Persephone is Sali Oguri's second fragrance composition following Pink Manhattan. If the latter was evocative of spring and summer, the new perfume oil with its dark-colored deeper velvety tones seems to reveal more affinities with the fall season. The myth of Persephone or Proserpine calls to mind the ever-unfolding cycle of nature and the cold season of winter in particular. Both perfume and goddess are seen as sources of warmth and are the origins of contrasted perceptions of fertility and deathly darkness (albeit preceding rebirth), an idea that is illustrated with a dark fruit theme in the fragrance.
Despite its warmer, less sunny, more hushed-down quality that evokes the comfort and pleasure of wearing cashmere on a cold foggy day, the perfume ends up imposing more its character as an intimate sexy skin scent that could be worn all year long, depending on the sensual mood of the moment rather than on the passing of the seasons.......
Sali Oguri being a musician from the New York scene, it is hard not to draw a parallel between her and the figure of Persephone who was considered to be the queen of the underworld. One imagines darkly-lit places where the singer performs at night and evolves in an underground world of her own. Persephone was also considered to be the goddess of fertility and as Pluto made her eat pomegranate seeds (food of the dead) she had to stay a month more in the underworld for each seed that she had consummed thereby causing nature to come to a halt in her absence. In keeping with the myth, Sali Oguri has incorporated a pomegranate note in her perfume. The scent overall is dominated by deep hues, from black to dark brown, to ruby red, to purple.
Persephone has notes of dark chocolate, blackberry, pomegranate, hyacinth, amber, magnolia, natural Mysore sandalwood, and royal purple flowers. The perfume oil according to Sali Oguri is a "semi-Gourmand-woody Oriental". It presents the facets of being a rich dark spicy woody and fruity fragrance.
The scent offers at first, on my skin, a marked licoricey accord with very subtle camphorous undertones, reminiscent in this regard of the classic popular French sweet called Cachou Lajaunie (the scent however does not contain any camphor, it is just an interesting, subtle nuance of the blackberry I am referring to). This initial impression of a strong confident personality of a perfume is balanced out by the soft round and warm amberey body of the scent. It creates an interesting spicy contrast.
Some people have said that the scent reminds them of dark chocolate covered cherries or liquor. To my nose, it evolves from an interesting slightly medicinal and sweet licorice nuance to a dusky dark chocolate one and on to a note of coffee with whiskey in it. The accord is complex due to the high proportion of natural oils used. Whatever the nuances that one's nose catches, the consensus seems to be that the notes are dark, deep, rich, and concentrated. The sweetness of the scent does not really feel gourmand as it is in its turn nicely balanced out by the drier, spicier notes.
The perfume was made using 30% of natural Mysore sandalwood without any synthetic substitute. The drydown smells balsamic and warm more than piquant and this might be due to the high proportion of natural sandalwood used as it is an ingredient that tends to hush down an accord. The bottom note smells a bit like warm vanilla biscuits on the skin but with a soft raw vegetal nuance added to it. At other times, delicious deep amberey woody and fruity nuances emerge.
Like Pink Manhattan, Persephone is a well-balanced scent that aims at being both sexy in a casual way and comforting. It is more womanly and dressed-up in its style than Pink Manhattan, but keeps the same fundamentally easy-going and feminine attitude, albeit, were it a woman, having made herself up with a smokier and more brooding eye. The scent is dark, but more in its coloratura than in its disposition and ultimately feels comforting.
There are two sizes, a 1/4 oz (full size) for $110 and a 1/8 oz (half-size) for $66. "Samples are available for $6 for a half-filled small vial, and I will also be offering a Sensorium package when the CD gets finished."
You can find Persephone at www.wujproductions.com
You can read an interview we did with Sali Oguri.
Photo is of Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Proserpine from Wikipedia.