I enjoy heist movies or books. The ones where a team of thieves take on a large target; devising a plan to steal it without being apprehended. These are fantasies but there are some real-life examples which are tantalizing examples these might not be so fictional. One of those is the story of the Patiala necklace.
Maharaja Bhupinder Singh commissioned Cartier to make him a necklace fit for a maharaja. He provided the raw materials; thousands of diamonds, several Burmese rubies and the centerpiece 234 carat yellow diamond named the “DeBeers Diamond”. The maharaja wore it from its presentation in 1928 until his death in 1938. At that point it was locked away in the Royal Treasury of Patiala. In 1948 it was reported to no longer be in the vault. It would be lost until 1982 at an auction at Sotheby’s in Geneva where the DeBeers Diamond by itself showed up. In 1998 the necklace, minus all the larger jewels, would be found in a London antique shop by a Cartier employee. Just like my favorite heist movies the thieves got away with it and years later are selling off the pieces after breaking down their purloined treasure.
The creative director and owner of the perfume brand Thameen, Basel Binjabr, has been using famous jewels as the inspiration for his fragrances. The story above has produced Thameen Patiala. Mr. Binjabr has not disclosed the perfumer he is working with. For Patiala the perfume is in three very distinct pieces the DeBeers Diamond, the missing Burmese rubies, and the re-discovered necklace.
The DeBeers Diamond is the top accord consisting of citrus and aldehydes. This forms the sparkling yellow facets through the citrus while the aldehydes provide the crystalline angularity. It is the kind of rich citrus effect I enjoy most. As we move into the heart a precisely balanced duet of rose and orange blossom takes over. The rose is velvety while the orange blossom provides the deeper sparkle of the rubies. The base is a combination of amber, musk, and moss. It has a chypre-like aspect, but it is missing some of the pieces of that classic accord; just like the denuded necklace discovered in the antique shop.
Patiala has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Within the group of Thameen perfumes I have tried Patiala is the most successful at making a connection back to its jewelry inspiration. It does feel more compartmentalized than the other Thameen perfumes. In this case because of the heist background that felt right. Somewhere there are some Burmese rubies waiting to come out of hiding. My imagination thinks the diamond chop shop they are in smells just like Patiala.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.
This has been the week of the local county fair here in Poodlesville. Ever since I was a young child I make sure to attend the local summer fair wherever I have lived. One reason is I love the rides. As I walk down the central aisle flanked by all sorts of thrill rides, called the midway, I am greeted by a sensory overload. There are screams of delight in every tone as the rides spin, flip, and swoop. The smells of the food stalls drifts across, bbq ribs, funnel cakes, cotton candy, and caramel apples. When you are standing in the midway you are at the crossroads of everything going on at the fair. Most of the time a perfume that I would describe in those terms would be overloaded to distraction. The recent release Thameen The Cora shows me there can be some speedy thrills in overload.
Thameen is the perfume brand owned and creatively directed by Basel Binjabr. It was begun in London in 2013 and he has slowly been expanding into countries ever since. It only recently arrived in the US and I purchased a discovery set of samples to get a feel for the line. Mr. Binjabr has stated he did not want the collection to necessarily affect an Eastern influence. There is an impressive breadth across the entire collection but there was nothing that was standing out for me until I got to The Cora.
The Cora Sun-Drop
Each of the perfumes is named after a famous gemstone. The Cora is the short name for the largest yellow diamond known called more fully The Cora Sun-Drop. As you can see above in the right light it almost looks like a crystalline bit of sunlight. As I look at that I imagine a perfume full of sunny notes which usually means citrus. Mr. Binjabr looks at that and sees white flowers, lots and lots of them. The Cora stages itself through two distinct floral phases which do impart a bit of lightness but they also have some spin, flip, and swoop, too.
Jasmine is the keynote in the top accord. It is one of the cleaner versions of jasmine. The depth and spicy quality comes from a Bulgarian rose using its spicy core in place of the indoles. Magnolia and wisteria provide some different white floral tonality to the overall effect. The heart accord is muguet made greener by carnation and sweeter by benzoin and vanilla. A bit of nutmeg along with the carnation is what connects the two accords as we swoosh from the high of the expansive top into a deeper heart. The base takes us on a ninety-degree turn into a patchouli, amber and white musk finish.
The Cora has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.
The Cora keeps adding in more and more notes which should just become a cacophony but like standing on the midway it is instead a synthesis of white flowers spinning, flipping and swooshing around me in a fragrant thrill ride.
Disclosure; This review was based on a sample I purchased.