For people of a certain generation, “Casablanca” is a name which instantly evokes passion, longing, and romance. The famous Oscar-winning film starring Humphrey Bogart as “Rick” and the beautiful Ingrid Bergman as “Ilsa” was, on the surface, a war-time drama involving spies and Nazi resistance figures in Casablanca, Morocco, but it was ultimately a heartbreaking romance involving star-crossed lovers. “We’ll always have Paris,” Rick’s quiet words as he said goodbye to the woman he loved, a farewell full of sacrifice, tenderness, and yearning as she boarded a plan to leave, have become one of the most famous lines in movie history.
Le Labo recently released its first new fragrance in three years, Tonka 25. It’s an eau de parfum that was created by Daphne Bugey and it’s available worldwide (as opposed to being part of the city-exclusives line of fragrances).
Though I had high hopes for Tonka 25, I found it as dull as dishwater. There are certain aspects which I could see appealing to fans of a particular, specific genre of perfumery but, for me, it was about as memorable, distinctive, robust, flavorful, and interesting as Chef Boyardee canned spaghetti.
The Koh-i-Noor, “mountain of light” in Persian, is one of the largest and most famous diamonds in the world, part of the British Crown Jewels, and a glittering focus of the opulent Queen Mary’s Crown. It is also the name of Areej Le Doré‘s latest parfum, a floral oriental with a heart of lush, indolic flowers, radiating white, yellow, and gold, against a velvety backdrop of golden amber, Mysore sandalwood, citrus, deer musk, and oud.
Inspired by the Arabian Nights, Malik Al Taif weaves tales of thousand and one opulent, majestic Taif roses — some fruity, some lemony, some honeyed, some spicy, and some laden with sticky Middle Eastern pastries and loukhoum — but all so narcotic, rich, deep, complex, and heady that they create a sensory onslaught of pure delight. It is only the start of the tale. Accompanied by beautiful, authentic, luxurious and buttery Mysore sandalwood, purring oud, saffron, and resinous amber, the Taif roses are woven into a magic flying carpet which transports you deep into the heart of ancient Saudi Arabia. There are other fragrances which have taken this same journey, but few of them are as well executed, authentic, luxurious, and smooth.