Even though there were at least a couple of guest writers on Undina’s Looking Glass, over the last couple of years I was a sole contributor, so for a while I will be reminding my readers to look at the By line (Undina).
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The most sensual of aromas is the essence of a young raven
fed only boiled eggs for forty days, then killed and preserved
in myrtle and almond oil.
Tongue, by Kyung Ran Jo
Reading that quote my perfume loving friends are you not just dying to rub preserved raven all over your pulse points and inhale the magic? Let us take gourmands to the next level! Ridiculous and yet not ridiculous in the eyes (or copy) of some perfumers.
There is seemingly no end to permutations within current perfume trends. We’ll have rosy ouds and oudy roses and roses with stinky oud and clean oud with stinky roses. This one is rich! This one is sheer! This one has barely discernible notes and only if you squint! If a current perfume trend is something you dearly love then this can be quite enjoyable.You may have always wanted a rosy oud that was sparkling and a rosy oud that was liturgical. And then we have the creative perfumers who are here to help you discover things you never even knew you wanted.
So. Stercus means feces. I’m feeling for Undina who wasn’t fond of Lush’s name “Dirty” for their mint fragrance. I think if I send her a sample of this one I shall have to rename it. Undina for the love of fragrance do not look at the Orto Parisi website!
The perfume house Orto Parisi was created by the man behind Nasomotto, Alessandro Gualtieri. He introduces Orto Parisi with this bit of hyperbole: “The parts of the body that carry more smell are those where more soul is collected. The strong smells have become unpleasant to us, because the excess of soul is intolerable to the extent that our innate animalism is repressed and breaking from civilization.” But forget all that (I’m sure you have already!).
I once had a craft beer whose name I’ve forgotten that tasted intensely and immediately of too ripe bananas and smoked meats. It was so ridiculous and disgusting I announced to the pub that this brewery was surely trolling it’s patrons with this concoction. Having read the ad copy for Stercus before I obtained a bottle I was convinced that I was going to repeat this experience in perfume. I was wrong. I am IN LOVE with Orto Parisi Stercus. It is beautiful and rich and comforting and dramatic all at once. Orto Parisi won’t give out notes so these are all my own impressions from my love affair with Stercus. We have chocolate and camphor and rotten fruit and oud and a sugared croissant. There’s a sharp jasmine in the top notes that almost magically hovers over all the bakery oudy goodness warming this fragrance. It’s quite an original scent and the deft creativity impresses me. But what of the name? Let’s just say I understand the connection being drawn between the name and the fragrance. I am unable to summarily dismiss this idea even while thinking it is a pretentious attempt at getting attention. If this were an abstract painting entitled “Stercus” I would nod my head and think a good job had been done.
Given these times I was tempted to just cave to the copy and take a photo of Stercus on a row of precious, precious toilet paper. But I resist as Stercus is too beautiful to be pigeonholed by its silly ad copy. Too beautiful and too complex.
Photo is of my beloved Stercus and Joan Miró’s “Painting”.
Hi, Narth. Do you think that it is the jasmine element that inspires its name? I know that famously jasmine can smell like faeces – which was brought home to me when my cat’s litter tray often emitted the fragrance of jasmine! Which is sooooo much better than it could be. On the other hand, I couldn’t wear Sira des Indes cos it smelt too much like faeces!
I didn’t use the term indolic because.. it just wasn’t registering that way for me. While that could be it I felt like the jasmine wasn’t contributing to that note if that makes sense? (LOL I am probably wrong).
Great review, Narth. I’m a big fan of Orto Parisi and Nasomatto fragrances. Gualtieri is a bit of a maverick and I love his bold approach.
Yes I’ve found everyone of them interesting and trying some others as soon as I can leave the house is on my list. I’ve really enjoyed them. Stercus is a huge love :)
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Terroni, Boccanera and Brutus come highly recommended too.
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I’m just hanging out to go try them.. we have a shop here with all those. It’s first on my list when we are released into the world again.
Even though this perfume doesn’t come close to ideas behind Secretions Magnifique or Petite Mort, or even Peety, I will definitely pass on it: I believe that it might smell good but for me all aspects of aesthetics matter when it comes to perfumes, so all the juvenile attempts at being provocative just make me cringe. Besides, I already wasn’t that thrilled with the original brand because of drugs references in their perfume names. But, unlike with some other cases where I feel strong about discouraging others from using some brands’ products, in this case it’s strictly a question of preferences, so I hope you will not be asked too often what is that great perfume you’re wearing (or, at least, people who ask will be lazy to go and read about it ;) ).
Ah I don’t mind being asked :) I think it will come out better than me mangling long french names, especially in Australia. I might even get a lively conversation out of it!
This is a great favourite of a few of the Sydney perfumistas yet it hasn’t hit my skin yet. I’ll be honest, it would probably be something I fall in love with and buy for its sheer audacity and then never wear it because Nike de Saint Phalle, Champs Elysees and Secret Joly are so much easier to spritz and enjoy.
It does make the pre teen in me giggle that they called their perfume crap.
I find it so incredibly wearable.. would you like me to send you some? It’s the perfect weather!
You’re so kind but I’m at the point where I’m trying to get my sample game under control. The sheer enormity of my sampling has become apparent as I’m in isolation, even though I already knew it was ridiculous. So I’ll gratefully decline.
Great review, Narth. Stercus sounds intriguing, but I think I’ll pass on it as well. Too many indoles in any fragrance smell like faeces to my nose so I leave this for others to enjoy.
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I don’t even know if it’s indoles.. what’s with the whole “I will never tell you the notes” thing some perfumers employ? It’s frustrating! though sometimes I admit the associations one gets from a beautifully blended scent like this are better left to one’s imagination which I suppose is the point.