if the World actually got crazier or we just have an easier access to the information, and bad news travel better than anything else, but every time I hear awful news from another wonderful place, I feel sadness and helplessness.

I think I have a sample of this perfume somewhere but it seems I didn't test it yet - or at least I don't have any notes or recollection about it. I'll try to rectify it soon!

Cynthia said...

I think both your observations are true, but we certainly do have access to a lot of bad news. I think that's one reason the arts are so important: music, theater, even perfume appreciation: to remind us that we are civilized, even when the world doesn't reflect it.

Let me know what you think of the perfume!