SUNLIGHT; NO SHADOWS: : ANAMCARA by PARFUMS DUSITA (2021)

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.

17 Comments

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17 responses to “SUNLIGHT; NO SHADOWS: : ANAMCARA by PARFUMS DUSITA (2021)

  1. I wonder if it’s possible to layer some darker notes into it with another perfume? I’ve not tried this myself and also tend to stay away from too-happy scents and music. Amazing how a song can be transformed by changing the tempo and accompaniment, though – thinking of “You’re the One That I Want” from Grease morphed from a super upbeat, cheerful tune into a hypnotic piece by Lo-Fang for the movie I Am Not an Easy Man (also used in the Chanel No 5 campaign starring Gisele).

    • Just checked out the Lo-Fang take. His voice is a bit typical of this era but yes – happier songs can be made darker, but the original from Grease – though utterly overplayed – is so joyous as it is I would leave it for karaoke with friends when feeling upbeat and silly.

      I think the point I was trying to make in this review was that Anamcara is inherently a powerfully upbeat scent – you couldn’t add anything to it as it is already completely replete. I wouldn’t change anything about it, actually, as it is very well balanced (too much wood for me personally, but many love that) – in Beethoven terms I prefer The Moonlight Sonata to Ode to Joy; in cinematic terms, if we take Ang Lee, we have Life of Pi, so deliriously ecstatic and colorful it literally gave me a migraine and terrible nightmares, and the divine Lust Caution, tragic and nuanced and just beautiful. Eat Drink Man Woman was a more naturally happy film, easy going – I found Brokeback Mountain overly self-serious, unconvincing and a bit of a bore. I think perfumes can be similarly categorized.

      • It makes sense to categorize them along a spectrum of happiness, I think… and there just may be a time for every mood?

      • Absolutely. You should see my record collection. Most of it is just pop ecstacy – with a large proportion of gloom to balance it out. You definitely need all moods, to match all moods; I even need boring music and boring perfume, in certain frames of mind.

  2. Robin

    Well, N., thanks to you I’ve been all over the internet sleuthing Eau My Soul and 4160Tuesdays. Had no idea of either, although I’d heard their names in passing a number of times. All very interesting.

    I like that idea of — just for the fun of it — categorizing fragrances as we do films. My Sin is the equivalent of American film noir for sure, far ahead of its time with its release in 1924. Light and shadow. Gene Tierney could easily be wearing it in Where the Sidewalk Ends. She was so beautiful, her character so — TOO — trusting. She was pulled into a very dark place. I can just hear it.

    Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon: “You’d better go home.”
    Morgan Taylor (Gene Tierney): “Why, Mark?”
    Mark: “Cuz you’re a sucker for wrong guys.”

    As you many remember, I love Dusita. And I know exactly what you mean about minor keys. Light, but shadow too. This is so great: “wary, delicate jubilation.” My mood, too. Anamcara might not be my favourite style, but I wouldn’t mind trying it, just now, when we’re heading into the cool, rainy season on the coast and things aren’t going so well in so many parts of the world. Otherwise, though, and in general, I think I’m in my element with, as you say, the darker, more shadowy, melancholic and ambiguous.

    • Again: Ric. He might roc it. There are NO chinks of darkness here, though, and I usually need some, somewhere.

      • Robin

        For Ric, oh, yeah, you are so right. I can see that. His skin would read those strong woods as just manly enough, not out of balance, and the rest of the composition would have a chance to shine. And I, nose between his shoulder blades at night, would smell the Dusita quality, the welcome lack of bludgeoning aromachemicals. Very cool.

      • If only we didn’t have these darn postal restrictions any more; here it has got RIDICULOUS; you can’t send anything without a level of hassle that makes it impossible for me. In the old days I could have just popped anything I wanted in the post.

  3. Shadowy, melancholic fragrances smell well & fine on others but not myself.
    Anamcara sounds more my style, florals that are sunny yet soulful, bright and cheery, but still full on diva. 😉
    I shall put this on my list to try!

    • I think of this more as being on the ‘woody’ tip, ultimately but it is bright and lusciously floral at the same time and I can imagine it smelling very sexy on the right people. ‘

      I looking forward to hearing your reactions after trying it!

  4. I was in the Eau My Soul name contest for Anamcara and am looking forward to smelling it. (My entry was “Soulie Soleil” among two others). I get what your saying about adding some darkness to the mix.

  5. The scent sounds interesting, but I don’t know if I could do a fragrance without any darkness in it. Even my sweet and gooey fragrances have a bit of darkness about them. Music is the same for me, as for you. I usually prefer things in a minor key, with occasional touches of a major. Too much major brings on unrest and anxiety, same in fragrances.
    Still, the comparison with Polo, piques my curiousity.

  6. gunmetal24

    I am hearing alot of polarizing opinions. This is interesting and also potentially good. One of my friends has posted me a sample and I hope to get it some time via snail mail.

    • What are the polarizing opinions? This perfume is definitely a lot less poetic and delicately done than some of the Dusitas, but it is also more rambunctious and immediate; I can imagine it being popular.

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