Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy birthday to our lovely Earth!

Nourouz (Tamarind-Paprika: Holiday Edition)
by DSH Perfumes

Today is our dear planet's birthday; the mother earth; and I take this apt time to say a big happy birthday to all and also to talk about a ceremony for such blest day; Nowruz.
This might take a long text but it deserves to talk about. Nowruz; literally; is the name of Persian new year that happens at first day of spring (and the first day of Aries in astrology) and lasts for 13 days of happiness and ceremonies till the night of the 13th day when the evilness and grief is expelled. Although it is more known for being an Iranian ceremony, people from different ethnics celebrate it and its territory is vast from China to Turkey and it is registered by UNESCO for world intangible cultural heritage to safeguard for the following countries: Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan.

Haft-Seen (seven elements starting with letter S) is the table prepared for Nowruz and must be refreshed till the end of the holidays.

I can't precisely tell where the concept of Nowruz comes from and how ancient civilizations knew where the planet enters its new year and when the spring begins while there was no telescope nor developed mathematics and astronomy! Written sources reveal the first mentioning of the term Nowruz in inscriptions of Persian literate while there are archaeological evidences in Persepolis to prove the age of the ceremony back to Achaemenid Empire (550-330 BC) and probably far beyond.

People from different nations and social classes bring gifts to the emperor and animals to sacrifice for the ceremony, Persepolis, Shiraz, Achaemenid era.

Anyway, etymologically, Nowruz is a composition of two words: now (or nou) + ruz. Now comes from ancient Persian Nawa or Nava which is akin to the same meaning in other members of Indo-European languages: New in English, Nouveau in French, Neu in German, Nuovo in Italian, and so on. Ruz in Persian is literally Day; a 24 hours spinning of the planet around its polar axis. So in overall Nowruz means new day which indicates to new year and new life loop.
To talk about the ritual I have to write all day long so let's skip over it and talk about NourouzIt was a long time I was curious about the fragrance cause it simply ties to my culture!

Nourouz is an oriental spicy fragrance devoted to Persian festive season which occurs at the beginning of spring according to astronomical calculations of new year.
I'm astonished and disconcerted in a way for Nourouz and its tepid alluring sonata in the beginning.
The fragrance initiates with piquant blast of pepper infused tamarind and pomegranate which is not actually the fruit, it's like pomegranate paste which is a fix member of Persian cuisine. It's jammed and dense sour-sweet smell of traditional pomegranate pastilles. Actually it smells like small shops in rural areas that sell the pastilles, exactly smells like the shops. Beside this gourmand magic I feel a familiar vibe or wine which I know from another masterpiece (Blask by Humiecki & Graef) shimmers and stays skin-mate which itself dies under stream of tobacco nuances.
The fragrance is not that comprehensive as it includes many of notes. The middle phase is on sort of floral rose/osmanthus/tobacco with side vibe of wine again yet from this layer on the scent sits right on skin with almost no sillage and it's sad for such beauty.

Nourouz is quasi-smoky resinous gourmand winy fragrance with dusty earthy grown up beginning and tamarind ensemble as focal point.
Nowruz is full of passion and happiness, full of colors, tastes and smells. How wonderful is creating a perfume granting it to spring-seizing ritual of Nowruz. Dawn Spencer Hurwitz already nailed it all the way! Wine, tasty smells, happiness and all; although; Nourouz at the first step is more like "the longest night" ceremony in Persian culture than Nowruz and to be honest it's not exactly what Nowruz presents but since each civilization has its own story to tell, it totally fits the idea! Foods, flowers, nuts, pastry, cookies, boiled eggs, fruits, wine, happiness and poems! There's no certain smell for Nowruz cause it's simply a full orchestra of scents and feelings that you can't encapsulate all in a fragrance.

Ps: Nowruz is a ceremony to show human's regards to his mother nature, to promise that he safeguards it, although, unfortunately he always forget. The table prepared for the ritual; Haft-Seen; is to wish health, wealth, land fertility, and long happy life. Maybe it's a good time to remember where we are now, where we stand, and on which future we walk today? Maybe it's a good opportunity to think again what have we done until today to our shelter, our home and the only home we do have! Maybe it's a nice excuse to rise hand in hand and preserve our environment for the future, for our children. It's never too late :)

"Cloudbursts have washed the tulip's face,
Nowruz beckons, you rise, be awash in wine.
This garden is yours today,
Tomorrow's green grows from your dust."

Omar Khayyam

To Lillian Betts Holloway!

Carpe Odor!

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