Lotus: 3 posts

By Kilian Water Calligraphy : Perfume Review


As much as I love complex fragrances that feel like an alternative universe in themselves, there are days when I feel that my own world more than suffices to keep me on my toes. At such times I simply want something beautiful: a perfume that feels like a comfortable second skin, or a soft melody that forms a perfect scented soundtrack to my day. The latest such discovery is by Kilian Water Calligraphy, a perfume from the Asian Tales Collection.

Water Calligraphy is immediately inviting—the sparkling citrus top notes are tart and bittersweet, while the lemony cardamom is deliciously piquant. Even when the luscious white floral notes begin to unfold, the perfume retains its initial airy impression. If you’ve ever floated gardenias in a bowl of water and returned to find a room full of their peach and jasmine cream perfume, you will find a similar experience with Water Calligraphy.

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Cinq Mondes Eau Egyptienne : Perfume Review



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

Cinq Mondes is a line of spa products inspired by traditional beauty treatments. Eau Égyptienne was created by Olivia Giacobetti in 2005. The light fragrance is intended as a mist that can also be used on hair.

Olivia Giacobetti’s fragrances have a remarkable translucence paired with complexity, and this fragrance certainly bears Giacobetti’s fingerprint. The serene and quiet composition undulates slowly, as the top notes of verdant mint and silky geranium meld into the incense smoke swirling gently. Resinous and balsamic notes are blended to create a perfectly smooth arrangement. It is reminiscent of the layers of multicolored silks that allow a glimpse of certain hues, while presenting a unified and unusual whole. Under the sheer veil of luxurious incense and spices, the patterns formed of flowers begin to emerge. While the florals are not very distinct, other than a hint of tea rose laced with myrrh and a few scattered white blossoms touched by ginger, they lend an opulent softness that is a perfect counterpoint to the wooded notes.

The drydown is a subtle smokiness of incense ashes falling over a fragrant lotus blossom. Unlike Iunx waters, Eau Égyptienne is much longer lasting. In fact, its tenacity is what I hoped Iunx waters would be—it remains perceptible, yet stays close to the skin. It is a fragrance to wear for yourself and a few lucky ones who are close enough (or allowed to lean in enough) to notice its ashes over flower petals character.

Notes include lotus flower, rose, mint, lentiscus (which is an evergreen tree), incense, myrrh, papyrus, jasmine, juniper, geranium and cumin. Blue water lily like the one depicted above was an essential part of the ancient Egyptian culture. More information on this topic can be found here, as well as a list of other fragrances containing lotus and water lily.

Available at Beautyhabit.

Lotus and Water Lily Perfume Notes


“On the day when the lotus bloomed, alas, my mind was straying, and I knew it not. My basket was empty and the flower remained unheeded.
Only now and again sadness fell upon me, and I started up from my dream and felt a sweet trace of a strange fragrance in the south wind.
That vague sweetness made my heart ache with longing and it seemed to me that is was the eager breath of the summer seeking for its completion. I knew not then that it was so near, that it was mine, and that this perfect sweetness had blossomed in the depth of my own heart,”
by Rabindranath Tagore.

Seeing a lotus pond in full bloom makes me understand why lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is a symbolic flower in the Buddhist tradition. While its roots are in the silt, the flowers are pure and radiant above the waters, reminding its followers to rise above the mire of the earthly desires.

Blue, pink and white varieties have a delicate perfume, which is soft, sweet and fruity, with a hint of anise. However, making lotus absolute is a difficult task, because waxy petals produce little absolute. About 75,000-100,000 blossoms are needed to make one kilo of absolute. Each flower is handpicked from the ponds on the third day after the blossoms open. Wait for a couple of more days, and the fragrance will be weaker. After the flowers are picked, the flowers are separated from the stem and loaded into the extracting units. Several washings with hexane are required in order to remove the waves, pigment and essential oil from the flowers. The resulting product is called concrete, and it requires treatments to be separate from hexane. Before the absolute is obtained, a delicate painstaking process of chilling, filtering and vacuum distilling of the alcohol from the absolute must be undertaken.

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