Paris-based niche brand Olfactive Studio just launched Ombre Indigo,1 a shadow fragrance — an evocative and romantic idea.
Ombre Indigo opens with sweet, syrupy (and smoky) petitgrain; notes of saffron, woody vetiver and papyrus waft strongly at first, too. Ombre Indigo's head notes conjure a dry, summery atmosphere of glare and heat: think Egypt or Morocco, stone or earth buildings baking in the sun, incense burning in the background...on the wind. (The aquatic image, shown above, for Ombre Indigo by photographer Gustavo Pellizzon does not compute for me as a representation of the perfume. But who cares?)
In mid-development, Ombre Indigo presents leather (again, this is "desert" leather, like the leather goods one buys in Moroccan souks — no fancy, refined "boutique" leather here, but newly tanned hides with an animalic/still-alive quality. Though I don't smell plum on the inhale, as I exhale from a deep breath of this perfume I get an "after-aroma" of dense, (super)ripe fruit. As the perfume develops further, a raunchy/almost-fecal musk begins to waver in the "heat", accented by frankincense. Ombre Indigo is more pungent and earthy than the current version of Serge Lutens Muscs Koublaï Khan...a positive for me.
I wanted to try Ombre Indigo for one reason: its tuberose. As I wore the perfume, I was disappointed I didn't smell tuberose. How could that be? Well, tuberose makes an appearance (on my skin) in the base of Ombre Indigo, as the flowers finally rise above the layers of musk, incense and wood. My reaction to tuberose here was one of happy recognition and...relief: "You're here! You're here!" Ombre Indigo's tuberose is not menthol-tinged or indolic but is full-bodied, lush and creamy.
Ombre Indigo is a unisex fragrance, whether you love or hate it will probably depend on your relationships with incense, musks and "dirty" bits in perfume. Ombre Indigo's lasting power and sillage are great; applied lightly it would be wonderful in desert heat (in humid climes...no). I can't resist it, and just might buy a bottle.
As an experiment, I layered equal parts Ombre Indigo and Frédéric Malle's tuberose-rich Editions de Parfums Carnal Flower, and Carnal Flower triumphed (which surprised me). But thanks to the hit of Ombre Indigo, Carnal Flower shed its lacy silk panties and replaced them with form-fitting, pink boxer-briefs — still sensual, but a bit less feminine. I plan on continuing this blending experiment till I get the proportions of each perfume just right.
Olfactive Studio Ombre Indigo Eau de Parfum is available in 100 ml (€125) and 50 ml (€85). For buying information, see the listing for Olfactive Studio under Perfume Houses.
1. Perfumer Mylène Alran; listed notes of petitgrain, tuberose, plum, saffron, papyrus, vetiver, leather, olibanum, benzoin, ambergris, musk.