I like it when fragrance has some background story behind it, a tale that gives a reason why the perfume was created or what inspired the blend. Of course it cannot be too long and there has to be a point. One of my favourite brands that incorporate events and stories of the past times is Parfum d’Empire. What I love about the brand is that each perfume is inspired by the different time, goings-on and parts of the world. This makes the line pretty varied.
Aziyade the fragrance was inspired by a Pierre Loti semi-biographical novel of the same name. It tells the story of an affair between Loti and a harem girl Aziyade, who was 9 years younger than him. Although the main character had many romantic conquests Aziyade was his biggest love. Part of the plot included a “friendship” between Loti and Samuel (Spanish servant). Most critics believe they had a homosexual affair, once can conclude this from Loti’s diary entries (the diary was a base for the novel.) But I want us to focus on the thread of Aziyade.
The moment I apply perfume on my skin the first accord that I notice is the one of plum. It’s fruity in a moderate way and there’s quite a lot of dryness and smokiness in the opening. It certainly isn’t a plum straight from a tree but rather a wrinkled, dried and smoked fruit. The one you could use to make a compote. This feeling lasts for 5 to 10 minutes and then Aziyade begins to evolve. Just just a glimpse of an eye I had a feeling like I was smelling a bubble gum and then the fragrance gained incredibly nice density and it’s aura grew instantly bigger.
Caraway is the note that is a leader now! It’s spicy and as you think of it – it’s a perfect match for a Harlem somewhere in the Ottoman Empire from the past. It had an amazing richness and saturation, turning a little bit oily at some point like it was supposed to be an erotic massage oil. I dislike caraway in most of the perfumes but in Aziyade it’s not offensive. It’s somewhere between appropriate and skanky. What I can say for sure is that a carnal pleasure tag is attached not only to this accord but to entire fragrance. After 40 minutes cinnamon joins the composition amplifying the sensual experience this Parfum d’Empire scent gives you.
When cardamom comes to the front the blend becomes slightly more woody but a spicy sensation is still the most intensive one. The first stage of development is like two naked bodies warmed by the sun. It’s like an invitation, the encouragement to discover the “landscape” of each others arms, chests, tums, legs and backs. It has a sexual context but presented in a very gentle way.
At the mark of 1st hours the composition becomes sweeter and more exotic. One can smell a balmy and slightly sugary dates, a juicy and a little bit sour pomegranate and also orange which in this particular perfume carries a scent of both pulp and peel. It also has a candied facet. A little bit of freshness is introduced with ginger which adds more sparkling and fuzzy feeling to Aziyade.
Later on, nearby the end of hour 2 the entire perfume mix slowly dissipated. The caraway accord can be still noticed while other notes become more blurry and faded. At this point Aziyade enters the balsamic stage of development which is marked as soon as the incense aroma appears above your skin. Incense is often cold in perfumes but here it’s quite warm, probably because of the caraway accord which is still around. Patchouli was used here generously. It’s a little bit woody and leafy but mostly it has an earthy vibe to me. It nicely corresponds with the creation.
For the next 3-4 hours Parfum d’Empire Aziyade offers the incredibly seductive yet soft mixture of caraway (which seems to be honeyed right now), warm cinnamon, dried plum and orange combined with pomegranate. After this reorganization of the notes I could smell a lovely labdanum note. It was dense but it’s heaviness was tempered with vanilla to add some lightness. There’s also a beautiful and rich tobacco (mind pipe tobacco) aroma which embraces the wearer. In the later moment almonds add creaminess and some bitter flavour that introduces a good balance to the sweeter notes. A little bit sweaty and animalic musk crown the perfume in the final moment.
This eau de parfum should last on your skin for around 10-12 hours and while at first it projection becomes incredibly good and big, in the end Aziyade melts with your skin and unites with it making the incredibly attractive skin scent. Marc-Anoine Corticchiato knew exactly what he was doing when he created this fragrance in 2008. If love potion existed, Parfum d’Empire Aziyade could be just the one. This fragrance is available in 50 and 100ml cylindrical flacons which characterize the line.