This was the first collaboration of its kind. Artisanal perfumery with a quarantine twist—Homeros was born during lockdown, because of lockdown.
Down here in southern Antalya along the coast of the Mediterranean, you see the Greek islands hovering nearby. So close you could probably swim there.
This is where I’ve been since lockdown began, unable to return to my atelier. It’s the frustration and longing to capture the scent around me that gave birth to the Odyssey Collab.
Homeros is the result of my collaboration with artisanal perfume connoisseurs who joined in making the perfume not just possible, but what it now is. They were my surrogate nose as Homeros was composed by an anosmic perfumer through the prism of his fellow fragheads’ input and feedback.
When you first set sail, you’d hope that the reaction would be unanimous, and everyone’s preference would align to single out one of the five perfumes that made up The Odyssey Collab.
But that would be too easy. What would be the point?
If the collaboration didn’t influence the direction of the fragrance to ultimately make it greater, if it didn’t create a montage of the refinements, from added spices to ambergris, toned down citrus to extra oud, there would be no true Collab.
Instead of a uniform vote, I received fantastic insights and recommendations. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and still super constructive.
What you have here is the culmination of this journey. My team finally managed to get samples to me in Antalya, along with the new iterations developed during the Collab.
The composition ended up making a U-turn so that, in the end, Homeros turned out quite different from any of the five Odyssey perfumes. Instead of the five iterations, my iterations, Homeros is ours.
It belongs to Andy, for his scathing criticism, and Erhard for his uncanny insights and proposals. To Walter, who inspired the inclusion of Oud Royale 2004’s petrichor-fresh wafts of green incense, and Marcel and his wife, who echoed a thought many shared: some of those top notes are a touch too sweet. That they prefer the darker tenor of Ogygia…… even though it smells a bit like a Japanese temple (remind me, why is that a bad thing?) And Eugenie, the great great great great grandson of Homer himself.
If this was a mainstream perfume, I’d get away with releasing any of the five perfumes even in skeleton form. But Homeros has to live up to the standards of a keenly discerning community of artisanal perfume lovers who are part of this niche community exactly because their olfactory appetite can’t be satisfied with just any perfume.
Homeros shows off the expertise, not of the perfumer, but of the artisanal collective it is made for—perfume devotees experienced enough to pick up the tonka bean in Zante and the musk that’s in Ithaca, and in Ithaca only. How nobody got fooled into thinking there’s any ambergris—there wasn’t, but now there’s plenty—and who wondered if it’s the apricot that kills the mandarin (it is).
Homeros gives you front row seats to a landmark moment in perfume history.
First editions are one thing. Vintage legends are another. Folks who collect early Guarlains often do so as much out of a longing for a return to the robust natural perfumes they represent as they do for the fact that they’re originals.
Oud Royale 2004
Borneo Oud Resin
Maroke Oud Smoke
Maroke Agarwood Resin
Green Kyen Organic Extract
Vintage Kupang Sandalwood
White Ambergris Tincture
Homeros is an olfactory ode to Odysseus that captures the Antalyan air, Ithaca’s flowers, its fruits, the dry salty seaside cool which stirred up countless ideas to create an iconic Mediterranean perfume that captures this place and this crazy time, lush with the sweet zest of the midday breeze as you drive by groves of mandarin as wafts of narcissus blow down from the hill.
Imagine what iodine would do to local habanera laced with the zest of wet saffron and juicy-dry mimosa. A much subdued, rugged even, opening chord caressed by cypress and osmanthus, enlivened by the creamy sweet scent of castoreum and blackcurrant, all enshrouded in wafts of amber-infused tree balsams, musk-laced cacao, and the smooth oudy baritone of Oud Royale 2004.
They say the journey makes the man. And that’s certainly been the case with this perfume. Homeros is brought to you by the artisanal perfume community for the artisanal perfume community. There weren’t minor tweaks or subtle iterations to the five Odyssey perfumes. Instead, Homeros has been revamped, overhauled and turned into a totally distinct perfume where you’ll only smell a distant echo of The Odyssey’s tone as you sit down to enjoy the destinations’ end.
Thank you again to all the participants, your membership and participation in the Odyssey Collab gives you special access to this page.