Alkemia Apothecary & Perfumery, Black Figs, Dark Amber, Etsy, Fig, Frankincense, Fume Dupes, Indie, Labdanum, Les Mysteres, Men's Fragrances, Musks, Note Exploration, Perfume Oils, Review, Salma Hayek, Sara L. Russell, Season, Sharra, Winter
Salma Hayek was never on my A-list. True, she is not your average Hollywood plastic bimbo and no doubt she is a ravishing beauty, but let’s face it, her acting skills are something left to be desired…
When I saw Salma’s guide list of her top must-haves in the Instyle September 2011 Fall Issue, I was shocked. She featured three perfume oils from a relatively unknown etsy seller who happens to be my favorite indie perfumery. Out of all the perfumes in the world Salma Hayek can buy, she picks twelve dollar perfume oils from etsy? Salma shops at etsy? Apparently she does. This is why I have a new found respect for her. She supports independent handmade artisans as I passionately do.
I was really on the fence whether to do a review on Alkemia Apothecary & Perfumery. For a month, I took pride in keeping it a secret. I wanted their perfumes all to myself and I didn’t want to share this precious gem of a perfumery with anyone. But I decided to finally spill the beans and let you in on the secret because you deserve nothing but the best! Let me tell you this right now…Alkemia’s perfumes are quality. Quality with a capital Q.U.A.L.I.T.Y.! I have six of their perfumes and sniffed numerous samples from their line and I can’t find fault with any single one of them. I want them all! You can tell the nose behind this perfumery is a skilled artisan. Their perfume oils are masterfully blended, well-thought out, beautifully composed and complex. They also smell like they don’t skimp on their ingredients, they are high quality oils. Dare I say they rival most of my niche brand perfumes. Alkemia’s perfume oils are just as good, if not better. They smell expensive. They don’t smell like $12 perfume oils but more like $120! Why they haven’t been found out by now is beyond me! And my selfish self, would like to keep it this way!
Description: “Fig, fruit of the female mystery, covert and inward, Mediteranean fruit with your covert nakedness, Where everything happens is invisible.” -D.H. Lawrence
Les Mysteres is an opulent, resinous blend of aged frankincense, black figs, labdanum, dark amber, Russian tea, with a trio of swirling sensual musks.
Notes: Frankincense, Black Figs, Labdanum, Dark Amber, Russian Tea, Trio of Musks
From the Vial: Wow…just WOW! I can’t stop saying wow! This is the most unique fig scent I have ever smelled in my life! It smells like a fig tree in the middle of a Gothic cathedral during Catholic high mass. Think fig tree enveloped in a fog of smokey frankincense. If Comme des Garçons Incense Avignon and Dyptique Philosykos had a baby, you would get Alkemia Les Mysteres. This is exactly what I’m smelling.
Wet on Skin: When it immediately hits my skin, the smokey frankincense decides to kickback and the fresh fig shines through in all it’s green, milky, glory.
Dry Down: I like how the frankincense plays an ambient role in this perfume and doesn’t overpower. It’s gentle and pious. A smokey sultriness. Les Mysteres is definitely a morpher! I can smell the fig ripen before my very nose. It gets heavier and darker as time goes by to the point where the fig becomes sweet and jammy. The Russian tea leaves a bitter aftertaste while the musk rounds out the entire composition giving it a powdery soft furry finish. At the end of the dry down, the jammy fig fades, and all you get is sweet smell of skin.
Sillage: Amazing projection! I can smell myself throughout the entire day without effort or putting my wrist against my nose. The sillage is excellent, it’s like a tall shadow following wherever you go. Despite excellent sillage and projection, this fragrance won’t invade other people’s breathing space.
Longevity: 8 hours and still counting.
Would I Buy A Full Bottle? Without a doubt…YES! I’d probably hoard a few bottles for fear it may someday be discontinued.
Season and Occasion: This is definitely worn in winter both day and night. Les Mysteres is a unisex scent teetering a tiny bit on the feminine side but still has masculine elements. I can easily smell a man wearing this.
Final Verdict: I wish I took a picture of my first reaction when I sniffed the vial. I was the look of dumbfounded. My mouth agape, eyes wide open, and drool rolling down my chin. Les Mysteres is a figgy oriental that is reverent, tender, innocent, and sexually sacred. Les Mysteres is a formula of two masterpieces (CDG Incense Avignon + Dyptique Philosykos). A combo of epic genius proportions so beautiful it makes me want to weep with joy!
Perfect for Comme des Garçons Incense Avignon and Dyptique Philosykos disciples or fans of “figue noir”…
Alkemia Apothecary & Perfumery Les Mysteres: Available on Etsy
Crazy about fig? Check out my other reviews here.
Next Up: L’Aromatica Wine-Glazed Pears