Do you remember your first „grown-up“ kiss?
I do. Not the kiss itself but the very moment when I wanted it to happen, desired to be kissed right there and then and the twinkle in the eyes of the man standing in front of me. Whiskey on his lips. Like Bois Sikar.
One perfume is the reason why I remembered this split of a second moment from the past, it brought it back crisp and clear, dug it out of my memory lane, shaking off all those dusty layers of many years gone by.
Atelier des Ors did it again. Incorporating the desire and passion of its creators and skills of French Haute Parfumerie, one new perfume was added to the „Black“ collection – Bois Sikar. “Bois” I guess I do not need to translate and „sikar“ is the Mayan word for smoking (to smoke rolled tobacco leaves), one that the word cigar was derived from. Of course, only now can we talk about their „Black“ collection since the new, „White“ collection is revealed, but I am still being very selfish about it: I just want to enjoy the „White Collection“ on my own and test it thoroughly on my skin before writing about it. This makes four new perfumes in 2018. by Atelier des Ors and oh! They are all amazing!
Atelier des Ors is present on the market since 2015. Being a relatively new French niche house, in my opinion, they are doing a great job and I must say that I fell in love with their perfumes instantly. On first testing. Jean-Phillipe Clermont, founder and artistic director and perfumer Marie Salamagne shows consistency in creating perfumes with refined aesthetics, using quality ingredients, smoothly blended, and with amazing bouquets. Those bottles! Art-Deco, ray-of-sunshine, 24-K gold flakes infused, shining.
I am not the one to be overly impressed with abundant bottle design and packaging, but I do appreciate it when the presentation level is high and authentic, complimenting the „juice“ in the best possible way. Bois Sikar was simply meant to happen, sooner or later: in case you didn’t know, Jean-Phillipe did come to the perfume industry from the tobacco business!
When I visited the Atelier des Ors team during Esxence 2018. in Milano, our scheduled meeting took place in Hotel Principe Savoia: I entered into a room full of bloggers, buyers coming by, quite a little crowd gathered and Megan Paki did a great job of tending to everyone. This was the premiere of four new perfumes, after all! Jean-Phillipe told us the story about Bois Sikar and a bottle circled around. Not a bottle of perfume, mind you. A bottle of whiskey. Not just any whiskey, either: it was Lagavulin Single Malt, 16 years old, iconic Islay whiskey featuring massively peaty, smoky flavors, lingering sweetness, wood notes, and smoke on the finish. An adult kiss.
I do not drink whiskey, I said. Never did. But, in order to pair this perfume with this drink, to make a sensory match – I did take a sip (things I am willing to do to test a perfume, huh!).
Ok, I thought, this makes sense, took some notes and photos but my attention swirled to three shiny new, white bottles. I devoted all the remaining time to the new beauties from The White Collection (I will write a separate review later on), testing, discussing them, getting to know them better.
Maybe it was just too much to process at once, maybe I was not focused enough, maybe I should have tested it only on my skin, not on paper…or maybe everything is just as it is supposed to be. Maybe I just needed more time.
When I returned home and sorted out all the perfumes I brought back, there was just too much to think about. I did not expect Bois Sikar to haunt me at night, in my dreams. The only perfume I didn’t bring back home. There was something about it, strangely familiar and well known, something that I couldn’t stop thinking about, something I had forgotten about. I would wake up in the middle of the night and feel its scent deep in my nasal passages, hitting that exact spot of special olfactory neurons, even with no perfume molecules present!
This perfume was haunting me day after day (night after night) and I just couldn’t figure out why! A couple of weeks later, one night when I woke up feeling scent trails of Bois Sikar in my nose, I suddenly remembered.
„I do not drink whiskey.“ That exact sentence I did pronounce once before, many years ago. Now I could remember all the details of that exact moment, the press room I was in, shadows of other people moving around me, scent trails, colors, what I was wearing, my haircut, and the most important thing: to whom I said this and where it leads.
I was a 19-year old girl standing in a big conference room and after an important press conference was finished, waiters circled around and offered glasses filled with fine whiskey (never on the rocks, mind you…).
Everybody around me took a glass and so did I, just in order to be able to salute briefly. I simply touched the rim of the glass with my lips, pretending to take a sip. While making small talk, I did notice a man approaching my group from the other side of the room. Bright blue eyes were smiling at me, and I remember his exact words. After saying hello to the whole group, he turned to me and said: „They didn’t offer me a drink.“ and he smiled. I told him that he can have my glass, I do not drink whiskey anyway.
He took the glass from my hands, fingers touching. I remember he looked straight into my eyes while he took a sip, placing his lips exactly on the place where my lipstick left marks at the rim of the glass.
I remember the scent of whiskey on his lips, smell of cigars men smoked around us, the soft red carpet I was standing on, those blue eyes and a big smile and just one thought, an instant desire: I want to be kissed by him, right here and right now! The rush of desire. When a volcano meets a tornado kind of feeling. We were young…
Cheesy or not, what matters is that without Bois Sikar I might have never recalled this moment in my life. I don’t know where this perfume might take you, but let’s see what could trigger your memories or emotions:
Bois Sikar, as its name is trying to portrait, is a fine crafted wooden cigar box or an old whiskey oak barrel and when you open its lid the first thing you feel is spices.
Nutmeg and coriander scent trail floats gently to your nose and you do feel smoke, but it is somehow distant at the beginning.
Later on, the smoke gets heavier, denser, it feels thicker and somehow sweeter. Tar thick. Not overly black though, or better said, a different shade of black: the peaty character of whiskey surfaces, melting the woodiness in a quite refined way. Styrax does its part definitely, providing warm woody undertones, more leather-like, carefully balanced, and beautifully executed.
Projection and sillage are noticeable. I would say that it leans more to be on the masculine side, but since I never cared about this distinction, I would say that it needs attitude and poise: captivating, worldly, and mysterious, male or female. It does exude certain sex appeal.
Careless, confident, refined, strong, and tan – the balance of being straight edge and a bit crazy.
I, who never drink whiskey, fell in love with this perfume. Utterly and irrevocably. With the power of the first adult kiss. I am long not a 19-year old, the city and the press conference room where this happened were destroyed and bombed to the ground during the war, this sweet memory was lost, yet this perfume managed to bring all these things back to life in a form of a vivid memory.
They say that it’s not so important who do you kiss the first time in your life. It is important who do you kiss last and this perfume…well, it’s a kiss I just can’t forget! (forgive me, my dear Larmes du Desert…)
I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do and I wonder where will it take you…Do let me know!
Top: Nutmeg, Precious woods
Heart: Guaiac wood, Styrax, Cedar Leaf
Base: Tobacco absolute, Cedar from Java
Bois Sikar is priced at 225 EUR for a 100 ml Eau de Parfum bottle.
The Plum Girl
Photos: The Plum Girl and official photos by Atelier des Ors
Special thanks to Mr. Clairmont and dear Megan Paki.