It’s always nice to try new perfumes when you are away, even when they are relatively ‘old’ (in this ludicrously fast changing fragrancesphere, four years ago sounds like a total has-been).
I don’t care. I have smelled so much crap over the last few years, as I know you certainly will have as well, that to take out a sample vial from your suitcase ( thank you so much, Tora, for sending this to me : it is only now that I realize what a great scent this is ), and to let it fuse with your surroundings and skin, inhale greedily, and properly luxuriate in a REALLY good perfume for once from a modern – if ancient-leaning in terms of influence – niche house, is, to be honest, quite exhilarating.
Unum 1144 only comes in extrait strength, so though expensive for a full bottle, the perfume is so potent and full in its fulfillingness that to my mind it is probably worth the extra cash. It will be definitely be my next purchase ( I had already espied it at The Nose Shop, Shinjuku ); a perfect oriental to thicken the spirits and ignite the sensual passions on a cold, winter evening ( we got back yesterday to Japan and the drop in temperature is a shock to the system).
D first wore Opus 1144 on a night out in Ho Chi Minh, when we imbroiled ourselves to the maximum in the pumping and disco nightlife area of Bui Vien Street until the early hours, dancing with the Saigon homos and other extraordinarily up for it people in banging bars or just on the wild ( as wrote about before, impossibly wild) streets; and though completely anti-intuitive for him ( the man doesn’t do orientals, and this is so obviously more suited to me ), I nevertheless -narcissistically, analytically – enjoyed smelling it on him immensely : the excellent, layered and voluptuous sillage that the perfume gave off. Just a spray on each wrist was enough to last for at least twelve hours, and there was a delicious, powdery, fingerprint that loitered on his clothing and about his person the next day as well. I was sold.
I later debuted the perfume myself on two separate occasions – evening only, this one – in Phnom Penh, and took to it like a glove. The base is the thing: a proper, decadent, benzoin, vanilla musk ambergris that is as erotic and full-blooded as vintage Shalimar parfum or Bal A Versailles (really). Less baby powderish than the former, but also less overblown than the latter – though I adore the Jean Desprez, sometimes wearing it is like spending the evening with an ultra- indulgent diva who is so intense and predictably unpredictable that you are never entirely sure where you or she might end up.
Opus 1144 smells more contemporary than Shalimar or Bal A Bersailles (because it is ), but it has similar depth and carnality. More incensed and opoponaxy than its fragranced inspirations, it is also, I would say, more androgynous.
My own, very pleasurable, reading of this perfume, I must say, doesn’t quite chime with the official descriptions. As I have described many times before, I have become insanely hypersensitive to any ‘cashmere’ or aggressive wood chemical notes in any perfume to the point, almost, of paranoia, but having lived with this beauty over three separate 25 hour periods I can vouch for it having none of those jarring, inhuman odours lurking within its formidable borders. Together we breathe a sigh of relief.
One thing I have been very struck by over the last few years is just how MORONIC much ( most, actually ), of perfume ‘copy’ is. Though they are certainly not alone, recent brands such as Floraiku, some of whose perfumes I quite like, have nevertheless clearly employed totally clueless, illiterate people to write the blurb on their website and products. Have you noticed this as well? ( if you haven’t, I would advise you to recommence your education). So, so much of the PR and advertising for perfume these days is atrociously written – sometimes just literally incomprehensible gobbledygook, that it seems as though those in charge had just pressed google translate and been too pressed for time or otherwise preoccupied to see if the drivel they actually churn out remotely resembles English. It does not. It is like some cretinous, syntactically challenged limbo lingo in between. I often find it hilarious, but also irksome: pure nonsense that can often do a real disservice to a good perfume, as you wonder what kind of feeble-brained ( and lazy ) people you are dealing with who are responsible for this jerky ( just employ a real translator, FFS !!)
So while by no means the worst of this increasingly overflowing grammatical latrine, if, like me, you are a fan of thick, sexual amber perfumes, let not the verbal gummage that constitutes Unum 1144’s official description deter you from giving it a try :
In reality, to my mind and nose there is nothing remotely gothic or serious about this perfume, not to mention a harmonied generator of malted, orchid symphony (?!!!).
Rather, in my view, Opus 1144 is simply a beautifully made, hot heavy mama of an oriental, and I really can’t wait to get my hands on an actual bottle.
It is gorgeous.