IUNX L’Ether : Perfume Review

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Eishi2

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Update 9/5/2011: The IUNX line was reintroduced to the market, and the fragrances are currently available at the store next to the entrance of Hotel Costes in Paris.

Ether, the substance that according to Greek doctrines was the celestial essence breathed by the gods and which was considered to be “less than the vehicle of visible light” by the ancient phisophers, cannot be a more appropriate name for a IUNX creation by Olivia Giacobetti, whose fragrances are marked by weightlessness and radiance.

If L’Ether cannot be called “the divine celestial fire”—the Greek word aither is derived from the root aith-, meaning “burn”—it is only because its beauty is available to mere mortals. In many ways, L’Ether is the example of compositions Giacobetti excels in—sheer luminosity modulated by the mysterious smokiness of incense. The effect is at once delicate and powerful. It is most closely related to Costes and Passage d’Enfer through the transparent incense that fills its base. …

Offering a haiku on the wood theme, L’Ether rises up like dry smoke enveloping one into the misty warmth of woods. It intertwines the resinous silkiness of cedarwood with the rose tinged sweetness of sandalwood, hinting at the presence of incense ashes underneath the delicate filigree of woods. The spicy dryness of the composition evokes the crisp feeling of rice paper crumpling under one’s fingers.

Unlike other Iunx fragrances (please see my reviews of 10 waters here), L’Ether is the Eau de Parfum concentration, and it has a good tenacity on the skin. The sillage is rather good, without being overwhelming, and the fragrance beguiles with its introspective and somber character, like the ethereal sound of shakuhachi, the Japanese bamboo flute.

Notes include myrrh, benzoin, rosewood, saffron, maple wood, white sandalwood. The fragrance is available from Iunx boutique. EU residents can call 33 1 45 44 50 14 to place an order directly from the Paris boutique or to purchase fragrances from Le Printemps, Paris, 64, bld Haussmann, telephone: 01 42 82 50 00. , and while the boutique does not ship overseas, IUNX products can be obtained from Senteurs D’Ailleurs.

Woodblock print: Eishi, Chobunsai. Kisen Hoshi, from the series “Six Immortal Poets”, 1793-94. from sunsite.dk.

Please see reviews of other fragrances created by Olivia Giacobetti:

Andrée Putmann Préparation Parfumée
Cinq Mondes Eau Egyptienne
Costes (EDT and room spray)
Frédéric Malle En Passant
Iunx 10 EDTs, Splash Forte
Iunx L’Ether
L’Artisan Parfumeur Dzing!
L’Artisan Parfumeur L’Eau du Fleuriste (brief description)
L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage d’Enfer
L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea For Two
L’Artisan Parfumeur Safran Troublant
Lubin Idole de Lubin

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30 Comments

  • parislondres: Lovely review dear V! Hope you are well.

    I have some very sad news for Iunx wearers and I so hope that I have been given the wrong news. According to their SA in Printemps – Iunx will apparently be closing down the boutique this spring and the smallish stand in Printemps. This is very sad news for a some of my friends here who only use a lot of Iunx waters.
    I am particularly sad because I adore their candles and Eau Blanche 09. January 19, 2006 at 3:48am Reply

  • Safran: Hello, I originally wanted to comment Ether, which is one of my favourite Incense scents, but these news are really shocking ! Let’s hope, they’ll find a way to survive, IUNX should be treated like an endangered species ! As well as Gobin Daude, if I may add that. January 19, 2006 at 8:16am Reply

  • Mikhail: Iunx closing their boutique rue de Grenelle? Unbelievable, they seem to have put so much in decor, fountain and such. When I was there in summer with a bunch of friends, we were the only customers that afternoon, judging from the saleswoman’s comments. Sometimes I feel that we perfume lovers have to “cultivate” those boutiques to prevent them from withering. Like buying in person rather than via internet.

    On the other hand, Nikolai is expanding, they opened another store rue de Richelieu. Last time I checked (2 weeks ago) they did not have many customers either. January 19, 2006 at 9:31am Reply

  • annE: This sounds like a marvelous fragrance! I was going to rush and add it to my wishlist, until I saw the bad news. What a shame! Perhaps they will be reincarnated under a better name and attract more customers. January 19, 2006 at 10:30am Reply

  • linda: I’ve been curious about L’Ether ever since I read about it here when you talked about Iunx boutique. I should probably order a small bottle because your description sounds stunning. January 19, 2006 at 11:01am Reply

  • paru: It’s hard for me to read about ether without chuckling a little bit. Too many physics classes, I suppose. The name just makes me think that someone’s trying to swindle me. January 19, 2006 at 11:11am Reply

  • Tania: Paru: It makes me think of anesthetic. 🙂 January 19, 2006 at 11:18am Reply

  • marchlion: Ah, yet another review of something that sounds perfect and that may not be available for much longer, which of course makes me want it even more… I will console myself, I hope, with the Jolie Madame vintage parfum I just bought on your recommendation! January 19, 2006 at 11:33am Reply

