Welcome to our final of five episodes of Guest Spotlight! This miniseries welcomes a group of exciting perfume reviewers + enthusiasts who are also on Instagram. This short series will run the length of the week of April 26-30, 2021 and each day we will feature two perspectives on two different fragrances from the same house – perfumers from five different countries! Today it is our pleasure to welcome Xavier known online as 99BottledScents and we are each shedding our personal light on the house of Orlov (France) today. First up, “X” offers impressions of the fragrance Sun Drop (watch for Notetaking’s full review, scheduled for May 3). And to go to-to-toe, Notetaking, covers Burning Desire. Here we go:
One of the things I find very interesting about being a fragrance reviewer is how we often hear the name of a fragrance and arrogantly feel we know what it’s about, what’s more, we believe that the longer we review fragrances…the better we get at those guesses. Why do I start with this? Because Sun Drop was nothing like I expected, it took me by surprise….. but I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s deep dive.
Orlov is a house out of Paris, founded by Ruth & Thomas Méaulle purely based on their love for precious jewels….they are not perfumers themselves but they do something that I consider their secret, they find the best perfumers in the world and then let them have complete creative freedom, Orlov does not apply silly burdens like timelines or material limits to the perfumers..they let them “do their thing” and in that open arena, Jordi Fernandez created Sun Drop. The first time I heard the name Sun Drop I was sure I would experience a white floral, perhaps a neroli heavy fragrance, something about the name called me to that, associations of wearing fragrances like that during the day and being the ones I have on while the sun goes down, associations of sun drop being a perfect tropical drink name… but Sun Drop is nothing like that.
At the opening, it became immediately clear that this was a Rose fragrance, the most real rose note overloads your senses and for a few seconds, I couldn’t detect anything else… there is a certain indescribable beauty in expecting a white floral but receiving such a natural rose to your nose, it opens your eyes and puts your senses in overload, that rose petal becomes kissed by saffron rather quickly and in that process the darkness of my initial assessment becomes brighter and way more complex as the cardamon joins the composition…it all swirls in front of you, potent but inviting, welcoming but full of character….yet, I haven’t told you the best part…everything that I described so far rests in a bed of Oud, not medicinal, not barnyard…no, rather, complex oud… impossible to decipher and explain oud….here, it’s used as a backbone to the rose and the saffron instead of it being the main player, if Sun Drop is a symphony…. rose is the first violin, saffron & cardamon the second….and oud becomes the drums while patchouli and musk play the rest of the instruments. It’s beautiful on a tester strip….it’s magnificent on skin. Jordi’s opus plays on your skin for over 6 hours and projects for the initial 2 hours as well, it sits comfortably and airy on your skin and will garner the admiration of those who get close to your skin.
There is something about Sun Drop that must be shared… this is not a fragrance to be understood by everyone, it takes time to develop an appreciation for such a complicated composition, the oud can be challenging, the rose can invoke memories of fragrances past…the saffron can be compared to many other fragrances that abuse that note, but that’s not what Orlov is about, they are about the little details that makes a perfume a masterpiece, you know what is interesting? Ruth is an expert at diamonds….. if you showed me a flawless diamond, I would probably not understand it… I wouldn’t recognize what makes it special, but Ruth would…. and that’s why she and Thomas created Orlov, because they get it, they understand what makes a fragrance special and they wanted us to get it as well.
With Sun Drop, they succeeded.
This is my first time taking in a work by Shyamala Maisondieu, and what I am getting in terms of accords may be a bit off the beaten track from the actual note breakdown. Hats off to this vivacious creative perfumer. At first I get a shimmering citrus and then I start to diverge a bit, I think I am experiencing some cross hybrid between ginger and cannabis (neither are listed). There is a gentle spike of peppery spice and that really allows the composition to emerge from ripe to ravishing.
After the first stage I start to understand the undulations in the composition a bit better, the musky rose is silken and self-assured. The perfume takes you down a path that seems to navigate from the Mid to the Far East, and I am here for this incredible mapping of the senses. If you are tired of the same old rose fragrances, oh, my dears, think again, this will likely entice you into a dimensional world that knows the harmony between fruit and flower and doesn’t favor one or the other – it’s up to you, the wearer to decide. I assume the “green” note I’m getting is a young citrus – but it definitely helps to bolster the enigmatic side of this fragrance. Such a refreshing take on a simple set of notes that ends up being altogether complex (in the best possible way) in the end. This will be a Summer ’21 staple! (89%)