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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Perfume Review: Olivier Durbano Black Tourmaline

The first thought that materialized in my mind the moment I smelled Black Tourmaline was, strangely, "Home". Nudging my subconsciousness to elaborate a little, I figured out that "Home", of course, meant "Russia" and, specifically, "Orthodox churches". Wooden churches, to be precise, the walls of which are still redolent of the freshly cut pine, practically oozing pine resin... somewhere in Kizhi...

The list of Black Tourmaline's notes boasts a whole array of very appealing aromas: cardamom, coriander, cumin, frankincense, pepper, smoked wood, oud, leather, musk, amber, moss, patchouli. On my skin, it is much simpler than that, basically just "pine resin" and frankincense, but this solemn, soulful simplicity does not make it any less attractive to me. Black tourmaline is said to be a stone of protection, and being secure and comforted is in fact what the scent that was inspired by it does make me feel. Safe within the thick wooden walls of an old church, with the flames of the candles flickering gently and the smoke of incense rising delicately upwards, under the sad, kindly eyes on the icons, I am cut off from all desires and fears, cares and anxieties. "The cross is upon me and in front of me and on the church, covering me like a cloud..."

Black Tourmaline, which so far is to me the best of the three Olivier Durbano scents, is available at Luckyscent, $115.00 for 100ml. (Please also see the reviews of Amethyst and Rock Crystal.)

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Blogger tmp00 said...

Oh, this does sound wonderful.

10:21 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I have never been to Russia, but my very Russian blood began to sing when I read your lovely descriptions of the churches. I could smell the grandfather was Russian and he would always get very misty for his homeland. He described forests to me when I was a little girl that I was sure were made of magic. He was a jeweler, he would have loved the thought of a fragrance called Black Tourmaline. I can't wait to try this!

10:45 PM EDT  
Blogger Gaia said...

Tonight I wore Amethyst, which I absolutely love. I need to get myself to try Black Tourmaline. I have a feeling I'd love it, and not just because of my Lithuanian roots.

11:43 PM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

This definitely is my favorite of the Durbanos. Must go retest my sample. I've never actually been to Kizhi, but it's just about at the top of my list of places I *must* get to. Soon. In the interim, a bottle of BT may be just the thing.

6:19 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It is!

6:34 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh, I didn't know you had Russian roots...but I should have guessed! :-)

6:35 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I thought Amethyst was much more interesting than Rock Crystal, which seemed to be the universal favorite. but I think that BT is even better.

6:36 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I need a bottle of this too, and I didn't want a full bottle of anything for a loooong time. :-)

6:36 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

You make this sound so wonderful! I did like it, but I was not so moved by it. I guess I need your skin--or your memories (or both)!

6:38 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Well, DH said it smelled like paint thinnnr, so... :-)

6:43 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

My favorite of the 3 too, and now really looking forward to the next 2 -- this is a fun series of scents.

10:25 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I didn't know there were 5 planned! I hope the other 2 are just as great.

10:58 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is indeed profound and I was smitten immediately (which is rare). The dry down is very similar to Greyland which sort of bothers me as I like my scent collection to be quite varied. Black Tourmaline reminds me of my treks through the Mayan temples.

11:08 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting. I need to re-try greyland with that in mind.

11:25 AM EDT  
Blogger Kelley said...

M, I do so love incense and I burn copal in my studio almost every day. When it comes to incense scents though, I don't have any that are "soliflors" or maybe "soliresins". Usually, the incense is hidden in the base notes...somewhere. This sounds like it would raise the spirit to higher heights. Maybe it would improve my mental attitude and thereby affect my painting in a truly positive is that for justification of more purchases?

11:51 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your description makes me think of a review I read for Zagorsk, I think either here or Aromascope. Never been to Russia, but I do love Zagorsk - how does this compare? Thanks,

12:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It's a great justification :-) In fact, that's all the justification I needed :-)

12:58 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I perecive Zagorsk as a "colder", "lighter" (both in "feel" and in "weight") scent. But the atmosphere that they create, the memories they evoke for me are sort of the same. I would choose Tourmaline over Zagorsk, actually.

12:59 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've smelled the scent, and it evoked Catholic churchs for ancient church, made of yet older wood and stone, and as the years passed the walls have become inbued with the scent.

1:49 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to go to Kizhi!

As for the 'fume, though I'm completely off incense scents right now (dunno why - they seem off on my skin), I'll smell this one for sure. You've sold me on it.

What I really want though is a bottle of Bois d'Armenie...

2:42 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! The list of notes is pretty much everything I like in perfumes that's not floral! I can see myself caving for this one. What's not to love about oud, cardamon, moss and frankincense in the SAME perfume?

Also, I have a new appreciation of cumin, having finally dared to try a couple of scents that have a lot of it (Timbuktu, Greyland) and finding out that it really works on me - warm and inviting, no eau de tomcat! :-)

4:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Ducks said...

This sounds just scrumptious. I have to upgrade from "want to try" to "must try" now. :)

8:49 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

But the same effect, right?

9:08 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I want to go there too!

9:09 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Timbuktu has cumin? :-) I will look for it there next time. I don't mind cumin at all.
But I don't get cumin in BT either. In fact I don't get any of the declared notes, apart form incense. Not that I mind.

9:12 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

If you like incense scents, I do think it is a must try!

9:12 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I spent some time today looking for my samp so I could comment, but I guess my comment is, I better order another sample, because I think I would love this.

9:55 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You better, because I also think you would. :-)

9:56 PM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

This gets more interesting all the time...
Quite a variety of folks have liked this one-with wildly varied tastes, no less.

I liked the others, but only liked.
I should seek this out, to sniff !

6:14 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It is interesting!
I bet you will love it too.

8:15 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, the exact same effect. I thought it was interesting - I got the same impression that you did before I read your post. Its a very comforting scent.

11:35 AM EDT  
Blogger Morgan P. said...

I got a rather large decant of this from The Perfumed Court not too long ago, and was at first a little turned off. I love smoke, but when I sprayed this on me, I literally smelled as if I had been sitting next to a bonfire for three hours. Downwind. I was fascinated by it, but definitely not in love and kind of regretting the large decant.

On the first real "fall" day of this year where the temperature finally dipped into the 50s, I decided on a whim to try mixing Black Tourmaline with something sweeter, just to see what would happen. It's extraordinary! I tried it one day with Lancome Hypnose and one day with L by Lolita Lempicka. I've always loved both of those perfumes, but will concede that they are somewhat on the "safe" side. The BT underneath (I use a formula of two sprays of BT to 3 or 4 of something sweeter - be prepared to smell strong for a while) adds a fascinating quality to pretty much anything I match it with. I'm utterly in love, although it still doesn't work as a solo for me.

1:54 AM EST  

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