One of the best things about writing about fragrances is being part of a wonderful creative community which allows me to explore exciting brands from around the world. This unique insight has opened my eyes to a fantastic array of fragrances that I otherwise may have missed. One of these recent findings is Maison Maïssa, a French fragrance house that has created a range of niche unisex perfumes that combine both Eastern and Western influences. Maison Maïssa has numerous collections with over 30 fragrances including; The White Collection, The Black Collection and Pierres Précieuses (Precious Stone) Edition along with several home, bath and body products.
With its unusual presentation, I immediately gravitated towards the Precious Stone Edition, most noticeably the Route de la Soie fragrance (Silk Road). The cleverly designed packaging is impressive in its own right and is certainly unique. The glossy black exterior is embellished with 15 Swarovski Sapphire Stones finished in gleaming gold including a Hamsa icon; a palm-shaped amulet of an open right hand, used in the Middle East as a sign of protection.
As you open the box the inside reveals a treasure trove of delights including a considerable-sized bottle of perfume, a perfumed soap and a smaller travel-sized version of the fragrance. The bottle echoes the golden icon on the outer vessel, shaped again as the mystical Hamsa. Each bottle in the range comes in a vibrant colour reflecting the notes within its fragrance, Route De La Soie exuding a vivid and captivating blue.
Route de la Soie begins with a bold rush of freshness, a swirl of uplifting and energetic notes that include a spritely Lemon and Bergamot combination. These typical hesperidic notes usually provide a sharp acidic kick, however, in this composition they seem to exude a more rounded, less pungent nature. It’s almost as if they’ve tried to emulate the fresh feeling of the sea at the beginning of the silk route. As these fleeting notes dissipate a delicate crispness takes shape with the addition of Pear. I can almost imagine pulling one from its branch, biting into its ripe white flesh and smelling its sumptuous juices that ebb from its interior. The Pear provides a subtle introduction into the proceeding accords, bridging the gap perfectly to continue that exotic tour along the Silk Road.
Although the fragrance continues to have glimmers of freshness, a smooth woody undertone starts to ensue. It is almost as if a soft veil of warmth cascades over the skin and the scent begins to take on a much richer quality. Delicate smokey trails of Patchouli swirl exotically, providing much-needed depth and further hints of that Silk Road journey. Along with its continued freshness, this combination provides an interesting fluctuation of dark and light shades. All the while a speckle of Sage adds a hint of pepperiness, a wavering of subtle spice that undulates in the background. The alluring notes of Amber and Vanilla become more pronounced in the dry down, providing a creamy blanket of woody, sweet and musky nuances that coat the skin like a sumptuous lotion.
I knew I was going to enjoy this fragrance as soon as I set my eyes on its blue bottle (if you haven’t guessed already, it is my favourite colour). Not only did it manage to entice me with an interesting presentation, the fragrance itself truly impressed me. Its undulating notes from freshness and warmth provide such a versatile fragrance that could easily take you from day to night at any time of the year. For me, Route de la Soie had such a comforting vibe, a seductive combination that has you sniffing at your skin continuously from start to finish.
Top: Lemon, Bergamot, Pear
Heart: Patchouli, White Wood, Sage
Base: Amber, Vanilla Musk
Blu Blazer Guy Rating:
Fragrance Concentration: Parfum
Box includes: 100ml Frangrance, 100g Perfumed Soap and 10ml Fragrance
280.00€ from Maison Maïssa