Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Ted Lapidus- Silk Way

Silk Way by Ted Lapidus is a wonderfully complex little thing. On Fragrantica they say it's a fruity floral; the name points towards an oriental base. Wearing Silk Way I get a different impression.  The feel of this perfume is of an abstract wood-incense that morphs into a slightly sweet musk with a touch of labdanum. But on skin level there's also a barely-sweet peach skin note that adds lightness and joy to the composition when you pay attention. Silk Way certainly offers some contrasting elements: warmth and cool air, austere incense and fuzzy musk. There's something  very modern and airy as the fragrance hovers around you, driving circles more than just projecting.

Ted Lapidus is not exactly a synonym for expensive perfumes. for as long as I can remember the fragrances from this line made appearances in drugstores and discount retailers. Lapidus' Creation, a great love from my high school years, was a cheap thrill even back in the 80s. But Silk Way, a fragrance you can buy online under $20 for a bottle (also look at those perfume kiosks at the mall) smells expensive. And have I mentioned sophisticated? Yes, I have, but it's worth repeating.

I was asked about similarities between Silk Way and the long-discontinued but equally fabulous Barbara Bui Le Parfum. Apparently, Silk Way was crowned as its dupe, but I don't think that's true. On my skin Silk Way is much more musky and fuzzy while Barbara Bui is mostly  a sweet incense. Barbara Bui is closer to Le Labo Labdanum 18; the musky veil Silk Road creates for me is in the same category of Musc Ravageur   which shares its touch of oriental spices. In any case, there's a good chance that this Ted Lapidus perfume will appeal to lovers of  the perfumes I mentioned above, as well as (and I'm committing some serious heresy here) those lamenting the demise of Creed Angelique Encens. None of these are clones, but they have similarities that satisfy a certain taste and craving. One caveat: you must really love sweet musk.

Image: detail from a mural in the Mogao Grottoes, China.


  1. Hi Gaia, first of all very happy and prosperous 2014!
    I remember buying the Silk Way when it first came out. I bought a small 30 ml bottle because I thought I'd grow weary of it fast. When oversprayed it's intensity can become a bit nauseating.
    I rebought a larger bottle soon after and the moment it was discontinued I started stocking up.
    To me Barbara Bui has many simularities to Sonia Rykiel for Women (and not for men) there's a suede note in both that makes them siblings.
    Silk way is more powdery oriental and does indeed evoke the feel of an expensive silk taffeta.
    Wonderfull perfume, underrated and a lot more sophisticated smelling then the price suggests.


    1. You know, I get a lot (A LOT) more leather from Sonia Rykiel, despite the similarities with Barbara Bui. Must be something in my skin. And now that you reminded me of it, I think I'll wear it tonight.
      I just bought a larger bottle of Silk Way as a backup. I'm already one third into my original 30ml and it's alarming. Once again, the best $18 I've spent in ages.

  2. angelique encens is going away? hadn't heard. i really like that one! but then i tend to like the older and not the younger creeds.

    this silk way sounds like a must-try!


    1. Minette, I think it was phased out a year or two ago, though supposedly you can still call them and request one "from the vault" or whatever, and it's even more expensive than it used to be.

  3. Ordered a bottle of this after you posted about it a few weeks ago and am loving it. You're right - *way* more expensive smelling than it actually is (dirt cheap - am getting a back up bottle). And I can definitely see the connection to AE and my beloved Musc Ravageur.
    Also got a bottle of Kelly & Jones Cabernet and a sample of Christopher Street - both are making me very happy. Lived for many years on 10th St, just one block away from Christopher, so was predisposed to like it, but was still surprised by how much in love I've fallen with it. A truly stunning, classic scent.

    1. Anna, you have no idea how happy you just made me. No idea at all.
      Christopher Street keeps surprising me every time I wear it, and I equally love it on the husband. I knew it was going to be spectacular when two years ago Douglas sprayed me with one of his early mods of the perfume. It turned out to be even better.

  4. I so enjoyed this review that I actually ordered a bottle of Silk Way right after reading it! I mean, given your praise and the fact that it was only $20, it was a no-brainer. ;)

    The bottle arrived an hour or so ago and I'm reveling in it. It's just as you described: both elegant (well, you said sophisticated) and fuzzy/comforting in the same way as Barbara Bui. It's very incense-y on my skin, with delightful spices and a sweetness that isn't intrusive. And silky, sophisticated and silky. I'm so impressed. Thank you for introducing me to it!


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