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 On the one side of the sword it can mean old or outdated.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.
As I decide what to write about on an ongoing basis simplicity always loses out to edgy or weird. There are time that I think I do a disservice not only to myself but those who read my reviews. A really well executed single note perfume can be just as enjoyable as the latest avant-garde experiment in olfactory art. There are a couple of lines which excel at these kind of perfume still lifes. One of those is Von Eusersdorff.
Von Eusersdorff is the perfume brand of Camille Henfling. Mr. Henfling had learned that his ancestors had been a German family which specialized in the international trade of rare oils, spices, herbs, and dried flowers. In 2010 he decided that Von Eusersdorff would once again stand for rare oils, spices, herbs, and dried flowers; except this time they would be perfumes. The first release in 2010, Classic Patchouli, is an example of the template Mr. Henfling would follow for the next four releases. When most perfumers use patchouli they attempt to distance themselves from the concentrated oil form because of its association with hippies and the 1960’s counterculture. Mr. Henfling embraced this nature and produced a beautiful study of every single bit of patchouli. A year later Classic Mimosa, Classic Myrrh, and Classic Vetiver would follow the same formula. Late last year the newest release Classic Orange was released and the Von Eusersdorff style displayed the orange spectacularly.
The source of orange Mr. Henfling chose was not just a regular orange but a blood orange. I love eating and cooking with blood orange because besides the juice there is also an added tartness which makes the sweet less overpowering. In Classic Orange Mr. Henfling takes the blood orange and sets it up as the frame upon which a truly inspired list of notes will hang. First up is a dense black tea which works very well because we are dealing with the less saccharine blood orange. The bit of tart blends with the tea seamlessly. Next up is osmanthus in all of its apricot and leather glory. Here the blood orange sets up shop right in between in a menage a trois nuzzling up to the apricot only to be enticed by the animalic leathery aspect. It is here that Classic Orange remains for hours on my skin simply beautiful and engaging. Very late on, an austere dry sandalwood provides the base notes for the last few hours.
Classic Orange has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
I was reminded of classic Orange and how much I liked it when I was at the recent Pitti Fragranze. In a booth shared with some of the most artistic brands out there Classic Orange shone like a simple jewel among the movers and shakers. I’ve been wearing it more since my return and want to make sure it is no longer Under the Radar.
Disclosure: This review is based on a bottle I purchased.