When I was in Paris, I fell in love with the paintings of James Ensor. I don’t like this style of painting at all, the technique doesn’t speak to me, but as I was walking through the exhibit, thinking, um, no, I entered a room that brought tears to my eyes. Art doesn’t make me weep. Not much makes me weep. Ensor was an impressionist painter, but then basically flipped the painting brush bird at the art establishment and started incorporating all sorts of techniques into his paintings that they tut-tutted about.
As I looked at his religious paintings, with the knowledge that he was an atheist, and how he captured light and expressed how he viewd God’s relationship with man, that’s when tears formed in my eyes. His style was strange, harsh in some ways, so very soft in others, complex, not quite right, egotistical, full of pain much of the time, and it shifted throughout his life, until he entered his period where he hated people, then went into his self-portrait period, and eventually seems to have found some peace. I still don’t like his style, but the painter himself and how he expressed transparently what was inside of him on canvas was breathtaking. I love his work.
Many of the Kilian scents that were first released didn’t really capture my attention, but their entries in the ouds with Pure Oud have turned me around in much the same way as the Ensor paintings, though I’m not exactly weepy about it. Pure Oud was the first Kilian that I truly loved. Luckyscent mailed me a sample of their upcoming Rose Oud scent. Rose and oud have been put together forever, so this combination is traditional and has been around the fragrance block more than a couple of times. Notes are Turkish rose, oud, saffron, cardamom, of course. It’s got a fairly good medicinal smell of the oud on the open, but not overly so, plenty of rose. Nice use of saffron, little spiciness that reminds me a little of the Amouage Lyric Woman perfume, but I like Lyric Woman a lot more. There’s a vagueness about 30 minutes in that bothers me. It’s not a bad thing, it just seems a little directionless up close, though the sillage is still nice. It’s not a heavy oud, and I think it will find some fans of those who like the rose/oud combo, but don’t like Montale’s treatment of them.
I’m sticking with Pure Oud, though I certainly would not turn down a bottle of this scent. I’m looking at my sample vial from LS and think I can squeeze out one or two samples of it for a couple of commenters. And the good news is that the Arabian collection is going to be available in the 100 ml refills the first part of March from Luckyscent for $350 a bottle, which is much better than $400 for 50 mls!