I first met (the modern) Idole de Lubin shortly after it came out in 2005. It was stunning. Completely and utterly breathtaking with its boozy opening and intense dark spicy heart. I loved it and tried for a long time to make it work, but there was a hollowness halfway through Idole EDT that make it fade and die on my skin much too quickly. It was like a great romance that didn't survive the hardships of reality, but made me wistful whenever I looked back.
Six years later we meet again. Idole EDP is a changed perfume. Stronger, fuller and more reliable. I smell less cumin and more leather, the rum is sweeter and the incense smokier. It's all I ever wanted Idole to be, and here it is- more brooding, taller but familiar. I want to bury my face in its warmth, wrap it over my shoulder and breath the dark woody aroma.
In asking her to create Idole EDP, Lubin allowed perfumer Olivia Giacobetti to make things right, to let Idole become what it was meant to be. It's one of the best incense perfumes around, romantic and mysterious. On Luckyscent's masculine-feminine spectrum they placed it slightly to the manly side and I agree, sort of. The rum-cumin-smokes wood ensures that Idole will appeal to men and smell magnificent on them, but women who have a thing for the dark side and wear perfumes such as Black Cashmere, Safran Troublant, Passage d'Enfer or Tea For Two will find a lot to love in it (the last three are also by Giacobetti).
Notes: Rum absolute, saffron, black cumin, bitter orange peel, Doum palm, rock rose, smoked ebony, frankincense, sugar cane, leather, red sandalwood, amber
Idole de Lubin EDP ($160, 100 ml) is available from Luckyscent and Aedes.
Photo by F.C. Gundlach, 1962.