Sunday, October 10, 2010

SOTD: The Different Company Oriental Lounge

I acquired The Different Company Oriental Lounge recently, even though I officially don't like oriental scents. There are some exceptions to that rule, like Theorema and Chergui and Serge Noire and Bvlgari Black and Iris Taizo and Feminite du Bois and Cedre Sandaraque and... um. Well.

Fragrantica declares that all of the above are orientals (or the subcategories like "Oriental Spicy"), and I love them all. There goes my thesis.

Except, I'm picking my thesis up and dusting it off again, because with the possible exception of Chergui, I consider all of these to be orientals only by a "where else do we put them?" technicality. To me, an oriental scent is one that's full of amber and musk and lots of heavy smoky spicy sweetness, and most of those perfumes don't qualify. Also, orientals are a perfume category that I don't understand or have a vocabulary for, and I didn't have trouble talking about any of those fragrances. So I guess I'm saying, if it doesn't confuse me, it's not an oriental. And Oriental Lounge confuses me. But in a good way.

So what's in there? I get spicy powder riding on billows of vanilla, and amber that I don't hate (a rarity), and in general a lot of soft, squashy sweetness of a kind that I usually dislike, except that here I don't. From my reading, I suspect that the explanation is the curry leaf.

Various sources refer to the scent of curry leaf as green, woody, pungent, camphorous, fetid, spicy, metallic, warm - while there seems to be limited agreement on exactly what the curry leaf smells like, all of these descriptions sound like something that could cut through sweet gooey smoke like a knife. And that's how I'm experiencing Oriental Lounge - something is adding just enough transparency and sharpness to allow me to bask in the wintery warmth, rather than drown in it.


Review Roundup: Perfume Posse and Now Smell This and Fragrantica and 1000 Fragrances and I Smell Therefore I Am and Nathan Branch and Basenotes.

Link Roundup: Grain de Musc.

Image: By Amcaja. Wikimedia Commons.


  1. Funny, the curry leaf is exactly the reason why I overlooked this one, because I love spicy amber musky orientals, but I couldn't imagine wanting to smell like curry. But you,ve changed my mind - I should try it.

  2. I totally concur that there is a sweet, almost dangerously sticky softness at the heart of OL-- especially when you first put it on. funny-- I don't think of it as amber, although when I read that, it made me think "hmmm...she may well be right about that!!"

    When I first put it on, it's almost fruity, which, speaking of generalizations that don't always pan out, I normally hate. I keep trying to put my finger on it-- Asian pear? Mango? Closest I can come to it is JuicyFruit gum-- which I don't really mean in a good way.

    But then, but then!! All that sicky-fruity-sweet burns off after about an hour, and I am left with one of my top 10 fav drydowns-- spicy, warm, sensuous-- I come back to it again and again, wading through that first hour to get to the backend. I'm with you-- Yum!!

  3. Hey, kj! I don't smell anything edible in there, so I think that it's safely free from curry. Definitely worth a try.

    Nose! Yo! Oh, I'm just as likely to be wrong about the amber. I like this and I hate amber, so maybe I should just say "pleasantly resinous" without committing myself. :) That's interesting about the fruity - I get more food, but I wouldn't call the food fruit. Though it is sort of soft and chewy. Hmmm.

    But, anyway, yes, it's lovely. And lovely in a category that really doesn't exist at all in my collection, so I'm all pleased.

  4. I like this one a lot! Orientals are my favourite category and I don't have a vocabulary for them either. Though that could apply to any category, really. : - )

    This is very soft and tingly on me, not noticeably sweet, though that wouldn't necessarily count against it. The curry leaf works fine - curry is very popular in this house - a post-gig staple for Mr Bonkers.

  5. Yo, flittersniffer! I'm still befuddled at that list of Orientals that I like, and wondering about my real definition of the things. It may be that my confusion is all about amber.

    Now I've already forgotten just how sweet or not-sweet this one is on me... maybe I'll try it again tomorrow. :)