Originally published in http://www.cafleurebon.com 27 February, 2017
Perfume Review: Therapeutate Parfums Taosi (Rodney Hughes, 2015)
Self Portrait: A Perfumer
I am connected to the world through a mobile device,
But scent is my hearts desires to illustrate what the soul needs.
I am nature, a phenomena happening on an invisible canvas
Painting landscapes of oil and absolute, Reaching towards heavens applause
An earth fallen Angel, black winged and irreverent, a sermon in the making
Yes, you can smell me I am the perfume scenting the temple,
A multi-sensory veil of illusion awaiting the birth of beings unprecedented in valor
I trail the spirits of earthen vessels at the pit stop of their greatest creation story, wise beyond stars in the cosmos
If I were a color, I would be black for in she, the rainbow resides double bridged and unabbreviated
I am fragrant like a sound wave tracing through the galaxy a distinction captured in the hidden I
A perfumer and my mobile device”
-Rodney Hughes, Perfumer 2017
Rodney Hughes and Therapeutate, his exquisite line of perfumes are another milestone in my growing and deepening love of natural fragrances.
When Cafleurebon Editor-In-Chief Michelyn Camen first approached me about writing for the blog, I was pretty excited, but that excitement quickly turned to dread when she asked me to concentrate on the world of natural perfumery. Heretofore my knowledge and frankly interest, of naturals was limited to the patchouli and frangipani oils I wore back in the early 70’s, you know, the ones from the head-shops and other small stores that sold blacklight posters and pipes etc…. In reality, the world of natural perfumes is a whole other slice of the perfume pie, a brand new rabbit-hole to dive into. It has been a grand and very interesting adventure indeed.
Not only have I met wonderfully talented and terrific perfumers, but so much of natural perfumery is tied to historical context (…and I love history), that the opportunity to delve further into the past has opened up for me, a whole new chapter in my personal annals of perfume. It’s like discovering that your world of fragrance has expanded twenty-fold. I am, in fact, a VERY happy camper!
I tell you this because in working my way throughTherapeutate Rodney Hughes’s marvelous range of all-natural perfumes, it is crystal clear that we often look to the past to create for the contemporary, and this concept when done well, can shatter any preconceptions you might have about how history actually IS driving modern perfumery.
Much has been said about Mr. Hughes’s wonderful creations, interviews and reviews abound, as well as well-deserved awards. So it was a surprise to discover that his glorious aromatic fougere “Taosi” has flown under the radar when it clearly deserves LOTS of attention!
Taosi edp is named in honor of China’s ancestral roots in Africa and the migration from Africa to Asia thereby establishing the first five Chinese dynasties. Historically dismissed as myth or legend, it is only recently with the advent of modern DNA research, that the proof of African genetic markers has been found in the first Chinese population. The fragrance also references a cataclysmic deluge and the green and lush re-awakening of the land after such a global re-set.
Taosi is an aromatic fougere in the classic “barbershop” sense, but also so much more as it changes and morphs throughout the wearing. This stunning edp opens with fresh spring-like herbal and citrus notes shot through with pepper, nutmeg, and the cool minty breath of rosemary. Underneath is a hint of the oakmoss in the base to come. The middle is a fantastic explosion of florals overlaid with that same oakmoss, and the emphasis is on the dewey rose and spicy dusty geranium, ultimately transforming into a quasi-gourmand drydown made sweet with vanilla, and underscored with creamy jasmine and buttery ylang. Wearing this beautiful perfume kept reminding me of something beloved, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. The first day of wearing it, you could still smell it as I went to bed. That night at about 2:00 a.m. my spouse woke me to ask if I had dabbed some of my magical vintage L’Heure Bleue Extrait by Guerlain, and that’s when it clicked for me. Vintage L’HB Extrait in all its powdery glory. Taosi is not the same of course, but definitely a similar vibe and DNA. Best of all, Taosi has longevity in spades!, 10 hours for me so of COURSE I love it! Thank you Mr. Hughes, you have created yet another spellbinding bottle of beauty in Taosi.
Notes are: lime, neroli, pepper, bergamot and orange, lavender, rosemary, basil, geranium, nutmeg, rose, hyssop and laurels, vetiver, vanilla, ylang-ylang, oakmoss, jasmine and spikenard Himalayan (jatamansi).
Disclosure: Many thanks to Rodney Hughes for supplying the samples, and the opinions are my own.
-Robert Herrmann, Contributor
Art Direction: Michelyn Camen, Editor-in Chief
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