FEATURED NOTES include:- Yuzu, White Tea, Ginger Lily, Osmanthus, Tuberose, Mimosa, Anise Myrtle, Fennel, Clove, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Black Pepper, Ambrette Seed, Australian Sandalwood, Mysore Sandalwood, Vietnamese Oudh, Hindi Oudh and aged Sumatran Patchouli.
This oudh blend fragrance was inspired by stories and movies about the fabled hidden valley of Shangri La, and the people said to live there as immortals. James Hilton’s book Lost Horizon locates the valley in the western region of the Kun Lun Mountains. Many have sought to find the passage into Shangri La and mysterious legends have been written about those that found their way into Shangri La and returned to tell their tale, and also stories of those that set out to find it, and never returned. Did they find it, and stay? Or did they simply perish in their endeavours?
Wikipedia says “In China, the poet Tao Yuanming of the Jin Dynasty (265–420 CE) described a kind of Shangri-La in his work The Tale of the Peach Blossom Spring (桃花源記; Táohuā Yuán Jì). The story goes that there was a fisherman from Wuling, who came across a beautiful peach grove, and he discovered happy and content people who lived completely cut off from the troubles in the outside world since the Qin Dynasty (221–207 BCE).
Some scholars believe that the Shangri-La story owes a literary debt to Shambhala, a mythical kingdom in Tibetan Buddhist tradition, which was sought by Eastern and Western explorers. Shambhala is a core concept in Tibetan Buddhism that describes a realm of harmony between humans and nature that is also connected with the Kalachakra “wheel of time.” (2021 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shangri-La)
Since childhood, I have yearned to find such hidden valley wonders; portals into faery, sailing ships to Valinor, wardrobes into Narnia and underground caves that lead deep inside the earth, far beyond where industry and the cacophony of chaos prevail here on the surface. Perhaps such journeys begin with the conjuring of a perfumed dream-scape; a scent-path that leads me there.
The composition for Earth & Sky began with an accord based on Chinese five spice powder, a combination of spices I love. A bouquet of potent florals ensued, with sumptuous aromas, potent enough to bear the weight of the spices, the woods and oudhs that form the bedrock of this fragrance.
The final flourish was the addition of White Tea and Yuzu as a ‘kite’ to lift the blend, oxygenating and carrying the fragrant vapours that trail for many leagues, over glaciers and across frozen lakes, on and up, into dazzling white peaks, and the glare of endless snow-fields. The warm florals continue to beckon the wanderer forwards, lifting spirits when all seems bleak.
The choir of florals sings us up and over, and beyond, to a small crevasse in the frozen rock-face; a tiny shelter, a wind-break, a peaceful place just to rest for a moment, to drift off to sleep, and to dream of the warmth of the sun, the infinite light that reaches down to all of us here on Earth, touching us with endless golden radiance.