The word classic, when used to describe something, can be a double-edged sword. On the one side of the sword it can mean old or outdated. On the other side of the sword it can mean timeless. In perfumery it also holds the same double-edged impact. It can mean an old style of perfume which seems like something only people of an older generation would wear. On the other side it is a perfume that transcends trends and is relevant no matter the time period. One line which I think understands how to always stay on the positive side of the classic conundrum is Von Eusersdorff. The latest release Classic Opoponax is an example of a prototypical Oriental perfume.
Camille Henfling began the Von Eusersdorff line in 2010 and Classic Opoponax is the sixth release to date. Each release is centered on a single note around which a perfume is built. All five of the previous releases have represented one of the more common styles of perfume. Classic Opoponax returns to the same Oriental ground Classic Patchouli did back in 2010 as the first Von Eusersdorff release. Five years on Classic Opoponax shows the evolution of the brand as it has a much more assured sense of itself. When I think of what I consider an Oriental perfume this one checks off all of the boxes I need to like it very much.
Classic Opoponax opens with a shimmering floral layer of rose and jasmine. Typicaly those florals present themselves in a very extroverted way. In this case they form a floral layer with an opacity that draws you further in. what you find when you get to the heart is the promised opoponax. Opoponax is one of those notes which almost defines what I think of when I think of Oriental perfume. It is also called sweet myrrh and it is exactly that as it carries a sweet resinous glow. To make sure that glow is well stoked a very creamy sandalwood and a rich benzoin form the heart. As it slowly develops the rest of the Oriental mise en scene arrives as amber, castoreum, black patchouli, and vanilla form the base. This is really where classic steps forward in an excellent way as these are the bones of the typical Oriental base.
Classic Opoponax has 10-12 hour longevity and modest sillage.
Mr. Henfling clearly understands how to use the word classic in the most appropriate way. Classic Opoponax is a fabulous example of an opulent Oriental perfume that will carry you away to a different time and place. A classic time and place.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Von Eusersdorff.