  • paru: Tania, anesthetic is actually the second thing that comes to mind for me. Either way, they’re not associations that make me think of fragrance. I guess they remind me of sleeping through physics lectures 🙂 January 19, 2006 at 12:08pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Oh, no! So, the rumours are true. I have heard this before, and every time I hoped that they were just unsubstantiated rumours, therefore I never repeated them. If the SAs said this, then I suppose it is true after all. Too bad, I love Iunx line. January 19, 2006 at 12:59pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Safran, I was also sad to see VGD to be discontinued. I quite liked the line, however it was hardly visible anywhere in Paris, even when it was still active. January 19, 2006 at 1:19pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Mikhail, yes, I also find it difficult to comprehend. The boutique itself is stunning. I think that the main problem is that the fragrances were not distributed outside of the boutique, which also did not ship abroad.

    You are right about Parfums de Nicolai. They are certainly doing well! January 19, 2006 at 1:26pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ann, I do hope that it will be reintroduced, because the fragrance is really wonderful. January 19, 2006 at 2:02pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, if you decide to order, Senteurs d’Ailleurs’s service is great. I highly recommend them. January 19, 2006 at 2:16pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: P, why am I not surprised? 🙂 January 19, 2006 at 2:17pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: T, I thought of that too, but reading about Greeks replaced the association. January 19, 2006 at 2:17pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: March, isn’t this always the case? 🙂 I hope that your vintage Jolie Madame parfum is as wonderful as you hoped it would be. Buying vintage is always a bit of gamble, but it is such a joy when everything turns out as you expect. January 19, 2006 at 2:19pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: P, I sympathize. I think that my dislike for physics was due to my horrible Ukrainian teacher, who was as mean as a snake. My chemistry teacher was great in all respects, and she was able to instill love for this subject in me. Ether and aither are connected through their root, “to burn, shine,” but it is just that the substances had different meanings in physics, philosophy and Greek mythology. January 19, 2006 at 2:22pm Reply

  • Laura: I had heard about the closing, too. Oh well, it’s just as well that I haven’t tried the ether one to this point. I won’t have to lament its loss. I’m sorry for you, though, V, because I know what a big fan you are of the Iunx line. January 19, 2006 at 3:03pm Reply

  • Victoria O: Oh no! If they close I will need the large size of my Latin Water!
    Oh! January 19, 2006 at 3:43pm Reply

  • Evan: Inux closing?

    Eau no!

    Couldn’t resist the pun. Their style seems to be quite the opposite of my tastes (though i have warmed up to a number of Giacobetti’s perfumes, notably En Passant). I’m not sure what their price structure is, but perhaps a disconnect between the tenacity and individuality of the fragrances and the price did not inspire consumers to shell out for them. January 19, 2006 at 8:50pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, I like it, but L’Ether is my favourite. It is the only one I repurchased. It is quite lovely, especially if you like incense. January 19, 2006 at 9:14pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: V, Latin Water is very nice. Actually, buying larger size is more cost effective, especially since one goes quickly through the waters. January 19, 2006 at 9:15pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Evan, the waters have little tenacity, and they are like ideas based around a specific scent. Quite lovely, if something light is required, and of course, Giacobetti’s interpretation of them is very interesting. However, yes, they do not last, and that is a big issue for many people. What I think might have been more problematic is that these fragrances were not available anywhere else, other than the boutique, and the boutique did not ship abroad. Eventually, the fragrances ended up at Le Printemps and the store in Brussels, but few people in the States knew about them. I recall that Aedes wanted to carry the line at one point, but they were not successful in obtaining it.

    L’Ether is different from the Iunx waters–it lasts well, since it is the EDP. January 19, 2006 at 9:19pm Reply

  • linda: Sounds wonderful! I don’t know if I ever get to try it but I’m happy to read about it.

    Have a great weekend, V! January 20, 2006 at 11:02am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, it is wonderful and yes, very sad that the boutique might fold. At least, I have my L’Ether and some other favourites for now. January 20, 2006 at 11:55am Reply

  • Michel: difinitively,the closing is the 31 Mars and the cause is a conflict with shiseido but i have understood the fragrances stay the propriety of Iunx … January 21, 2006 at 6:34pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Very sad to hear this. I wonder if the fragrances will be released under another name. January 22, 2006 at 2:58pm Reply

  • cynthia: I was in the south of france in Canne I purchase perfume from a store downtown I am trying to find Eau Qui Pique IUNX parfums Paris. Could you tell me where i can find this parfume??? November 27, 2007 at 6:38pm Reply

    • SHMW: I was expecting to find an update at the end of the comments as Iunx is now inside the hotel mentioned by you(Costes?)
      I was also wondering if you have tried the new scent, l’Arbre? which is basically sandalwood………… September 30, 2016 at 12:36pm Reply

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