Sunday, March 3, 2019

Puredistance Perfumes Has A New Release: Aenotus

In a world where some perfume brands have multiple releases every year, the Puredistance brand of luxury perfumes has distinguished itself by showing restraint in the practice of new perfume introductions. The last release by Puredistance was Warszawa in 2017 so it is some eighteen or so months later that there is finally a new perfume, Aenotus. Puredistance founder Jan Ewoud Vos has created Aenotus as his signature scent and it has been in the incubation stage for three years but is finally ready for its debut.

Back in 2017 when I was living in Singapore I got the opportunity to meet Mr. Vos and his daughter Tamara when the Puredistance line was brought to Maven Takishimaya. This was at the time of the release of Warszawa. During our interview I asked Mr. Vos if he had a favorite in the line and he replied, "I sometimes use Black and M but very sparingly because I like things a bit lighter and more behind the scenes." I was surprised, because so many of the Puredistance fragrances are statement scents and real powerhouses. I found it interesting that he was creative director to scents that did not cater to his actual preferences, but I suppose that is what being a good creative director is all about.

Jan Ewoud Vos went on to say that for thirty years he had been loyal to Chanel Antaeus but that all the reformulations had changed the scent and it wasn't the same anymore. When he began to work out what he wanted in a signature scent for himself, his love for the game of tennis and the sporting life in general were a big influence. Vos said he still plays serious tennis today but when he was younger considered going professional, so great was his passion for the game.

"So the fragrance I wanted for myself was something sporty but also something woody and this was almost impossible to combine so we worked on it about three years," Vos said. And now almost eighteen months after that initial conversation in Singapore, Aenotus has been released.

Antoine Lie and Jan Ewoud Vos

Antoine Lie was the perfumer who created Black, White, and Warszawa for Puredistance and Vos chose him as the perfumer to bring his vision to reality. In the Puredistance copy which describes the creation of Aenotus, Vos says:

I showed him (Antoine Lie) the idea behind Aenotus. A perfume that would first refresh and then - unlike the 1000+ perfumes that are fresh but quickly fade away - transform into a sensual but subtle skin scent. A refined and seductive perfume that doesn't give away its personality to everyone instantly.

is an unusual name and when I first heard it I thought could it be a play on the perfumer, Antoine Lie's name?  But Vos likes to play with words, and as he did when he created the name Opardu for one of his perfumes, this was an original word he created inspired by the name of the mythological Greek god Aeolus, the keeper of the winds. Vos uses the description of Aeolus as the God of the winds who brings cool breezes to calm the intense heat of the plains of southern Europe as a descriptive device for the perfume Aenotus. It is a perfume that manage to have both warm and cool aspects.

Photo from

Aenotus opens with notes of orange and mandarin, as well as a very fresh and slightly bitter yuzu fragrance. There is lemon there too, and the notes are startlingly fresh, as if you've ripped a citrus segment straight out of the rind and you get that zestiness. This clarion chorus of citrus notes are strong and true and last for some time, probably due to the amazing amount of pure oils in the perfume. Puredistance offers only pure perfume extraits with a very high percentage of pure perfume oils but Aenotus has a rather remarkable 48 percent of perfume oils.

The perfumer lists heart notes of mint, blackcurrant bud, and petitgrain, all of which are exhuberant and vivacious notes but here are extremely subtle. I smell the petitgrain first and it has the orange mixed with the green and twig notes, and it also gives a touch of that soapy barbershop smell but that aspect is subtle and fleeting. I can also smell the mint and blackcurrant bud used to add a fresh tingle but they are well blended into the perfume. These three notes on their own can be very distinctive, but here I assume the perfumer has used them to keep the light and lively feel going as citrus notes are notorious for their brevity. Also these notes heighten the feeling of coolness. 

Eventually a woody aromatic essence begins to overcome the citrus. Here is where I will go off script. No wood notes or oud are listed but that is what I think I smell, just a slight and subtle touch of that woody tang that softer ouds can impart. Oakmoss, patchouli, and musk are listed as the base notes and maybe it is some alchemy of this combination that makes me think I can smell slight oud, as I am certainly not an expert nose in any shape or form when it comes to identifying individual notes. The woody slightly earthy aura is quiet and calm with just an occasional trail of distant smoke.  When I had an interview with Mr. Vos toward the end of 2017, right before the release of Warszawa, he admitted that he resists naming notes for his scents, preferring that customers come to the perfumes with no preconceived notions of how it should or should not smell. He seems to like for his perfumes to retain some air of mystery.

Aenotus feels very different from the other perfumes in the Puredistance portfolio. Maybe it is closest in spirit to Puredistance 1, which I also found to combine a certain power with restraint. But Aenotus is much more subtle and personal than the other scents in the Puredistance line. Although Mr. Vos designed this as his scent it could suit a man or a woman. The scent is very long lasting and will give the wearer pleasure as well as those who move in close enough to catch the simmer.

Maybe it was just because I went to the beach later in the day after applying Aenotus in the morning but a couple of photos I took that day really seemed to express the mood of the scent for me. Here in Adelaide, Australia, it is the tail end of summer and this was probably one of the last killer hot days. The water of the Southern Ocean was as still as that proverbial cliched pond, there was not even a discernible movement of the tide. We first were treated to a blazing yellow sunset (iphone, no filters) and then to a calm beautiful stillness in those moments where the sun has sunk below the horizon but it was not yet dusk.

At first Aenotus is bright and has a sunny warmth and a warm glow but there are cooling notes as well.

Eventually as the deeper base notes appear the scent goes still and smooth, but even in this warmth I find moments of coolness in the placid calmness and quiet tone of the scent. It is like a burner on the stove turned to low simmer. The notes become softer and fade into the skin but still have a quiet presence.

Puredistance is unabashedly a luxury brand and Jan Ewoud Vos has set these goals for Puredistance: exclusivity and timeless beauty, and the brand's tag line reads, "perfumes with a soul and signature." Although somewhat different in presentation, Aenotus continues the Puredistance tradition of quality scents with a large percentage of oils and beautiful packaging. The scent is available in three sizes: 17.5 ml, 60 ml, and 100 ml.

Finally, here is a video released by Puredistance to show their vision for Aenotus: 

To read more reviews of Puredistance scents and an interview with founder Jan Ewoud Vos, start here.

Photos from except for two beach pictures which are my own. Thank you to Puredistance for providing me with this sample. Any viewpoints or opinions expressed about the perfume are my own.


Unknown said...

This sounds like an interesting one to try. I love your descriptive writing; I can almost smell this scent and your photos work beautifully.

Cynthia said...

Thank you, Maureen! Although my favorites of this line are much bigger (projection wise) scents, this one is really beautiful.