One reason I am drawn to the Oriental style of perfumes is because the region fascinated me as a child. When I would see depictions of the nomads leading their goods-laden camels across the Sahara it felt romantic. The reality was probably much different. Brutally hot days moving recalcitrant animals across an unforgiving landscape. While acknowledging the probable reality I retain my fanciful thoughts of my youth. One part of my early learning was of the caravanserai. These were the waystations that a caravan would spend the night at. My imagination saw it as a crossroads of rogues complete with scimitars through sashes. A sandy version of pirates. I was reminded of this childish fantasy when I tried Atelier des Ors Rouge Saray.
Over the last five years creative director Jean-Philippe Clermont has assembled an impressive collection. He has worked exclusively with perfumer Marie Salamagne since beginning. It is another of those creative director-perfumer pairings which finds a harmony within the artistic vision of both people. It has been at its best within the lush parameters of the Oriental style of perfume. Rouge Saray adds to that.
M. Clermont wants this perfume to capture an imaginary night in a caravanserai. Imagining the different goods scent the air in equal amounts as the flowers in the trellises lining the central courtyard. It is a moment of stolen rest in between strenuous days.
This evening begins with those night-blooming flowers, jasmine. Mme Salamagne freshens them up a touch with heliotrope. Although that latter floral seems to be added for just the hint of almond it carries. It sets up a gourmand heart as an indigenous dessert is passed around. It is centered around the dried fruit quality of dates. It is spiced with cinnamon and sweetened with vanilla. My imagination sees a date infused custard with cinnamon dusted over the top. As you lean back to enjoy dessert the scent of the woods of the structure surround you as sandalwood and balsam provide a pillowing effect to rest until morning.
Rouge Saray has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
I don’t know if the days of the caravanserai have become an anachronism. I do know the nights can be found in a bottle of Rouge Saray.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.