Friday, April 9, 2010

Fragrance Review Flashback - Montale Sweet Oriental Dream

With the popularity of gourmand scents these days, a fragrance family that came into existance relatively recently, we find perfumes with notes of saffron, chocolate, and even black truffle. Gourmand fragrances tend towards the Oriental, so it's not surprising to see a few pop up based on the Turkish delicacy, loukhoum.

Loukhoum, otherwise known as Turkish delight, is a gelled sugar-and-cornstarch candy typically flavored with rosewater and studded with bits of nuts. One story about the origin of this candy comes from the late 1700s, when a Turkish sultan grew tired of cracking his teeth on hard candy and demanded something softer. His confectioner developed a recipe using water, cornstarch, sugar, cream of tartar, and rosewater cut into chunks and rolled in powdered sugar. The soft candy delighted the sultan, as it was finally a rahat loukhoum ("comfortable morsel") for his poor teeth.

Sweet Oriental Dream

Notes: Moroccan rose, loukhoum (honey, rose water, sugar, fruit, jam, nuts), almonds, vanilla

Sniffing the juice in the vial, I can smell the roses. Once on, however, there's a strong cherry-almond smell coupled with a whiff of rosewater and honey. For a few minutes, this combines to create a Play-Doh smell, but that quality fades and the scent becomes more like that of rahat loukhoum.

The rose scent is very subtle, with the almond and honey taking center stage. There's a jammy note as well, something similar to a sweet cherry-scented tobacco, but not at all smoky. The drydown brings out a powdery vanilla that gives the effect of a sweet coating of confectioners sugar sifted onto the skin.

Overall, this is a very edible scent, but I wish the jammy-ness was a bit stronger, with more rose. It is slightly more pronounced in the drydown, but I want more.

Needless to say, this will most likely prompt me to get my hands on several other loukhoum-based fragrance samples....


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