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I made a mistake. I read reviews, discussions, pros and cons, meaningless video acclamations or words of disagreement, so that’s why I avoided sampling it until now: Jungle Jezebel from Artist Edition Collection, by Sarah Baker Perfumes, created by Miguel Matos, renown writer for Fragrantica, and a perfumer. When a visual artist teams up with the “bad boy” of perfumery, there are some boundaries to be pushed!

If you don’t like your perfumes to provoke – don’t.

If you don’t like the bottle with a blond wig and false eyelashes – don’t buy it, there’s a “regular” bottle. Just keep in mind that the other one fits the concept of Divine perfectly.

Jungle Jezebel will do everything but leave you indifferent. It starts off with a punch of pink bubble gum chewed and rolled around big, meaty lips. Shocking? Maybe, but you can’t stop sniffing it, just to see what happens next.

This wham-bam-in-your-face “cheap thrill” doesn’t last long, and just about when you think it’s going to turn into sweet mashed bananas and almost plastic fruits, the fragrance shows its vulnerable floral side, even a little powdery ylang-ylang twist.

Nothing is as it seems at first sniff: civet rises, deep, creamy, sultry flow begins, flirting with tuberose in a loud animalistic trance, big bubble gum balloons appearing every now and then, popping loud, and amongst all that crazy rhythm pearly drops of ylang-ylang begin to glide down the sweaty, shiny skin.

It’s strange, it’s weird, it’s different, but you still can’t stop thinking about it!

This whole wild, under-the-spotlight, percussion colored ride settles down with quite retro-elegant sandalwood-tonka-bean tones, turning later on woody and moist dripping vanilla sweet, making you wonder how in the world did “that” become “this”?

Does it have character? Tons of it. Is it pleasing all the time? It depends on what you find pleasing because what it definitely isn’t is – a mass pleaser.

Will you like it? I can’t tell, just make sure to sample before you buy. Will you forget it? No, never.

Just like Divine. Now go and take a look at a Jungle Jezebel song video, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Nothing is as it seems to be…or maybe it is: Jun-gle Jezebel, Jungle Jezebel: now who are you calling Jezebel???

Notes: Orange, banana, grapes, peach, bubble gum, rose, tuberose, ylang-ylang, amber, sandalwood, civet, vetyver, vanilla, tonka bean.

Jungle Jezebel is Extrait du Parfum, released in 2018. Divine bottles are limited edition – 250 with signed and numbered authenticity card. Available at Sarah Baker Perfumes.

The Plum Girl

Elena Cvjetkovic

Photos: The Plum Girl, Sarah Baker Perfumes

Samples were provided by Sarah Baker at Esxence 2019, opinions of my own.
Disclaimer

Actually, it’s gentle Fluidity Gold Edition and Gentle fluidity Silver Edition:

Two new fragrances by Maison Francis Kurkdijan with a well explained and executed inspiration and context:

„Same notes, two identities.
Working the ingredient to express its full potential and meeting the challenge of composing two different Eaux de parfum with the same notes: juniper berries, nutmeg, coriander, musks, ambery woods, and vanilla. The Gentle Fluidity Duo was born of the perfumer’s imagination to offer two distinct olfactory silhouettes, for her or for him.“

Actually (again), it’s more than those ingredients listed above, it always is…

The point is in focusing on six key ingredients among 49 used. Playing with them, dosing, providing specific effects, being a perfumer. A perfumer that won Prix Coty in 2001. (at age 26) for his lifetime achievement. Let’s not forget that, as well as the impressive list of his creations for various perfume companies, a long time before he co-founded Maison Francis Kurkdjian, and a long time before it became a part of LVMH.

Is this concept absolutely new? Not really. We’ve seen fragrances released in pairs before. We have also witnessed fragrances released one after another that use the same components but differ in the final effect.

What is new is that the whole concept of creative fluidity is rounded up perfectly, communicated clearly, smoothly executed, and presentation follows adequately. Let’s see how they smell:

Gentle fluidity / Silver

The accent is as follows, bold signifying that those accords are accentuated: Juniper Berries oil, Nutmeg oil, Coriander seeds oil, Musks, Ambery Woods, Vanilla Blend.


Silver opens with a cold and fresh note of Juniper Berry. I couldn’t help but imagine a Juniper berry stuck in an ice cube, floating around a glass filled with gin. Very enjoyable! I appreciated that cool, relaxed, uplifting vibe. Later on, it does become a bit warmer but nutmeg shows its cooler, dryer side. Never too loud, it moves in a quite an elegant way, gaining warmth but still staying composed all the way to the drydown – when it becomes silky-woody. When I sniffed my wrist the next morning, I could feel typical vanilla toned sweetness, colored with a musky hue. My favorite, if I have to choose one: if you like Aqua Universalis (like I do), you’ll find it appealing and comfortable to wear.

Gentle Fluidity / Gold

Accent changes its place: Juniper Berry oil, Nutmeg oil, Coriander Seeds oil, Musks, Ambery Woods, Vanilla Blend.


There, you can almost feel the difference, even without sniffing! Same ingredients, yet it smells like a different perfume. On the first sniff, it’s all about Vanilla, golden-glowing, curvy Vanilla…Vanilla everywhere!
Gold is a well-chosen name for it. What is also interesting is that Nutmeg oil here shows its different facet, much warmer, leaning towards an oriental feeling: it only adds to this gold, warm, and smooth flow, becoming a bit powdery later on. I enjoyed that piece of olfactory music in the middle part of its performance, which does last for hours. The final drydown is almost identical to Silver: I do get that „caramels on my wrists“ feeling at the end. On my skin Gold definitely outlasted Silver, in projection and in longevity, if that’s what you are looking for.

Gentle Fluidity Duo will be widely accepted, I am certain of that. I am really enjoying that these fragrances are raising awareness of the fact that subtle changes, different proportions, thoughtful accentuation of few details – make all the difference…In perfumes, and in life…

Gold and Silver are available in Croatia: @ Martimex Niche Perfumery, Trg Bana Jelacica 11, or @ Maison Francis Kurkdjian website, 70 ml Eau de parfum – 150EUR/1125Kn.

The Plum Girl

Elena Cvjetkovic

Photos: The Plum Girl
Samples provided by Maison Francis Kurkdjian during the promotional event at Martimex Niche Zagreb, opinions of my own.
Disclaimer