Originality can enter fragrance at various levels. A fragrance can be original because it uses a novel raw material, because it combines raw materials in a novel accord, or, rarest of all, because it uses a distinctive stylistic voice that is independent of the exact accord and carries over from one perfume to another. There was definitely a Jacques Guerlain voice, a Roudnitska voice, more recently a Chris Sheldrake/Serge Lutens one and definitely an Elléna voice. It is no accident that these are people who do not use evaluators and pretty much do what they like: the first effect of interference in the creative process of someone really gifted is loss of personality.
Judging by the three extant Dusita fragrances, I reckon there may be a beautiful new voice out there. The first I smelled was Mélodie de l’Amour. It is a white floral, and a very good one at that, but disconcertingly rendered in faded grey tones that remind me of the paper note in Dzing! Note that, for once, faded and grey do not here mean weak or indistinct. MdA has a powerful presence, but feels like it is heard through radio static on short wave: immediately recognisable, yet veiled and remote. Then I smelled Oudh Infini. It could hardly be more different, powerfully animalic and musty. But again, the weird, drifting grey fog was there, this time muting the bright colors of orange flower and rose. I moved on to Issara, a fougère that smells of rain, wet tea leaves and cold cigars. To paraphrase Lady Bracknell, three begins to look like intent.
I know very little about this firm other than the owner, Pissara Umavijani, is the daughter of a famous Thai poet and translator, Montri Umavijani. She says she tried to capture her father’s poetry in perfume. I hope her father is well translated, because I am definitely going to explore this. One thing is for sure: she has certainly managed to snare a new, memorably poetic essence and bottle it. Really fine work.
Categories: niche houses