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
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