Wearing Epice Sauvage for the first time is fun. One assumes the wrist-to-nose position and starts inhaling, trying to take it all in while identifying each and every spice in the blend, and they are all there and very obvious at first-cardamom, cinnamon and clove, smooth, spicy and warm like a wonderful cup of chai.
The exotic theme continues, but in another direction once the jasmine makes an appearance. Natural perfumer Ayala Sender of Ayala Moriel Parfums is a jasmine sorceress. She takes this somewhat problematic note and brings out the best in it. Hot summer nights in a beautiful faraway land, the sensuality and the more delicate aspects of jasmine are woven together with the spices into a heady perfume that is all silk and color.
The perfume dries down into a honeyed wood base, well-balanced and not too sweet. Some of the spices, especially clove and cinnamon keep popping up and maintaining the exotic oriental feel of Epice Sauvage. The lasting power depends on how much one uses, and I find that a normal application of several dabs of the parfum extrait to the pulse points only lasts a couple of hours. This led me to using most of my second sample and almost bathe in it. I was in spice heaven for the better part of a day.
Epice Sauvage ($110, 9 ml extrait de parfum) is available from ayalamoriel.com. It also comes in several other sizes and formulations. A sample pack of six scents is currently priced at $40.
Image: Model Anne Gunning in Jaipur, India by Norman Parkinson, Vogue, November 1956