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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Perfume Review: Indult Isvaraya, Manakara and Tihota

Indult, a new collection of perfumes from France, borrows its name from a term that defines the privileges granted to certain people by the King of France or the Pope. Seemingly following the successful formula of Editions de Parfums, Indult grants the perfumers the freedom of creation. The three scents in the collection, Tihota, Manakara and Isvaraya were created by Francis Kurkdjian, the author of Rose Barbare, Eau Noire, Cologne Blanche and Gaultier 2. With their intriguing names, exotic notes and smooth blends, the perfumes are imaginative and charming. According to Indult, only natural extracts and no additives or colorants are used in the scents. The simple, elegant bottles come in amazing boxes made of palisander.

Tihota (Rapa Nui for “sugar”). Lovers of vanilla scents, please take notice. Here comes vanilla to rule all vanillas. There is nothing in Tihota to distract from the beauty of the note, no flowers to compete with vanilla, no fruits to make the blend childish or worse, girly…Because of the richness of the blend, because of the honeyed, almost smoky undertone that vanilla has here, the perfume feels neither too simple, nor overwhelmingly foody. I usually have very little interest in “soliflores” of any kind (except for leather, vetiver or iris), I tire easily from compositions heavy on one note, but I would love to own a bottle of Tihota, this extraordinarily luscious, warm comfort scent.

Isvaraya (“Unto the Supreme”, in Sanskrit). With notes of patchouli, Indian plum tree and jasmine sambac, the scent is a dream of India, both of its ancient spirituality and the modern glitter of Bollywood. My absolute favorite of the three Indult scents, Isvaraya contrasts the dazzling, virginal whiteness of jasmine with sensual darkness of patchouli. The very subtle fruity undertone does not add much sweetness but brings an enchanting twist to the blend, in the same way that red shoes or a belt add interest to an elegant black and white outfit. The scent has a certain sweet piquancy that makes me think of cardamom and saffron. I find this sophisticated and opulent composition to be incredibly gorgeous and full bottle worthy without a shadow of a doubt. As a side note, Isvaraya layers fantastically well with Tihota.

Manakara, named for the town in Madagascar, the source of the best litchis in the world, pairs the fresh, airy sweetness of roses with the juicy fruitiness of litchi. I like the fact that roses are more prominent than litchis and that the scent has an appealing, boozy, vaguely grape-like undertone. As far as fruity-florals go, Manakara is one of the most enjoyable. Even I, not a fan of the genre by far, could wear it. On the whole, however, as pretty as the fragrance is, it is just a little too sweet and too “pink” for me.

The Indult line is set to be launched in French Sephora exclusively, on January 8th 2007. Only 999 bottles of each scent will be available, each retailing for EUR160 for 50ml. The scents might be released in the States at some point in the future, but nothing has been confirmed. My only hope for getting hands on a bottle of Isvaraya will be eBay.

The images are from

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks so Hermessence !!!!! The bottle design and the concept. Almost everyone today "revisits" the raw materials with its own "interpretation". It became so common and "trendy" that for a new - niche house redoing this seems much more a lack of inspiration and originality. Though; I am curious to try them because the perfumer did a lot of very interesting and beautiful fragrances.

2:51 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay as a vanilla lover you have really got my attention with that Tihota... Please I need more information! If you had to compare it to something would it be L'Artisians Vanille? More of a grown up vanilla? I must know!!!!

6:33 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

Price point. As soon as I read that the boxes were made of palisander (an endangered species, so quite pricey if it's real) I scrolled down to check price points before I could potentially let myself get mesmerized by your descriptions and possibly consider an unsniffed order. Blessedly, that won't be easy since French Sephora won't ship to the US, but the 999 bottles sort of confirms my concerns that the price might be awkward. And I was right about getting mesmerized. Isvaraya - *want*...regardless of price. And I also want that gorgeous box. Sigh.

6:43 AM EST  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Be still, my pounding heart !
I'm going to hide under the floorboards,I think...
La-la-la-la-la !
I can't hear you !

7:09 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Okay, they're gorgeous. Those boxes ... sigh (although I'm feeling a bit guilty because I didn't know about palisander being endangered). I find the whole Sanskrit/Rapa Nui thing a bit precious (or maybe I'm just mad because struggling with French is hard enough!) Okay, so ... which one is "me"? I'm thinking Isvaraya.

7:26 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

Oh, lord! A whole new line she needs to find now! At least it won't be around for awhile. One Isvaraya, please.

7:30 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

Wrote that too early in the morning. Should have added on that there's an excellent chance that they've not used Brazilian palisander, which is what is endangered and considered to be the finest rosewood. Other rosewoods from Indonesia, Madagascar or Honduras are not endangered. They also used to not be called palisander, just rosewood, but more recently are sometimes referred to as palisander since Brazilian palisander is quite hard to get. I'm guessing these boxes are not Brazilian palisander because it would be insane cost wise. I only wrote that because seeing palisander that early in the morning set off price bells in my head and that was just added onto by the limited number released.

7:48 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Dear Anonymous,
I did not even think of that, yes, Hermessence is a good comparison. Kurkdjian has a style completely different from Ellena.

