Close your eyes and imagine a landscape of burnt umber, red, green, and black where the ground is made of earthy patchouli and tobacco, the rivers run dark with burnt resins, green shrubs of vetiver and galbanum grow around sinewy trees made of black licorice, and the sky hangs heavy in a haze of terracotta red dust and amber. In the far distance, near marshes of wet, mushy amber, there is an ancient monastery. Its library is filled with ancient parchment paper made from pressed herbs and covered with the dust of ages. In its kitchens, the monks cook with dried fenugreek and curried immortelle, their aroma carrying on the wind to the rugged landscape outside. That is the world of Ladamo which takes the most organic aspects of Mother Earth, and puts it in a perfume bottle.
I’m happy to report that the avant-garde Italian line, O’Driù, will be arriving shortly at Luckyscent. It is the first time that O’Driù (hereinafter spelled simply as “O’Driu” without the accent) will be available in America.
For those of you who have never heard about the line, O’Driu is a small Italian niche company founded in 2010 as part of a project by the Pleasure Factory, a specialty communications company. All of O’Driu’s fragrances are made by Angelo Orazio Pregoni, who I find to be a truly fascinating chap. I wrote a little bit about him in my review of the bespoke fragrance, Peety, and about how sincerely he seems to believe in a more experimental, avant-garde approach to perfumery. A bohemian, intellectual, mad scientist who likes to think outside the box and who has a rather wicked sense of humour, if you will. (I still laugh when I think of his bio page on the O’Driu website.)
His creations are highly original, extremely concentrated, and almost purely all-natural. Many feel like extraits more than eau de parfums, and most have something like 96% fragrance oils, absolutes, or essentials. Some of the note lists include lyrical descriptions that are almost more like poetry than something you’d normally find in a perfume pyramid. One perfume, for example, Leva is said to include: “the nightmare that reveals the pleasure,” “a smell in the wood,” or, simply, “under the sun.” What is under the sun, I have no idea. (Also, I’m dying to know what note is symbolized by “a bath in the water,” which is supposedly one of the notes in the super-rich, tobacco, earthy, vetiver, licorice scent called Ladamo.) Whatever the actual ingredients turn out to be, I fully expect they will add to the unexpectedness of the fragrance bouquet. Since I wrote about Peety, I’ve had the chance to try a few more of Mr. Pregoni’s perfumes, and I can tell you that they are full of surprises. Continue reading