EXQUISITE ESSENCES DISCOVERY BOX: The Merchant of Venice Exquisite Essences


Well known as a precious ingredient in cooking, the raw material of saffron is one of the most expensive at the perfumer’s disposal, too. Adding deep yet dry warmth, it really brings the composition alive – adding an addictive dimension that will have you sniffing your wrist the whole day through. Added to a the smoothest accord of white suede and a satisfyingly sticky Indonesian patchouli, the dry-down of crystal amber is a lastingly exotic trail that will certainly fan the flames of many more passionate trysts to come…

Now for some background: an independent perfume house devoted to their Venetian heritage, The Merchant of Venice proudly present their full-size fragrances in the most gorgeous Murano glass flacons – colourful glass unique to Venice and prized the world over for its intricate artistry.

Perfect, then, to house a precious collection inspired by the powerful trade routes of Venetian history, which led to the city being regarded as the world capital of the perfume industry (before Grasse, even…) As the royal courts flocked to the talented perfumers there, wanting the most highly-prized exotic ingredients in their bespoke scents, and fragrances well out of the reach of the ordinary person’s pocket, so the perfumes themselves grew ever more opulent.

Byzantium Saffron itself draws on the Ancient Greek myth of Crocus and Smilax – Crocus being a starry-eyed youth enchanted by the beauty of the nymph he falls in love with during a passionate encounter in a shady forest. As she spurns his advances, the flames of his passion grow ever more ardent, until at last he is transformed into the crocus flower, with fiery stamen baring testament to his ever-lasting love.

The Merchant of Venice Byzantium Saffron from £80 for 50 ml eau de parfum
Buy it at House of Fraser

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