The genesis of Dusita’s latest perfume release, Anamcara, a bright, cheering wood-fruit-floral with a name that translates as ‘soul friend’ is rather unusual ; it was formed by group consensus. Voting for the notes that the members of scent forum Eau My Soul most wanted to be in the scent, the perfume was designed to represent positivity and friendship, a ‘reaching out’ of olfactivity : a fragrance, after all the doom and gloom, to definitely raise the spirits. In this regard, it is certainly a success.
Fortunate to be invited to an online exclusive presentation of this new creation, I and the other attendees were sent a box containing a small bottle of the perfume along with three vials, labelled ‘tea’, ‘bouquet’ and ‘rainforest’, which we were urged to resist smelling until the event in the presence of perfumer Pissara Umavijani, who would then guide us through her creative process and show how the interlocking blocks of the various accords she had evolved for this scent would come together. I found this a very intriguing concept, and was eager to join, but unfortunately it came at the end of my first week back at work after the summer holidays, and started at 3am Japan time; 7pm in Paris is the ideal time for such a demonstration – light still in the Parisian skies over Le Marais and Montmartre as summer turns to fall, but in Japan it was the middle of the night, and I had already fallen asleep.
Still, I have of course now tried the accords in the intervening time, and find that all are ultra-optimistic and bolstering to the spirits – for me, almost too much so. Giddyingly happy: peach, blood orange, petitgrain, tuberose, tea, freesia and jasmine sambac are fused with a potently woody base (sandalwood, cedarwood, vetiver, vanilla) that on me immediately boldly overtakes the citruses and flowers; the result a very galvanizing and serotonin-boosting perfume that is almost like a tropical relative of Ralph Lauren Polo; androgynously sexy, lingering, extremely woody: and definitely yang yang to the max.
Like Ms Umajivani’s other release from this year, the excellent Cavatina, which I bizarrely failed to recognize as a muguet in my initial review, somehow not seeing the wood for the trees (now I just smell a dazzling lily of the valley each time I retry my bottle; in fact, when going for dinner at some friends’ this summer, as a present I took along a vintage Diorissimo parfum, and a small bottle of Cavatina – a homage to the former : Setsuko adored both, particularly the freshness of the latter, a very clever modern interpretation); the 2021 additions to the Dusita collection seem to be a deliberate attempt to encourage feelings of newness and positivity, a philosophy I salute.
As a person, however, who is often far more drawn to minor keys in music (or preferably, stimulating modulations between the two), I must admit I find too many major keys experienced at one time quite imbalancing to my system (one of the fundamental problems of J-Pop, which is power chord, power chord, power chord, power chord, happy happy happy wave your glow-stick in the air: D and I will often have to escape from any place where too much commercial chart music is being played here, as it is poisonous to the soul); similarly, Anamcara – a solid blend with absolute integrity in its structure – is not suited to my current mood, which is more of a wary, delicate jubilation. Others, on the other hand, particularly those who have been feeling empty and depressed after this difficult period, will definitely benefit from the sunny, warm soulfulness of the scent. Personally, I am secretly hoping for a return to the darker, more shadowy, melancholic, and ambiguous Dusita perfumes such as Sillage Blanc, Oud Infini, or the intractable mysteries of the splendid Pavillon D’Or.