Because of you, the heady perfumes of
Summer pain me; because of you, I again
Seek out the signs that precipitate desires:
Shooting stars, falling objects.
Pablo Neruda, Love
I was not prepared to like an orange blossom perfume; after being over-exposed to one of those (even if one of the most beautiful ones) for several years, and this time of the year, this is just not a note I appreciate. So loving an orange blossom perfume came as a shock. Another shock was discovering that the exuberantly floral Oesel was in fact meant by creators as a masculine scent. Not that I mind in the least, anything is unisex anyway.
I suppose I can see how the masculinity can be justified: by a certain dryness of the blend, the lack of sweetness one might expect from a mix of orange blossom, jasmine, rose and acacia. And yet...there is something so ...breathily, effervescently feminine about Oesel. The dazzlingly bright orange blossom is the dominant note, to my nose. Aided in the top by a more verdant, sharp citrusy-ness of petit grain, it stays on my skin right though the whole development of the composition, singing louder than the other flowers in the heart and even getting through the sumptuous dark muffle of patchouli and woods in the base. The aroma of this fleur d'oranger is like a sheer, bright yellow of a diaphanous organza fabric blowing in the hot summer wind...The vividness of the note makes one catch one's breath and then go, delightfully, aaahh! ...There is just something so infinitely, vibrantly beautiful about it.
I should emphasize again how non-sweet this floral explosion is on my skin. And despite the brilliant dominance of orange blossom, the composition retains a certain degree of darkness. If Mona di Orio's truly nocturnal, indolic, earthy, complex Nuit Noire and L'Artisan's buoyantly sunny, fresh and simpler Fleur d'Oranger had an offspring, it would have been just like Oesel...a luminous, joyful creature, which throws an unexpectedly dark shadow...
Available at Xerjoff's website and Luckyscent, $345.00-$470.00.