Digging the Dirt: Indolice by Providence Perfume Co
If mushrooms were flowers, if jasmine shrubs were subterranean, this is how they would smell. If ever roots of a jasmine instead of jasmine petals have inspired a perfume, I imagine that Indolice is such a perfume...In Cepes & Tuberose, mushrooms were edible, and there certainly is a lot of that umami flavor here too, in the beginning of the scent, with herbs, basil and cilantro adding to the savory effect. In Cuir et Champignon, they were elegant, unexpectedly fitting in the composition of a leathery chypre. In Charna Ethier's creation, mushrooms are probably the most as nature intended- earthy.
Interestingly, that earthiness becomes the most prominent in the heart, where the jasmine accord acquires its strength. The jasmine (three different types of night blooming jasmine, according to Providence Perfume Co.) here is breathtakingly indolic. The unapologetic skankiness of the note will take your breath away. If, like me, you belong to the group of skank-seekers (thrill-seekers?) in perfume, if you like your jasmine outrageously dirty, you might have found the holy grail in Indolice. Somehow, the indolic nature of jasmine brings out the earthiness in mushrooms. In return, the raw, fleshy accord highlights further the animalic quality of jasmine. The two bring out the worst in each other. And when I say, worst, I mean it in a very good way.
Let's not forget the oakmoss, and a lot of it, which, of course, also piles up the earth in the composition. Mushrooms and oakmoss are layered in Incolice like puff pastry sheets in some unimaginable Napoleon tart, the layers held together by richly ripe creaminess of jasmine. Why do we enjoy a cheese that smells like body odor?- asks Stacey Slate in an article, Why We Love Stinky Cheese. She maintains that "our attraction to stinky cheeses reflects part of our human nature" and that "for enthusiasts of this type of cheese, its bodily odor activates our 'cheese pheromones.”' Can it be that skanky flowers like jasmine (or tuberose, gardenia and even orange blossom, which can be indolic) are so irresistibly attractive because their aroma is also perceived as human? And thus the dirtier they are, the more "like us" they are and the more impact they have? What say you?
Indolice can be found at Providence Perfume Co., $20.00-$98.00, depending on the size. Samples of this must-try are also available.
Image source, hiltonpond.org.