8:05 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Compared to Vanilia, Tihota is sweeter, "rounder", more robust, less woody and has a smoky honey undertone that Vanilia does not.

8:06 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

They are being mysterious about the price. I just can't imagine something extremely expensive at Sephora...although I must say, I can't even imagine these scents being sold at Sephora, at least in the US. They smell like something Luckyscent or Aedes would carry, you know? Of course the French Sephora sells all sorts of great stuff that ours does not...but I am rambling...My guess would be EUR 150-200. What's yours? :-)

8:10 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

You can't hide, sorry..the samples are coming to you. :-D

8:11 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

All names are precious these days. And always were. There are some exotic names to which we are just very used, but which come from the same longing for exotic. Shalimar. Mitsouko :-)
I think that you might like Isvaraya. Do you ever have bouts of craving for warm vanilla, during winter? If so, you'd like Tihota too. I can't see you loving Manakara. Patty might, though!

8:15 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

One for you and one for me. After Jan. 8 I am watching the French eBay like a proverbial eagle. Someone is bound to buy, not to like and to want to sell :-)

8:16 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am sure it is as you say. I just can't imagine anyone these days going for something endangered and then selling it at Sephora of all places. Can't wait till Jan 8, want to know the price.

8:17 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

Yep. I'm guessing 150 - 200 euros as well for about 50ml. I'm also hoping lots of fruity/floral lovers accidentally buy Isvaraya and then all run to ebay to sell it so that there's plenty to go around for all of us here. :-)

8:37 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I agree and that's what I hope for too :-) People will be seduced by exotic names and the packaging and will buy almost unsniffed...and then they will make US happy :-)

8:39 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I think Isvaraya and Manakara have your name written on them :-P

9:17 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Why I am not surprised that you do know a guy :-)

9:18 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patty and her contacts - she has a wider network than any James Bond arms dealing arch-enemy.


That was an existential wail from the heart about an excess of loveliness still to sniff. When will a surfeit of scent feel like a surfeit of scent?

9:42 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

the answer to that is, never! :-)

And I so agree about Patty...:-D

9:46 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They all sound wonderful, M, and I especially love your analogy of the red belt accent on a black and white outfit for the plum note in Isvaraya, but none of them sound like things I *must* have any time soon. In other words, they do not create an instantaneous lemming in me, which is a good thing, with all the ones you have created already. :-)

10:06 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Do you mean, they are not as lemming-full or lemming-worthy for you as Bois de Copaiba? :-) (I am wearing it again today, LOVE it!)

10:09 AM EST  
Blogger Erin said...

Can you only buy online with French Sephora? Or are there stores all over France that will carry this? (I'm just asking because I *think* I may have exciting news about my Christmas present this year!) Loving the sound of that Isvaraya...

11:20 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

It's an Exclusive Sephora release. At least for now. I know that we can't buy at from the US. :-( Not sure about Canada...

11:25 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Lie to me and tell me I'd hate them, k?


2:32 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

No problem. I think you'd pretty much dislike Manakara, won't feel the earth move for Tihota and although you'd probably think that Isvaraya is very beautiful, it won't be your kind of thing either.
I tried. :-)

2:34 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

So nice to see you here! I am not rolling no eyes. I'd love to have a bottle of Tihota to get me through the winter.

3:28 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think i'm one of the very few here that's going for the Manakara. I desire-need-crave-am-fixated-with the Manakara. Thouest hast stirred an exuisite fiery lemming in this, Marina.

3:51 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I wrote to the lovely Julien of Indult and he confirmed that it is indeed EUR160 for 50ml. Not cheap, but I guess it could be worse.

3:56 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

(love your nickname :-))
Exuisite fiery lemmings are just the kind of lemmings I love to stir :-D

3:57 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

M -- Touche. Who am I, lover of Mitsouko (and Dzongkha) to criticize the exotic name? Eh?

What do you want to bet P's already placed an order?

4:29 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Ha! I am not placing any bets. She admitted that she is "working on it" :-), which I think means the order has been or is about to be placed. Patty rocks.

4:31 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked all of them:) I hope, they have 10 or 15 ml bottles. How about the longevity?

Will we have Houbigant reviews?

6:35 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I wish all perfume lines had 1-15ml bottles.

Houbigant reviews? No, I don't have any planned :-)

6:36 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish too:)
It is sad, because no one talks about that, and I have some favorites among them. But maybe it is not sad, I enjoy wearing them alone:)

6:51 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You didn't tell me about the longevity??? It is important:)

6:54 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

They are very longlasting on me, I mean, very, literally all day till I wash them off.

6:56 PM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

I did my best to skim, LOL...since the last thing I need is a lemming for something that will be at Sephora in France only, with only 999 bottles -- but yay, none of these is screaming my name!!!

2:16 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I think so too (about them not screaming). I wish Isvaraya wouldn't scream mine quite so ludly :-)

2:21 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

calling all lemmings :-) I will be going to Paris on the 19th of Jan and am willing to get a bottle each of the 3 and do a bottle split ala-Patty style if you guys are up for it. whaddya say?

7:40 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The edps retail for 160 Euros for 50 ml. Source: Cosmetic News

4:17 AM EST  

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