There is not a person alive who has been unaffected by the wretchedness of 2020 and the pandemic that has dominated the list of traumas. I won’t even start to talk about the issues of this year because they are many and all hideous. But what about the escape methods for many of us during the best of times: scent? How much is perfumery still a big escape in the midst of one of the worst years in the 21st century?
Puredistance‘s newest fragrance is called Sheiduna, a spicy, woody oriental that was created by Cécile Zarokian in collaboration with the company’s founder, Jan Ewoud Vos. It is a pure parfum or extrait with a 27% concentration, and it will launch worldwide at the end of October. I’m afraid this won’t be a proper or full review for the fragrance, because my experience with it was a difficult one.
Every week, I get at least three or four emails from people seeking fragrance recommendations. The vast majority of them are men, but there are some women, too. Most of them are not long-time readers of the blog and have simply stumbled upon it, so they don’t know my long-time favorites that I talk about often, but a few are subscribers who seek specific suggestions. Sometimes, people start by giving me a brief idea of their tastes and/or names of prior fragrances they’ve worn. Typically, though, the information is insufficient for me to know what might really suit them, so I write back with a list of questions, trying to narrow down what notes they have issues with or love best, how they feel about sweetness or animalics, how their skin deals with longevity or projection, and what sort of power they want in both of those last two area.
What I’ve noticed is that I tend to make certain recommendations time and time again for particular genres or fragrance families. So, I thought I would share them with all of you. However, please keep in mind that these names are in response to some pretty set criteria given to me by the person in question, even though many of those factors end up being quite similar. For example, the men who like dark, bold, rich or spicy orientals all seem to want a certain sillage or “to be noticed in a crowd,” as several have put it. In contrast, most of those who want clean, crisp scents prefer for them to be on the discreet side and suitable for professional business environments. Men whose favorites are classical designer scents that fall firmly within the fougère, green, fresh, or aromatic categories (like Tuscany, Guerlain’s Vetiver, or vintage Eau Sauvage, for example) tend to want very traditional scents, even “old school” in vibe, and not something sweet, edgy, or with a twist. So, that is what I try to give them as recommendations, which means that there are a whole slew of fragrances that fall outside the category.
A “dream of white and gold” is the tagline for White, the latest release from the luxury brand, Puredistance. The company makes one of my favorite fragrances, the glorious M, so I always look forward to their releases. I also appreciate that they don’t release an avalanche of fragrances each year, settling instead on one scent that they work hard to perfect, and I greatly admire the luxuriousness elegance of their packaging. There is just something about Puredistance that I really like, even when one of their fragrances leaves me cold, like their Black.
Thankfully, White (or “WHITE” in all-caps as it is officially spelt) isn’t the disappointment of that last scent, though it is no M, or even Opardu with its head-turning opening phase. White is elegantly done, has a gorgeous drydown, clearly uses some very expensive ingredients, and certainly creates the visions of white and gold (or yellow) that were intended. That said, it is also a simple fragrance that is very safe in my opinion and, for much of its opening stage, also excessively commercial in profile as well. Its beauty lies in its drydown, due primarily to the superb quality of the expensive ingredients (real Mysore sandalwood!) that dominate at that point, but the rest of the scent didn’t feel distinctive or special to me. It’s a testament to just how warm, friendly, and nice the people behind Puredistance are that I feel like an utter cad saying that, but I can’t help it.
White was created by Antoine Lie who spent over a year on the scent. At one point, when the outcome didn’t match the vision that Puredistance’s founder, Jan Ewoud Vos had for the scent, everything was scratched and Mr. Lie started all over again. Mr. Vos wanted something pure, sunny, bright and evocative of happiness, and he wouldn’t settle for anything less. The final version is meant to “enhance your mood through intense, but comforting beauty” with “shades of serene white and warm gold” created through “the best and most expensive ingredients in the world.” White will debut at the Milan Esxence show at the end of March, but will be officially released around April 20th. Like its siblings, it is an extrait de parfum, but White exceeds the levels of prior scents by clocking in at a whopping 38% fragrance oil.