Autoportrait by Olfactive Studio

Hi there Posse. You know when you find a new fragrance house? Maybe they have three or twelve fragrances and you try them all at once and fall for one of them so the rest get ignored for eternity because you already smelled them and they didn’t measure up. I call it the Initial Sniff Syndrome. So recently I was talking to someone whose nose I respect about incense and they asked me what I thought about Autoportrait. So my memory was very vague because Chambre Noire (Still on my To Buy List here in 2015) was the one from Olfactive Studio that had caught my attention back in 2012 when I first got my sniff on them.

I had an Autoportrait decant here somewhere, I’m sure of it. Having tidied up and rearranged my decants this last couple of months I couldn’t find it anywhere. Then a mate had a partial bottle on her FB Sale Doc for a very reasonable price so I splurged. It arrived in the original Olfactive Studio style bottle and I’ve worn it a few times already.

Autoportrait by Olfactive Studio 2011

by Nathalie Lorson

Autoportrait by Olfactive Studio

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, Elemi resin
Heart: Benzoin, Musk, Frankincense
Base: Oakmoss, Vetiver, Cedar

So good. The opening rush is quite intensely citrus and sharp woods. Take a deep breath before you spritz your chest and leave at least 5 seconds before you take a deep breath through your nose. It’s not bad, just big and through my own application know that it will definitely blow your nose for the next little while.

Once all the crazy opening hullabaloo dies down though… bliss.

Tranquil, green and woodsy with a cool, lightly fruity, unburnt incense. Resins are such a beautiful base to build a fragrance on. Here they give the effect of cool autumn breezes through evergreen forests with little or no humanity. Autoportrait smells like I imagine the smells those monks that live by themselves near a shrine in the Himalayas would smell. Just them, the incense old and new, the woods and the peace of a lifetime of devotion to their Gods.

Olfactive Studio is one of my favourite niche houses. All the fragrances seem so well thought out and carefully produced. Autoportrait is no exception. Perfect for everyone, wearable from weekend lounging to work day sharp and then on for drinks after. You will smell softly intriguing, never overpowering or raucous. I keep thinking that this would be a wonderful addition to the CHANEL Les Exclusifs range, it has that sheer presence and smooth yet voluptuously finished feeing.

I am seriously glad to have gone back and refound Autoportrait, it’s freaking excellent.

Do you ever miss out on a beauty because of the Initial Sniff Syndrome? Have you tried Autoportrait or any of the Olfactive Studio line? Which did you like?
Portia xx


  • Patty says:

    This sounds lovely. I’ve only sniffed a few of this line, like maybe two. I really think I should smell more, this sounds great.

    • Portia says:

      Patty, I’m surprised you didn’t try more of these. They have very reasonably priced sample sets on their site?
      Portia xx

  • KimB says:

    Agree it is tranquil although I now much prefer incense perfumes from Unum or Sauf. Chambre Noir is my favourite from Olfactive Studio closely followed by Panorama which is GREEN and then some. Panorama is for days when Chanel No 19 is too mild!

    • Portia says:

      LOVE the way you describe Panorama KimB, excellent.
      Yes, Autoportrait is very low key compared to a lot of the incense bombs. I wear it for a very different mood.
      Portia xx

  • Tara C says:

    I need to smell this again, I have no memory of it. Like you, my first love was Chambre Noire, then I also bought Ombre Indigo, Woody Mood and Close Up. It’s a nice line.

    • Portia says:

      YAY! We have many perfume crossovers TaraC,
      I also bought Ombre indigo, there’s a Panorama here as well.
      I agree that the line is solid, it doesn’t get so much love anymore. It’s a shame.
      My next purchase will be Vanilla Shot, as soo as I’m back working properly again and have the ready cash again.
      Portia xx

  • Dina C. says:

    This sounds really beautiful Portia. Thanks for another great scent review!

  • Musette says:

    I am not much of an incense gal (in perfume or in incense itself) but this sounds very … I think ‘tranquil’ is a good description. ISS is something I’ve been going through quite a bit, recently, as I’ve been sorting and clearing out the Messy Armoire. I thought about you, Portia, when I stumbled across an entire bottle of Lonestar Memories! 😉


    • Portia says:

      Hey Musette,
      I wonder if Lonestar Memories would float my boat now. Very early on I bought a bottle and it punched me in the face so hard I had to move it on. I bet it would be heaven now.
      One day I’m coming over to raid that armoire!
      Portia xx

  • March says:

    I haven’t smelled this, but it sounds absolutely delightful! Resins really are the perfect base for fragrance, you can take it in so many different directions.