We’re always delighted to meet Kelly Kovac, one of the ODIN New York partners, but especially when she has something new to smell. Intriguingly, the latest of the Black Line fragrances from this uber-cool concept store now reaching perfumistas across the globe, has been specifically designed to grab your nose and smell interesting from the get-go, on the paper blotter itself. Step forward No. 00 Auriel…
Kelly Kovac: ‘For this one we wanted to make sure it smelled really interesting right away, from the first spray on the blotter. It was specifically developed to capture someone’s interest – it’s the way most people smell perfumes at first, after all – and then to be sufficiently engaged to want to try it on their skin.’
Talking about how Odin have grown alongside their original concept of a fragrance line, following the story of their own journey in confidence, Kelly explained how the founders are now at a point where they feel able to give the perfumers themselves far more direction – and that includes saying what they don’t want.
‘This is our fifteenth fragrance and I really feel we’ve come full circle with this. The first ones were kind of our modern interpretation of classics, but this one has swung around the other way to fully embrace classic perfumery. We’re very aware that we have a global footprint now and the brand has been really well received in the Russian and Middle Eastern markets, but they always want more – bigger, bigger, more, more! But we knew we didn’t want to do just another oudh – there’s this global appeal for larger, very bold fragrances now and so where we went with it. Most of our fragrances are very strong anyway, with heavy bases and lots of woods – but another oudh, does the world really need that? I don’t think so!’
Top notes: cassis berries, coriander, black pepper
Heart notes: rose absolute, jasmine Sambac, muguet
Base notes: agarwood, sandalwood, patchouli, labdanum
ODIN say: ‘A dark, sultry, animalistic wood that balances feminine and masculine from top to bottom. The scent opens with an assertive blend of cassis berries, herbaceous coriander and tellicherry peppercorns. The heart is a copious floral aphrodisiac of spicy rose absolute, creamy jasmine sambac and sweet muguet giving a smooth, velvety texture. Auriel’s roots of black agarwood develop on the skin with resinous warmth and richness that is undeniably provocative.’
We say: Having sprayed the blotter and indeed been sufficiently intrigued to take the next step – on paper it smells quite boozy with a woody herbaceous whisper that beckons you forth for another sniff – we sprayed 00 Auriel on our wrists. The difference is extraordinary – suddenly the brandied top note is joined by cassis, bursting with slightly tart juice – and the coriander really comes to the fore.
The contrast of notes continues throughout with black pepper kicking in as the heart matures into a heady bouquet of rose absolute and jasmine with the freshness of muguet drawing the florals back from the edge of too much. In the base we finally sense the oudh peeking through – put it only peeks, this one, it doesn’t barge its way in. The woods and patchouli sink into a powdered smoothness that’s like a perfectly tailored suede coat – again, that interplay of masculine structure and feminine drape –and we feel that, though this is definitely a ‘sharable’ scent – once you get your hands it, you may not be letting it out of your sight…
ODIN New York No. 00 AURIEL, £125 for 100ml eau de parfum,
Exclusive to Fenwick, Bond Street in the UK
Written by Suzy Nightingale