In autumn, I tend to lean on the fruity chypre portion of my perfume collection. But when the weather cools further, and nights become longer than days, I turn to oriental fragrances. A good oriental offers an olfactory blanket that warms better than a chinchilla coat.
The trouble is to find an oriental that doesn’t smell like a spice cookie or doesn’t pack so much amber that it fries your nasal hairs. Lately, I’ve relied on Guerlain Vol de Nuit, Arquiste Anima Dulcis, Etat Libre d’Orange The Afternoon of a Faun, and judicious spritzes of Serge Lutens Participe Passé (wow, is that stuff powerful) — among many others stuffed in a box labeled "cosy" in my perfume cabinet. If I had a bottle of Hiram Green Voyage 2019, it would fall into rotation, too.
Here’s what Hiram Green has to say about Voyage 2019:
In 2015 we launched Voyage. It was an oriental perfume inspired by the heady scents of Indian street markets and the opulence of Octopussy's floating palace on Lake Pichola. Only 250 bottles were available worldwide and quickly sold out.
Now, four years later, we present an updated version. The warm, smooth amber and vanilla heart remains, but suede has been replaced by lotus flower, India’s national flower. The delicate sweetness of this flower in combination with fresh citrus top notes give Voyage 2019 a lighter and more tropical feel.
To me, Voyage 2019 is a cashmere-soft oriental with enough spice to keep it from being cloying, but enough amber and vanilla to make you want to nap with it. If this is Green’s idea of a “light, tropical feel,” then I shudder to think what he’d do with Blofield’s alpine lair in Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Voyage 2019’s citrus top is more like a bare lemon glaze than a fresh spray of neroli and bergamot. Its heart is lightened by a touch of geranium green, but it glows like stained glass rather than bites like a leaf torn in your hand. It’s softer than Guerlain Shalimar or even the new Papillon Bengale Rouge. To me, Voyage 2019’s overall feel is of amber, vanilla and benzoin with a breath of cinnamon and clove. It doesn't have a super distinct signature, but it doesn't really need one. Voyage 2019 does the job of a lovely, soft, warming oriental with a graceful presence.
Voyage 2019 wears for a good, long time and packs a healthy sillage — although not invasively so, like some orientals can (back off already, Chopard Casmir). It burns down to amber and vanilla after a few hours and stays that way until dinner time.
Do you have any favorite oriental fragrances for cold weather?
Hiram Green Voyage 2019 is €155 for 50 ml Eau de Parfum, and is exclusive to the Hiram Green website. A 1 ml sample is €5.40.