Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Mesmerizing Morocco

Ayour by Neil Morris


A good fragrance brings you back to a place, a moment, makes you imagine and build up places and conditions in mind. Makes you leave your sit, walk and think about it. A good fragrance delivers the most submerged and forgotten emotions up again. And Ayour must be the fragrance.
The common DNA of Neil Morris fragrance is that all of them (or at least those I know) cruise me to a particular imagination or place that tied up with my deepest emotions and memories! And for such perfumes the worst part is when I don't remember where the smell embedded to my olfactory memoir, who smells like this, from where and when I know the scent? That makes me walk and think, think and think.
Ayour is a perfume that make me thrilled and crazy for. I asked Neil about the idea behind Ayour and what Ayour means, he replied:
"Ayour is the Berber word for “moon.” I have a friend who is Berber and from Morocco and I told him I wanted to create a perfume that smelled of the Moroccan desert at twilight, during a full moon. That’s when he told me the Berber for moon is Ayour."
What an arty concept! Berbers are known for their warriors and coarse climatic condition of north African deserts; however; they're also known for their specific music, beautiful eyes and their costumes. Considering harsh Sahara condition and picking "moon" out of it; how deliberate can be extracting a delicate poetic concept out of roughness?!

 Henri Rousseau, The sleeping gypsy (La Bohémienne Endormie), 1897

Ayour, is not a distinct kind of smell, specially the incense employed is pretty knows in some other niche creations; yet the matter of admiration is the quality and ensemble of notes used to create the concept artistic and emerge delicacy of dreamy moon dance in freezing nights of Sahara from the enigmatic Berber air. Yes, Ayour is enigmatic, is boldly exotic and authentic. I have tried several pseudo-mideastern fragrances which tried to imitate Arabian air; some are disappointing but Ayour's success point is its originality unashamed cultural representation and brilliant incense play.
Ayour's notes are:
Elemi resin, aldehydes, pomegranate, fig, French narcissus, Iso E Super, Tibetan musk, ambergris, Texas cedarwood, oud, Arabian frankincense, and cypress.
The fragrance opens with very bold portion of fig-charged pomegranate bitterness. The pomegranate looks unreal and strange cause of intervention of a note that is considerably underrated in Fragrantica: aldehyde. The aldehyde note implemented in Ayour is so bold and members rated the incense. I can even say this is most probably the same aldehyde formula enlisted in Andy Tauer's 14 Noontide Petals. The smell of roasted lamb liver comes from this aldehyde and we have that smoky taste bolder in Ayour. Yet, it's not an aldehyde-dominated fragrance while all the notes are immersed in incense and it overpowers entire performance.
Anyway, the pomegranate gradually fades down into smoky cedar beating smell (a good example of such cedar is Comme des Garçons Standard). The incense and aldehyde combo in the first step of the middle phase provide acrid and tarty taste in dense smoky; odd smoky; pattern. It's like something is burning in an African kitchen, something leathery or woody-leathery.


To be honest, the fragrance reached its foot after several hours and I don't get the oud yet. Just I draw some elemi resin with its fresh resinous pine/citrus terpenic aura out from the immense cedar/incense/aldehyde trio.
Ayour is dense, exotic, smoky, tasty, oriental chyper, slightly skanky (in lovely meaning) and leathery, original and authentic. A real masterpiece in incense range.

Carpe Odor!

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