I confess I had certain expectations for Anubis. It’s never a good way to approach a perfume or anything else for that matter. You have to be prepared for the unexpected or at least take it into account. Such is life, such is perfume. I have to confess something else too: my expectations were not met. Anubis proved to be different from the image I had in my mind. My third confession: I absolutely love it!
Yes, Anubis is a smoky leather with spicy, resinous, floral and ambered elements. I was expecting that. And I was also expecting something incredibly powerful, aggressive and very masculine, the smoke and leather to rule them all. But Anubis is a lot softer and more rounded and probably all the better for it. It has that textural feeling of something a bit oily, but also powdery, creamy and silky, like rubbing pollen between fingers. Texture is very important in a perfume for me. It has to entice me, to want it on my skin, to slip into it like I would in a beautiful dress.
Anubis is a black suede catsuit. An exotic garment, meant for seduction. Something that stays so close to the body it becomes second skin and borrows something from it: the living thing’s warmth and suppleness. This is what makes me want Anubis, beyond the hypnotic quality of how it smells: the way it becomes one with the wearer like an invisible netting of mistery. Feline and a creature of the night, Anubis is best worn as an evening perfume because of its sensual and a bit unsettling nature. Definitely not made for lighthearted fun, Anubis takes itself seriously. It’s moody, intense, addictive, passionate. The Scorpio of the perfume zodiac.
Anubis opens fierce and dark with with a powerful blast of frankincense smoke, streaked by hints of bitter orange. There’s also a bit of a diesel effect going on too, or in any case something that smells kind of camphorous and medicinal. Could be the high percentage of jasmine absolute. I’ve noticed this with very narcotic jasmine fragrances like, for example, Serge Lutens Sarrasins. And not only with jasmine but also with tuberose, and more predictable with patchouli. The mothballs effect. Here it’s momentarily, like a jolt of light, spearing through the night sky. After about 10 minutes, the perfume starts to soften and melt its parts into one another, the progression is seamless and more gentle.The floral element becomes more proeminent and also the mellow, buttery leather. I think I can sense a bit of rose, but the jasmine is dominant and very attractive. The heart of this perfume is compulsively sniffable, the combination between soft, thick leather, creamy, sweet jasmine and the subdued, dry, dusty heat of the spices is irresistible. I am reminded a tad of Cuir de Lancome, but Anubis is a lot richer, smokier, lusher with more leather and no powder. At this stage there’s also a significant animalic undercurrent in Anubis which makes it a lot more sensual fragrance than the elegant Cuir de Lancome. The animalism in Anubis is a warm,s mooth,golden, leathery glow with a hint of sweat, probably from both the immortelle and the castoreum and it bridges beautifuly with the woody-oriental drydown. Once the fragrance moves into its last stage (and it does take a long time, maybe 7-8 hours) it gets more amber like, less smoky, with only a trace of leather and a woody creaminess. I think it’s also a bit more vanilla like sweet (probably the benzoin). Again, the drydown lasts for a good few hours too. If I put Anubis on in the morning, I still find traces of it on my skin the next morning, so fantastic longevity but soft, close to skin sillage. I prefer it this way, because when smelled up close it’s very concentrated, like thick, viscous syrup. I’ve tested it several times and with every test, inhaling repeatedly and closely so I can identify the notes better, I managed to give myself a headache, it’s that strong. So in the case of Anubis being close to skin is an advantage.
All in all, Anubis is not a terribly original composition but it’s a fantastically appealing one: rich, sensual, intoxicating semi-sweet smoky leather with feminine, opulent floral elements and an oriental base. My guess is that it works equally well on both sexes,vbut I always imagine it being worn by a woman. One dressed in that velvety, black suede catsuit that hugs her every dizzying curve in a tight, seductive embrace. And when, in the dead of night, she unzips out of it, like a snake shedding its skin, her smell is like a sensual dream that fills the room with voluptuos jasmine and amber sweetness. Like Anubis that parts its smoke and incense folds to reveal a beating heart, this woman takes out her costume to reveal her true weapon: the body underneath.
Top notes: Egyptian Jasmine, Bitter Orange, Rose Otto, Pink Lotus
Heart notes: Immortelle, Rich Suede, Saffron, Clove Bud, Castoreum
Base notes: Frankincense, Sandalwood, Labdanum, Benzoin.