Mercilessly, the scent of a young girl inflicts a pubescent boy with an unshakable obsession. Such impossible lust, enough to turn the young Jean-Baptiste’s fixation on the scent of female flesh into a fetish. Leopold Bloom gazing at his limp languid member, like you too once relished the smell of the baker’s breath down beneath.
Fictional, perhaps, but not far-fetched. Just as certain perfumers have gotten requests from their significant other to bottle up their musky armpit sweat and make a perfume out of it, this is a bottled up memory of coming of age, elevated to the immaculate olfactory vistas of none other than a Sultan’s finest rose harvest.
Perfume can be intensely carnal. And it would be chicanery on my part to shy away from the all-too-human eroticism we are meant to indulge in, not deny. Bygone lovers who sought out and lacquered their bodies in expensive perfume to meet, newlywed, behind the curtains, and let sweat meet rose, emit musk, leaving that lingering scent of spent skin as your body slips into soma, gratified and wet.
Instead of that, branded synthetics reflect the monuments we erect to our hollow, empty, sex-obsessed selves who no longer dare yearn with a lover’s passion for the smell of her nape, for your soft cheek on his sweaty chest. Glaring each at his Exegi Monumentum, holding a magazine loaded with one synthetic more tawdry than the next, one-dimensional man is losing that all-too-intimate, willing-die-for – to kill for – passion for Lola. When was the last time a fragrance moved you? Made you tingle down there and your cheeks blush? Made you want.
Perfume has become just an aftershave in a hyper-sanitized world. BigMacs with big budgets for big posters of big stars. Designer colognes that will forever remind you of the airport Duty-Free, where they stand for marketing and glitz next to tax-free drums of cheap whiskey, cartons of cigarettes and slabs of KitKat. To remind you of Hollywood’s latest show, not the ravishing libido of your embarrassed teenage self, discovering your sexuality, fantasizing without a flinch of those moments where you’d lie there smelling his armpit sweat, in love, wanting more. The scent of the ointment that sticks to her hair that sticks to your cheek. The scent of rose, of the Himalayan oyster, the Greeks’ red grape. Makes you wonder, when did the rose gardens dry out? for what did we sacrifice the vigor of young Jean-Baptiste?
Through Qaboos’ rose and the Sheikh’s musk, Sultan Red Rose Attar sets out to conjure not animalics but these human, all too human odors that we encounter in our most passionate moments.
When did rose beds and the raunchiest musk lose their carnal intimacy? Why did perfume turn into little more than a poster of bad boy actor X or the sad shallow image of a saucy looking actress?
Just like that plastic flower at the department store gives you as much oxygen as the plastic pot it’s in, muscone isolates and lab-made rose stir up sales, streamline and cut costs, but are bereft of soul. That’s why natural ingredients matter, and why I used aromatics that are the crème de la crème in each genre, some of which I’ve had to wait years to acquire, others I’d kept for years waiting for the right time to bring them out.
Sultan Rose Attar was composed of three ingredients. Sultan Red Rose Attar adds thirty more, including Hainan 2005 for its sleek orange zest and virgin musky allure. On top of that, a thick dose of the most expensive Kambodi oud we ever distilled to round the scent out with a über-rare oudilicious base. Even the carrier is a 40-year-old vintage Mysore.
The Sultan’s private harvest from the early 80’s, musk pods ground and crushed by the Sheikh’s own hands fourteen years ago. The reddest rose, oud dripping from its petals, infused into pods potent with primal charm. A motif that celebrates love and rosy-cheeked blushing hot-blooded play. A risqué aphrodisiac that kisses your skin and stokes the titillating flame between the two of you.
This oud parfum is my humble rendition of those timeless fragrances so pheromonal you feel that sultry musc a la musc carnal lick-your-lips primacy, just as you felt it for the first time at your sweet sixteen. When you felt it again, but deeper, as you dreamt of holding her hand. As the poets taught you, to fancy a kiss. And more than that.
