Notes From Underground

$99.99$1,575.00

Notes From Underground

I’ve been obsessed with sourcing Tonkin Musk ever since I found out musk was the most beloved fragrance to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and that Tonkin is the most legendary of all musks.Musk features so prominently in Islam and the spirituality of Muslims, you’re compelled to find out more about it. And Tonkin Musk is consistently referred to as the most sought-after musk in even ancients texts.The Prophet himself used to smell like musk. Paradise is described as smelling of musk. The grounds of the Garden of Eden are made of musk. Oud, kinam, rose, and all other smells of this realm cannot be more beloved to a Muslim than musk.Musk is a scent apart from all other scents. And Tonkin is the red sulfur of that scent.So, the fact that it’s turned into a synthetic commodity that’s tantamount to the smell of baby powder, or worse… the dank poudres and moldy flower smells from the turn of the century when humanity dove headfirst into synthetics, is nothing short of a travesty. When I received some musk from the royal palace in Oman to craft Tibetan Musk, there was one bag on the side that had something different about it. Many of the pods had disintegrated inside the bag and had clearly been aged for who knows how many decades, or even centuries. Some were so old the hairs had completely fallen off.But these pods were like black tar, as if they had become fermented, as they exuded this resinous blast of musk unlike I’ve ever seen or smelled in my long years working with this aromatic.Compared to Tibetan musk, Siberian musk, and Kashmiri musk, this was something totally different. Not only were these pods from another era altogether… this was a completely different type of Musk.With trepidation, I embraced the reality that what I was holding in my hands could be nothing other than what I’d been dreaming of for years: What Loius XIV used to call ‘Musc Tonquin’. Once you have such a precious aromatic in your hands, it’s decision time. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put the rarest musk on Earth to use.So, it took an enormous amount of courage to dedicate an entire batch of Oriscent Vietnamese oud as the carrier to Louis XIV’s fragrant elixir in the first experiment of its kind in history: Not a musk attar, not musk-infused sandalwood, musk-infused OUD. And not just any oud…Hailing from Vietnam, I could think of no base more befitting for a Tonkin (i.e. Vietnamese) musk infusion than the most delicate and supremely opulent Vietnamese oud oil: Ha Tinh LTD, which neat by itself would sell for no less than $1,500 a bottle.The process took months to pull off, with multiple interventions throughout the day to ensure the maceration was happening properly.Using a small tester vial, I did a little experiment of infusing one-third of the Notes From Underground recipe I was then working on with the Ha Tinh Tonkin infusion.This vial I made for myself, which was 1/3 Tonkin-infused Ha Tinh LTD and 2/3 NOTES was meant to be a private edition of Notes From Underground. I never thought of launching it as a release.It took my good friend Colin hollering in expletives as we went down the street in Borough Market smelling it, showing it to the bread vendors and coffee sellers and everyone we came across, saying something to the sound of “Cheeses Shmeeses” which made me reconsider! Notes From Underground is a concept I’ve been mulling in my head since the beginning of the pandemic. It was meant to be in line with Homeros as my second major tome in what I envisioned as a grand lockdown oeuvre. The first being the dirge of the castaway longing for home, and the second… Dostoyevsky’s infamous underground man, expressing his feelings about the state of humanity at the present juncture.But as things usually turn out at the EO atelier, we took the NOTES concept and ran wild with it, tripling the original amount of Ha Tinh oud in the recipe—and tripling it with the first musk/oud infusion of its kind ever… Tonkin-oozing Ha Tinh LTD—which smells like a medicinal Purple Kinam on steroids.And when it came down to the carrier, we might as well rock the boat full tilt and instead of plain perfumer’s alcohol use pure Tonkin tincture on top of it all to really drive the “Cheeses Shmeeses” effect home.The leather case your bottle comes in was hand-made by Habib Dingle, at whose behest we had to import full-grain calf leather that was vegetable tanned and prepared by a specific tannery in Italy.‡Notes from Underground is a renegade perfume. It’s not meant for cheap & easy consumption. It’s for the nit-picking oud junkies who love to explore a fragrance.NFU lets you do just that: It’s a meticulous dissection of artisanal Oriscent oud and only appeals to a certain type of oud wearer: folks who love to feast their noses on Nha Trang LTD, Royal Kinam, Kyara Ketone, or White Kinam. Oudheads who appreciate what these oils are will understand what an oil spray like this is.Inspired by imposed isolation, Notes From Underground got composed to satisfy the perfumer’s own crave. As satisfying as the first ever Vietnamese musk & oud infusion is, I spared no expense in adding the choicest ingredients to accessorize the Tonkin theme, despite key ones costing at least double what they did only a few months ago.Circling the Tonkin heart, tobacco drenched in bourbon vanilla gives the aroma a gourmand profile as the combo of Ha Tinh LTD and pink pepper laced with the medicinal sweetness of rosemary tickles your nose with, not citrus, but this jasmine smooth narcissus which gratifies your olfactory lust with the way those notes swirl into a whirlpool concocted of a unique tobacco tuberose beeswax core. That’s what awaits you in your bottle. Oriscent-caliber oud jacked up with precious tuberose, blue lotus, and all the rest, while the intensity of Tonkin musk makes them all more alive. If you just want a nice spray perfume, I recommend you skip this one.But if you’re the kind of frag lover who sits with your wrist to your nose for hours on end, engulfed in the finest smells on Earth; if you ride a fragrance like a wave, smelling every transition until ten hours later you wallow in the abyss of its oudy base—and the only thing you think of is taking a new spritz; if you want a perfume that’s basically pure Vietnamese oud decked out with raunchy tobacco-creamy-lotus accessory notes ……… then this is for you.

Clear
SKU: N/A Category: