I am always eager to try a new
fragrance from Providence
, because I know it will be interesting and
stand apart from the crowd. Samarinda
is no exception, and
testing it has involved keeping my nose firmly glued to my wrist.
It's one of those perfumes that has so many interesting notes that
it's hard to focus on trying to analyze it; I keep getting pulled in
by one thing or another and “following” it with my nose, only to
be led astray by something else.
Samarinda is not a heavy-handed
Orientalist fragrance loaded with spices and patchouli, as one might
expect from something inspired by Indonesia, but rather a subtle
perfume that mesmerizes by stealth, unfolding one beautiful note
after another until its full glory is revealed. It captured me
immediately with a particularly excellent cardamom opening – that
is my favorite of all tropical spices and it's usually relegated to a
supporting role in masculine scents and often overwhelmed by bolder
notes, so it's a rare treat to find it in a fragrance I would
actually wear. A delicious sweet orange is the perfect accompaniment.
The floral heart that includes a rich orange blossom is sweet and
redolent, but its headiness is tempered by a deep impression of
Sumatran coffee, enough to give the whole thing a backbone, and not
overdone; it is by no means a coffee perfume. Just when you think
that is the final act, the base notes begin to peek out, and they are
quite unusual – jasmine rice (another one of my favorite aromas),
rum, vanilla oakwood, and of all things, roasted seashells. I have
smelled the last in a couple of other natural fragrances and it's
fascinating, a warm mineral note that's not really smoky, more earthy
and salty. Combined with the savory aura of the jasmine rice, it
creates a feeling like a sense of place. I can imagine a small island
village where the smells of cooking mingle with the aromas of spices
and jungle flowers, and over all there is dust and mud, perhaps the
essence of the rice paddies where man and water buffalo work as one.
A faint scent of the sea comes in on a languid breeze.
Like all fragrances from this company,
Samarinda is completely natural, and 5% of sales will be donated to
the World Wildlife Fund
to help preserve habitat and critically endangered wildlife in Borneo
and Sumatra. I can't think of a more worthy cause, and this is
definitely a worthy perfume. There is nothing discordant or
“difficult” about it, just pure pleasure and a certain
restfulness and ease as it spirits you away to your own private
island dream. Perfumer Charna Ethier
has once again shown us
that natural perfumery is limited only by the imagination, and hers
apparently knows no boundaries.
credit: Samarinda logo and bottle via providenceperfume.com
I received my sample of Samarinda for testing directly from
Providence Perfume Company.
Labels: Donna, natural perfumery, Providence Perfume