Older as I now am, I remember fondly and uncomfortably my coming of age. A single swipe of this red rose pastes it all onto a canvas for me to behold. My finest ouds, a Buddhist master’s finest sandalwood, a Sultan’s rose harvest, in a scent that lets you look back at the teenage you; your first look at her, her first look at you. Young love. And lust. Ultimately, for many a dedication to such intimacy lost.
Greetings from the love of my life, my hometown of Grasse, France. This morning, the cool breeze is tinged with burgeoning Orange Blossom and Rose. May is a beautiful month here, and the Rose harvest season is upon us! Lily of the Valley is also ubiquitous as the May 1st national holiday is around the corner. How wondrous and fragrant are those tiny white bells.
Quite à propos, my SOTD is my first wear of Sultan Red Rose. Per EO custom, quality is not spared here. To my nose, genuine Musk is very, very present much to my delight, both in the opening and heart. Musk is the first component that struck me. A luscious Rose comes to give it elegance, seemingly complemented by saffron and jasmine – is that what I am picking up on? A Rose centered bouquet of florals. Sultan Red Rose is Arabesque and it’s a delight.
For those looking for a comparison with Sultan Rose Attar – I find Red Rose Attar to be more intriguing – the incredible depth on the Musk gives this blend a wonderfully dark, sensual aspect. You almost can’t really compare the two because Red Rose Attar is a composition, while SRA was a nod and a tribute to the traditional sandal-rose accord. – Philip, France
How to even begin? Well, when first applied there are a few main themes that jump out. Rose, of course… a juicy red rose… fairly sweet, deep and rich smelling. Musk, which in this case smells clean, like the essence of musk with anything furry or halitosis smelling removed… more sweet and skin-like than animalic, slightly earthy. And another accord that is really elusive and complex… some descriptors are resinous, dark, woody, bracing, smoky, hard. A wild guess might include olibanum, myrrh, wood oils like teak, camphor, mint, pepper, gardenia and of course oud. At first, this 3rd accord feels dark and hard, like obsidian stone, and if you smell it up close it dominates the composition. The silliage however, is far more balanced.
Over time the 3rd accord softens and recedes, the darkness starts to feel more human and less mineral, the composition transitions from Arabic to French as the rose and musk become more dominant and the 3rd accord, accompanied by the musk, becomes more like body odor in the best, most French way possible. I also think the oud becomes more prominent, anchoring the base. The heart of the fragrance, where everything comes into balance, is truly magical. Gradually, over hours, the 3rd accord fades even more and the fragrance softens, with the rose and musk gently dominating.
The closest comparison to a mainstream fragrance is probably “Black Gemstone,” which is a nice composition, but like most fragrances today is marred by being too sweet and synthetic. Of course, Sultan Red Rose Attar is not synthetic at all… but also not for the faint of heart. It is a big, bold composition with plenty of silliage. The silliage is probably the best part. It’s very strong, much stronger vs the projection so you get whiffs of it here and there. For the most part, this is how I prefer to experience it as well. It’s better to wave your wrist past your nose than smell the fragrance directly, except for possibly the drydown when you’re left with a gauzy cloud of rosy musk with the 3rd accord mostly gone.
Overall this is exceptionally good, certainly in the very top tiers of Attars/Mukhs in terms of both composition and quality of materials. It’s not inexpensive but I can also say it’s a great value and probably significantly underpriced, to be honest. If I could afford it I’d buy a tola… – Dorje, USA
The Red Rose attars are intoxicating, in particular the SRRA – I’ve smelled rose “style” attars, and of course Bulgarian, Taif etc. but I did not imagine roses could smell like THIS. They at once let you know how extremely fine they are. As with so many of your offerings, they raise the bar impossibly high, and I’m fortunate to have them. As with the Oud, I get a bit sad thinking there are only so many bottles of each to last forever. – Jeff, USA
Пишу тебе с радостным настроением – вот он, то что я искал так долго! Тот самый парфюм, который пленит все мои чувства, раскрепощает эмоции, дарит энергию и абсолютную радость. Я нашел сначала в Nuit de Ceylan эту французскую ноту, но Ensar раскрыл весь изящный французский букет в новых духах – Sultan Red Rose! Это блаженство… Мускус невероятно сделан в них! – Максим, Russia