The journey into perfume is an ever-evolving one. At the very beginning, perfumes come across as adjectives, such as ”sweet”, ”old lady-ish” or ”fresh”. After a while, the notes start to stand out. First a few familiar ones, like vanilla or blackcurrant. Later, the more obscure ones make themselves known – myrrh, davana, opoponax, immortelle – the list goes on. There are dimensions beyond that, waiting to be explored; space, structure, distance… I don’t think the list will ever end.
Back to notes, orange blossom is one that always tend to stand out to me. It’s sunny, smiling and unforgivingly cheery – which is great! But often when wearing it I end up feeling like my cheeks have been taped up with Scotch tape, stuck in a rather unfortunate manner. I guess orange flowers just weren’t made to go with Scandinavian melancholy.
APOM Pour Femme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian is an orange blossom scent among millions of others. Still, it’s nothing like any one of all those. When I wear it I hardly notice the orange blossoms. They’re there at the first application but after that, it’s all structures and textures. I see the face of a geisha, white paint and powder on the surface, flesh and blood underneath. I feel the slightly coarse coolness on the lips when taking a sip from an ancient stoneware cup. I feel like walking into an old closet, the roughness of the wooden planks on one side, the silky smoothness of a creme brulee colored negligee on the other.
Simply put, APOM Pour Femme is the best orange blossom scent I’ve encountered yet. It’s minimalistic, just a hint of orange blossoms over an equally well-blended base of powdery ambers and woods. The ylang seems to have a starchy effect, binding the swirliness of the orange blossoms, still offering enough transparency for the light to shine through. APOM Pour Femme balances perfectly between gentle prettiness and abysmal womanliness – like a dainty parcel containing all the mysteries of the world.
Official notes: orange blossom, ylang, cedar and amber.
Samples can be bought from Maison Francis Kurkdjian (although APOMpF samples seem to be out of stock at the moment)