Âmes Sœurs (Scent of Soul Mates) is citrus-musk perfume oil created by Joya as a response to the novel The Book of Lost Fragrances by M. J. Rose. Author Rose wrote the book—a “novel of suspense” centered on reincarnation and a recipe for an ancient fictional perfume by the same name—while frequently burning Joya candles.
Joya is a Brooklyn-based “creative collective specializing in fragrance” designed by Frederick Bouchardy. Joya Studios makes candles, perfumes, and decorative amulets. Âmes Sœurs created by perfumer Rayda Vega comes in a handy 10 ml roll-on, priced at $28.00. It’s this latter that has been sitting in my bag for the last few weeks, making an appearance whenever I feel as if I might want a fragrant kick from this thoroughly enjoyable perfume oil.
The powerfully resinous “lost fragrance” of the novel has nothing to do with the zippy, citrus-gingery oil that I find myself reaching for with some frequency. The oil came after the book and notationally has nothing to do with the book’s ancient elixir. Joya describes Âmes Sœurs as being an “orange blossom wrapped in incense, smoke, and musk.” Author Rose describes it as “smoky incense fragrance with a bright, uncommon finish.”
I find it low on smoke and high on grapefruit and a lovely sour-bitter tamarind that gives way to the sweet spice of ginger and eventually to a white musk with minor frankincense accents. A bit of orange blossom adds floral sweetness, but this is not really a floral fragrance. The ginger note is impressively realistic as it captures that moment when gingerroot is sliced into and the surprise of its hot green juice is released.
The base of Âmes Sœurs reads as mostly musk. The frankincense note so important in the book is a covert one and the smoke is invisible. I’m not sure how much it complements the novel or that it even needs the novel as a platform. I’ve enjoyed it and will continue to enjoy it as a standalone. I doubt I will run into a long-lost soul mate when wearing it, but I have had compliments on it from men and women both. Apart from the book, Âmes Sœurs is easygoing and approachable. People respond to it with a smile. Sometimes this is quite enough.
Âmes Sœurs includes notes of tamarind, grapefruit, cypress, rose, ginger, orange blossom, cedarwood, incense, amber, sweet musk. Available from Joya Studio at joyastudio.com. There is also a fancy little pot of solid perfume that retails for $500.00 and which is extremely limited edition. From the Joya Studio Web site, this pot is porcelain with 22k gold inside cast by Sarah Cihat (and) a 24k gold-plated brass lid cut and hammered by Michael Miller.