Indult is a new high-end French perfume label that made its debut in January of 2007 and is currently exclusively sold at Sephora, France.
The name of the brand comes from Christian Latin "Indultum" meaning "concession, favor". Their name embodies their marketing approach which is typically one that is characterized by a new-luxury philosophy. As I commented previously, "...to buy one of the Indult perfumes amounts to being a king or a prince granted a privilege from the Pope, or feels like paying the King of Spain's tax on precious metals and products originating from America,. Only 999 copies of each will be marketed...."
Buying an Indult perfume in fact equates to buying a membership into a select club of perfume aficionados as only those who have purchased one of the fewer than 3000 flacons will be able to re-purchase in the future...
The three perfumes were composed by nose Francis Kurkdjian. Each one of the scents is said to be dedicated to the interpretation of an important note in perfumery: rose for Manakara, Patchouli for Isvaraya, and vanilla for Tihota.
The perfumes convey a sense of luxurious exoticism coupled with urban elegance and even edginess, the latter trait not being too overtly expressed. The complexity is more structural than narrative, that is, the perfumes do not offer very complex developments but the satisfactory olfactory experience one derives from them rests upon an inner, understated complexity. The fragrances are high-quality and elaborate. There seems to be a common thread running through them pointing to an interest for a sugar theme. Rather than feel infantile, it evokes the passionate quest for the raw material and the connoisseur's appreciation for its many nuances: Demerara, Muscovado, Turbinado, caster sugar etc. It explodes nowhere better than in Tihota.
Manakara is named after a town in Madagascar renowned for its lychees. Notes include Bulgarian rose, Turkish rose, and lychees. It is a sophisticated fruity-floral scent with gourmand accents.
At first, it smells watery, honeyed, sweet, and floral. The characteristics of the lychee note are better felt when using a healthy dose of the perfume; it then can smell realistic enough to visually suggest their very red rinds and create an intense fruity experience coupled with the rose notes. The development is not dramatic.
The perfume gains in strength and then headiness. There are candied undertones that suggest a cotton candy spun and eaten at the fair. It might appear to those who are familiar with Pink Sugar as a more mature version of it. The fragrance turns into a creamier vanilla concoction with a little sharp edge to it. There are strawberry and amberey nuances.
In the end, one feels like one was led by the hand to enter a fantasy landscape made of sweets. Despite this seeming incursion into a children's wonderland, the perfume is sophisticated and elegant like a Chanel necklace would be if it were made, say, of rows and rows of colorful plastic fruits and flowers: lychees, roses, and strawberries. In fact, you probably need to be very adult to pull it off.
Isvaraya means "divine" in Hindi and has notes of patchouli, Indian plum tree, and jasmine sambac. It is the most obviously complex composition of the three perfumes.
When I first smelled it without having read about the notes I thought that it was a floral leather with violet, jasmine and with an unindentified undercurrent that felt nevertheless familiar. It actually makes you think of Cuir Ottoman in the beginning.
But then the perfume evoked very precisely a whole consistent olfactory world that is Thailand, including jasmine-scented desserts, bamboo shoots stuffed with sweet sticky rice and smoked over open fire, nuoc mam sauce ( a smell of salty decomposing fish), dry salty fish, in general a Thai food market with its religious altar where the incense is burning amidst the foody aromas, and finally even antique stores in Bangkok with their slightly camphoreous smells.
The undercurrent turns out to be Indian plum tree (oemleria cerasiformis) which is said to have an unusual smell ranging from almonds to watermelon rind mixed with cat urine. A heavier application allows one to discern some subtle pruney nuances. The jasmine is quite distinct, more than the patchouli which is very soft, and offers green juicy accents. The perfume is a little on the sweet-and-sour side and appears almost edible.
Tihota has a Polynesian name which means "sugar". It is, to me, an awe-inspiring vanilla and musk concoction. The quality of the blend is such that one ends up feeling like it is the best vanilla and the best musk scent combined you have ever worn. Its very simplicity of conception makes it be a powerful statement. At first, it may appear to be just another vanilla perfume, but then it qualitatively turns into something rarer. I must say that I feel a great admiration for this fragrance.
The scent starts with a vanilla and musk accord. The musk releases some sweaty nuances and then some flowers and a fruity note come in.The musk is very sophisticated. The sugar accord is very warm, dark, and dry, seemingly almost sandy in texture on the skin.
I was able to note that Tihota has great presence in a room despite the fact that it seems to be a skin scent. It actually develops a sort of aura rather than sillage and it smells significantly different away from you than it does up close.
Please refer yourself to the Indult website for more information about the line.