Dhajala from Xerjoff's Shooting Stars collection is a sensual feast. It's a dark and opulent amber that doesn't conform to ambery conventions of vanilla, cream and powder; instead, Dhajala is bright and almost juicy as it opens, presenting the wearer a huge bouquet of flowers. These are colorful flowers, red orange and vibrant pink, they were just picked and their long stems are green and fresh with just a little bite. Like all Xerjoff perfumes, Dhajala is ultra luxurious by design and definition, and it shows (and smells). The vibrancy of the fragrance is breathtaking from the very first whiff . The colors, the richness that almost has a taste- Dhajala is full of life and joy.
The husband who only tried Dhajala once so far says he smells something leathery. I suspect that he associates the sharpness of galbanum with leather (a consequence of sharing quarters with my vintage perfumes). What I smell beyond the golden nectar of the top and heart notes is a resinous incense mixed with dark and incredibly beautiful patchouli. It goes right to my head and makes me want to roll in it catnip-style.
Dhajala is long lasting (we're talking at least 12 hours) and has some good old-fashioned sillage. It's an evening perfume, I think, with the way it wafts and seduces, though a more careful spraying can make it behave in a more civilized way. In theory, Dhajala is one of Xerjoff's feminine perfumes, but I have no doubt that a patchouli and amber-friendly man can wear and enjoy it just as well. The floral notes shouldn't scare anyone. There's a part there that reminds me of Uncle Serge's De Profundis (flowers and bitter green stems) which isn't too femme. On the husband's skin there's a more dusty patchouli dry-down (he still insists on leather) that smells as masculine as they come.
Notes: Bergamot, orange flower, galbanum, orange flowers, rose, jasmine, pink pepper, Tonkiphora balsam, Myroswelia balsam, amber
Xerjoff- Dhajala from the Shooting Stars Collection ($265, 50ml) is available from minnewyork.com.
Art: Frederic-Louis Leve, Harem Beauty Sitting on Leopard Skin