Despite the fact that I’m not really into history, I find the times that are farthest away from now to be the most interesting, mysterious and worth discovering. The civilization of Maya was one of the oldest ancient societies, also well-known for having their own written language, advanced knowledge in mathematics and astronomy (just think how wise they were to create a calendar). Their art and architecture were also really valued. Even though they achieved so much, they don’t teach us about Maya in Polish schools. Probably because our education system focuses on Europe, we prefer to learn about ancient Greece, Rome rather than notice the history from across the Ocean.
Karl Bradl, one of the founders of Aedes de Venustas boutique in New York City went some time ago on a trip to Tulum. As he was cycling along the coast of Yukatan peninsula, getting closer to Sian Ka’an nature reserve, he noticed that he’s breathing in the air that has a gently smoky, incense aroma intertwined with the salty notes coming from the Ocean. What he smelled in the air was the aroma of copal, an aromatic resin coming from a variety of trees (with leaves or needles) growing in subtropical zone. Interesting note: “copalli” in nahuatl language translates into “incense”. Copal, used in jewellery, to make figurines and for burning as a sacrifice for gods is said to have 10 thousand to 1 million years.
Inspired by that specific yet mysterious scent, guys from Aedes de Venustas wanted to transform that aroma into a bottle of perfume. There were some difficulties, as one cannot use copal resin in perfumery, Robert and Karl together with a nose working on this project decided that they will recreate the smell of copal by adding three different species of frankincense into the composition. And that is how this perfume – featuring Mayan treasure, was born. Its name – Copal Azur.
Copal Azur doesn’t have a specific opening stage in my opinion. The very moment you apply just a drop of perfume to your skin, this fragrance starts to emanate strong, bold and brave aroma of frankincense. It is very dark and smoky, bringing the spiritual and meditative vibe to my mind. At first the incense accord feels light but not in terms of the strength of this perfume but in terms of frankincense being a smoke, a silvery-gray illusion that swirls in the air, rather than having a substance. However after around 30 minutes the immaterial smoke in latest Aedes de Venustas offering turns into something more heavy and balsamic, something you can touch with your hand.
I think that it must be the myrrh that caused that interesting transformation. One moment the frankincense was just a scented cloud, few minutes later it turns into a lump waiting to set it on fire so that it can turn into smoke again. Myrrh adds substance and density, making Copal Azur more balmy, resinous and heavier. Combined with incense it smells a bit churchy but I think that is how this was meant to be. After a while myrrh reveals a warm aroma that also carries a little bit of that “burning plastic” sensation that it tends to give on my skin. Does anyone experience this kind of feeling when they wear myrrh perfumes? That would be interesting to know if I’m alone there or not…
After 2 hours, from the smoky depths of Aedes de Venustas Copal Azur, some cardamom seeds float up to the surface and tickle my nose. It adds some beautiful – warm and spicy values to the perfume at the same turning this blend a bit drier and even kind of woody. LAter on tonka bean joins the composition and it marries with cardamom. Together they smell amazing. Warm and aromatic at the same time. Spicy but creamy as well. At some point tonka starts to dominate so aromatic, slightly dark-vanillic notes do some magic. With still present incense Copal Azur is like a spell.
At some point of the development of Copal Azur, after 4 or 5 hours you will notice that incense and other notes start to turn a little bit salty. No, this is not just your imagination. The new Aedes de Venustas perfume really does contain salty notes. The salty undertone never becomes dominating and it will never to go to the foreground, it will stay in the back row, adding a little bit of mineral qualities. It has the marine smell but in a positive meaning of the word. Last but not least there are hints of bright and resinous amber which is also slightly sweet, very elegant if you ask me.
Copal Azur by Aedes de Venustas is the 2nd perfume launched by the brand in 2014 and their 4th perfume in overall. This is an opulent, spiritual perfume that is bold, makes a statement but at the same time it feels so good to wear. It rarely happens to me to like a frankincense perfume so much. If only Aedes did a mixed travel set with Iris Nazarena, Oeillet Bengale and Copal Azur, I would get one for sure. The fragrance comes in eau de parfum concentration available either in 3 x 10ml travel set or in a 100ml zamak cap bottle, this time it has a deep blue color. Perfumer who developed Copal Azur is Bertrand Duchaufour. If you’re into incense scents or if you’re looking for new extraordinary scent for winter, consider the new Aedes de Venustas release.
[note] sample provided by Beauty Enterprise, pictures from the press & ThePocketExplorer
Sounds totally swoonworthy :)! Oh yes, please bring us the travel set! Or if we could arrange a European swap, getting one mixed travel set each. I would easily take part in such arrangement!
That is a really good idea to find a group of people who would like to mix trose travel sets
First challenge seems to be getting them to Europe…
You mean those travel sets?
No, we have them readily available in Poland.
Good news! I am definitely in if we find a third partner :).
I won’t be buying right now for sure but it’s a thing to consider to later time. 😉
Oh, this sounds really nice, Lucas! Certainly worth a trip to Barneys and / or Aedes! I like the travel set since the refills are quite handy. I recently bought Iris Nazarene in this format and may do the same for Copal Azur if it turns out that I like it. Great job describing the perfume and for creating a lemming yet again 🙂
Glad you think so sweetie. Let me know later if Copal Azur was a hit or miss for you.
I remember you said you got Iris Nazarena travel set. Did you also buy that beautiful matte case in gold color?
I did! It was so unusual-looking that I just couldn’t pass it up.
I would buy one too, but those cases are so expensive…
SOunds worth a decant at least. Lovely description
Thank you. Hope you like if if you decide to give it a try or buy a decant blindly.
Copal Azur sounds really interesting and, of course, very appropriate for winter right now. I’m intrigued by the salty notes, but I wonder if the myrrh might be too resinous on my skin. Still, I’d love to try this one just to see. I’m adding it my sample list!
Let me know if it smelled good on you 😉
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