I have always found the days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day to be the most hectic of the year. Until we are a day or two into 2020 it is time to go, every moment of every day, to stuff in everything. I used to get terribly run down on these weeks leading to a bad head cold for the first part of the new year. I learned an important lesson that it was critical to take a little time for myself to sit quietly. What that means is I make something warm to sip while I watch the poodle run around the backyard just after dawn. The early morning I have found is that place where the demand for your time is almost non-existent. The loss of an hour, or so, of sleep is well worth it. On these mornings I am sitting next to our Christmas tree with a vase of roses somewhere nearby. The cup in my hand can be a chai latte. The smell of tree, rose and chai is therapeutic it re-charges me. I don’t really need the reminder to capture some quiet time but if I do Ineke Jaipur Chai will certainly do so.
Independent perfumer Ineke Ruhland is one of the best artists creating perfume out there. Her last release, Idyllwild, was my Perfume of the Year for 2017. I own a bottle of her entire collection. She works at her own pace in a deliberate manner. Each perfume begins with an ordinal letter of the alphabet. As of 2019 we have reached “J”. Ms. Ruhland describes Jaipur Chai as her first gourmand. I would agree with that but as I spent time with Jaipur Chai I was more focused on an Oriental kind of structure; which the spices early on enhance. It doesn’t fully come together as the chai latte part until later. It is a comforting change.
Jaipur Chai opens on the mélange of spices inherent in chai. There is the moisture of the black tea hydrating the dry spices of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, clove, and black pepper. This is the smell as you plunge your measuring spoon into the chai. Ms. Ruhland designs a spicy confluence which forms an accord of serenity instead of one less smooth. To that moment she adds a rose. This is a full bloom rose exuding the peak of its scented beauty. The spice accord swirls around it seemingly attaching itself to the dewy petals. Ms. Ruhland frames this with cedar to provide clean delineation. Just in time for the steamed milk to bubble up. A subtly sweet milk accord given a golden glow with honey along with the odd sweetness of a suede leather accord. This is where the chai latte, and my quiet morning, converges. The scent of the spices with the sweet milk as the scent of a rose and the wood of the tree fall into each other create the final tableau.
Jaipur Chai has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Jaipur Chai is a perfume of subtlety that I worry many will miss the intricacy of it all. To have all this flow so seamlessly is not easily achieved. It is what sets Ms. Ruhland apart. If this Holiday season gets too hectic I might just spray some Jaipur Chai as a substitute for my quiet morning.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Ineke.