For those of you whose first response to the words CUMIN + PERFUME is to clutch your pearls or bite your pinky ring...you may ignore Heretic Parfums Dirty Ginger;* this guy is dirty with the 'raunchy' spice.
Dirty Ginger starts with the aromas of traditional medicine (I'm thinking Ayurveda): dried fruit peels and herbs, leaves and seeds, stored next to a block of white camphor. The herbs move from the medicinal to the culinary realm quickly, and if you're in the mood for a good curry or Indian pickle (with its mustard seeds, ginger, vinegar and coriander), you may start to salivate. I do smell lime, but it's the great aroma of black lime (promised, but not delivered, in Hermès Eau de Citron Noir). Fresh ginger root is discernible but overwhelmed by the spice-box scents (think of the ginger as a background aroma in Dirty Ginger — not the main scent character).
After Dirty Ginger's perky, enlivening opening, cumin arrives. On some wearings, the cumin was dry and dusty, a faint skin-scent cumin; it was as if I had lightly applied a talc of the powdered seeds to my skin. Other times, Dirty Ginger's cumin was fierce. When I applied Dirty Ginger sparingly (3-4 sprays), the cumin was well-behaved, and it paired beautifully with the sweet-woody base notes of vetiver and Palo Santo. When I went overboard and sprayed my usual (blush) 8-10 spritzes, cumin was more noticeable. Treat Dirty Ginger as two perfumes: one, lightly applied, with lots of interest and facets that you'll enjoy...or an audaciously applied cumin-y powerhouse that others can enjoy, too (or not...we're back to the pearl-grabbers/ring-biters).
I enjoy wearing Dirty Ginger and think it'll be perfect for autumn (which arrived overnight in Seattle...please go away, autumn, and come back the first week of November). I liked Dirty Ginger so much, I want to try the other 'dirty' Heretic scents: Dirty Neroli, Dirty Rose, and the new Dirty Lemon and Dirty Jasmine. Do comment if you've tried any of them.
*Listed notes of black pepper, lime, cumin, ginger, shiso leaf, Palo Santo, vetiver, clary sage.