Olim, Latin for ??once’, is supposed to evoke the excess and vanity of the French court under King Louis. And indeed, this is one pompadour of a fragrance, full of glittering powder, resin, golden bergamot, exotic spice, and intimate musks. Breathing this in, one might imagine the powdered wigs and sugary petit fours of Marie Antoinette, as well as the aromatic lavender waters splashed on by courtiers after their evening toilette. It is glittering, bold, and full-figured ? an oriental with its corset stays loosened.
We begin at the afternoon tea table of the young Queen and her adoring coquettes. A golden bergamot is doused heavily in powdered sugar, turning it from tart to fizzy and sweet: a lemon sherbet in fragrance form. Aromatic herbs in the heart sparkle ? dewy lavender and anise, turning the air violet as the gentlemen drench their wigs and clothes to freshen them. But there is something sensual and skin-like underneath the bright elements, a combination of creamy musk, clove, and patchouli giving the lavender and bergamot a naughty Jicky edge. The deliberate clashing of citrus and cream, aromatics and resin, well ? that’s the classic recipe for when you want to do an oriental right. And Olim gets it right. If you love the warm sexiness of big-boned orientals such as Shalimar, Musc Ravageur, and Opus 1144, then Olim ought to give you a thrill.
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