Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Jewels of Scent Salim - The Arabian Fragrance Powerhouse of The North!

Dirty, rotten cow dung.  But it smells good – too good!  Yes, here I am again talking about oud – and the one type of oud that would fit within this olfactory description, is the oud of the Indian variety – the jewelled earth of Assam. 

This is by Scent Salim, a UK based Fine Arabian fragrance boutique.  Scent Salim has been the first port of call for celebrities and northerners (the north of the UK) for many years, building a unique heritage of Yorkshire based Arabian Fine Fragrances! 

Going back to this gem of an Assam oud, this is precious, it is a sharp ambery scent and is very heavily punctuated by barnyad cow dung, or even cow dung that is burning… is that even possible?  I am reminded of ancient tales from the Middle East and beyond where rural people would burn dry animal feces for fuel and this is what I get on opening and this, my friends, is the signature element of Indian oud!  It is this olfactory description of a scent within fragrances and perfumery that Arabian consumers crave for in their oud concoctions, much more popular than the oud Cambodi variety.  The heart notes of this wonderful oud is the pronouncement of the honey-like ambery notes coming through, but very very slowly… the climax of the burning cow dung is coming to an end to make way for the royalty, which amber is.  This isn’t like other Assam ouds that I have smelled, which usually have olfactory descriptions of church due to the perceived notes of frankincense and myrrh.  No, none of that.  Not yet, anyway.  The strong amber note is here for good, but maybe with a tad of salt?  I think I detect some salt!  Scent Salim’s signature Oud is a strong performer with excellent sillage, bringing me ever so slight notes of saffron dancing in the air towards me, and was that cardamom too?  This oud, I would say is a perfumers prayers answered – it is dying for more attention, dying to be seen and God damnit, it will be seen!  And smelled! This, by far is one of the best Oud’s that I have come across! 

Scent Salim’s collection of Attars and oud’s have turned heads and got people talking, those who appreciate good Arabian fragrances and attars.  Their collection not only consists of signature scents, but a niche line as well as bakhoor – so important in the Arabian tradition of hospitality.  They even carry an 80 year old Kalakassi oud, By the esteemed Middle Eastern based brand, Abdul Samad al Qureshi!  Scent Salim’s Leeds store is a celebration of Arabian traditions and heritage, with a vast collection to suit all budgets and tastes… leading me onto talk about my next favourite from their wonderful collection.  

And I am in heaven.  Rose Des Reves opens up with a sparkling clean white musk and rose.  The rose is subtle but enough to be noticed.  Like the shy bride on her wedding night, she makes the occasional appearance pulling away the musk laden fabric of her pure white laced veil, covering her face.  On my skin, I detect no oud, but I am secretly thankful for it.  This does not need oud.  The wonderfully fresh and occasional lemony citrus notes of the Taif rose comes through, reminding me of a wonderful summers morning of bright sunlight piercing into my eyes, but as soon as it hits the innocent bride of the white veil, the musk makes an appearance to protect her.     This scent sparkles, almost like the sparkling of the remnants of rain water which caress the thick grass of the meadow and the unrepentant sun that glows above it.  Even at dry down, this continues to deliver with excellent longevity and sillage – a perfect pick for the coming summer!  An exquisite blend, created by Salim himself!    

Scent Salim’s artisan blends are treasures for those who love Arabian and oud based perfumery alike… a powerhouse of oud for the north of England, it is not surprising, that their unique scents are so popular with leading celebrities!  And their heritage collection is nothing short of unique gems – another one of them being Royal Blend – what can I say?  This scent takes me to Asia!  The wonderful sandalwood opening heavy punctuated with the beautiful Indian incense – possibly camphor incense, perhaps?  I also get the oud in the background and a powerhouse of a sweet note – mind bogglingly powerful, with the monstrous sillage!  If this does not turn heads, then honestly I do not know what will!  Salim has really hit it with this one – to me a perfectly Indian Attar, of excellent quality.  The longevity of the scent was such, that even the next day, the sandalwood and rose sweetness was not looking to slow down at all!  I am a complete sucker for sandalwood and rose and with this scent, I can imagine sitting in the middle of a Mysore sandalwood forest retreat! Ha!  That’s how good it is!  This is the scent for the hippies… I get an olfactory description of Goa hippies, who have travelled from western Europe, seeking refuge and solace at one of the many hare rama sanctuaries or something!?! 

It brings me back to those college days, when hippy Surrey guys and gals were planning their trips to Goa at the end of the semester and those hare rama Krishma devotees would love this!! And so they should.  For me, this is India in a bottle.  Can it get any better than that?  Scent Salim created this fragrance himself… and what a scent it is!

Check out Scent Salim Here, and get your hands on some fragrant gems!   


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