An iconic boozy oriental perfume from Naomi Goodsir, created by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour – Or du Serail is pure perfection for lovers of oriental gourmands. Read my full review of this niche fragrance gem below!
Sweet, opulent, seductive… it’s Or du Sérail from Naomi Goodsir. As you can see on the pictures, I will need a replacement bottle soon! Mine has only a couple of milliliters left.
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The notes of honeyed tobacco with rum and ambery wood have been mixed to perfection here. On the scale from fresh to sweet this is on the sugar overload side of things, yet Or du Serail doesn’t feel too heavy and sticky. It’s pure thick gold with maximum opulence factor.
First, golden honey blends with sweet-sour fruit flesh of mango and orange, then with aromatic herby character of mate tee and tobacco leaf, and finally with boozy rum and oak barrels on resinous amber base. As oriental and gourmand as it gets. In fact, if you are searching for THE ONE boozy gourmand oriental – this is it!
Bertrand Duchaufour’s oeuvre as a perfumer spans a huge variety of styles and brands, but from his fragrances that I know this is Duchaufour at his best. With Or du Serail he created a true masterpiece that can serve as a reference for a whole perfume style. The blend of delicious notes is incredibly balanced, just the right amount of sweetness, tartness and aromatics from plants. Everything is in the right place, in the right amount. The composition is flawless, it flows from the start to the dry down without anything sticking out or drawing too much attention. You can’t tell where one accord ends and another one begins, you just feel the delight and warming sensation of honeyed goodness washing over you.
Born in Sydney, Australia, and currently living in self-proclaimed world fragrance capital Grasse, Naomi Goodsir is a celebrated milliner and accessories designer (as well as a style icon) who is famous for her couture runway hats and exquisite craftsmanship when it comes to working with precious leathers and fabrics. She can look back at collaborations with A-listers and brands such as Kanye West, Ian MacKenzie, Les Bains, Nose Paris (check out her interpretation of “perfumer’s attire”).
As talented people often go, they are talented beyond just one field, in this case fashion. She started a perfume collection together with creative director Renaud Coutaudier. The line is tiny by today’s standards (only 5 perfumes since 2015), but every single one is a gem with a striking concept and execution. Her perfumes won many awards, notably from Fragrance Foundation France for best independent niche fragrance (for Nuit de Bakelite, which is a great olfactory representation of everything green). Some of the best perfumers have worked on the collection.
If you want to indulge yourself, and you generally enjoy sweet, gourmand, oriental and/or boozy fragrances – this is a no-brainer. Or du Serail is extremely seductive, dense, a real statement on a night out or any other special occasion. Not what I would consider “beast-mode” (an ugly word for something as beautiful and ethereal as perfumes anyway), it nevertheless has enough energy to make itself noticed.
The bottle is simple, almost minimalist, and thus lets you focus all the more on what’s inside it. New fragrances come in a simple black box inside a futuristic sealed plastic pouch with hand-stitched washing-instructions-style paper label. Once you open the box you see the bottle with a black cap. You need to open it and screw the sprayer cap in yourself. This simple act, the final touch that makes the bottle into a ready to use perfume ads something very humble and humane to the experience. I think it has a lot to do with Naomi Goodsir’s design approach, her respect for materials and manual work. It takes just a couple of seconds to complete, but creates an invisible bond with the fragrance, makes me appreciate it even more. The opulence is on the inside, in the scent itself. On the outside the things are kept smart and simple.
If you want to try them, Naomi Goodsir fragrances are sold on her official website. The official shop is not the only retail outlet though. You can buy Naomi Goodsir’s perfumes pretty much everywhere round the world. In Germany in Beauty Concept Shop, Aus Liebe zum Duft, Parfums Lubner, Parfums Uniques Eva Bogner, in the French concept store Nose, Bloom Perfumery in London, Skins in the Netherlands, on luckyscent.com and Tigerlily in the USA, and in Australia’s Peony Melbourne and Lore Perfumery. These are just some of the stores that carry the brand. Many of them have international shipping, so getting your hands on a bottle should be really easy.
Have you tried anything from the Naomi Goodsir?