Sunday, December 11, 2011

Secret Grarden and Oud Lubin by Aftelier Perfumes

The secret garden in the sky

 Trying something new from Aftelier Perfumes is always a treat. You never know what will happen, the only thing that's for sure is that you're in for something unique and totally unexpected. Secret Garden was no exception, first thing that jumped out at me when trying it on were bandages and saffron! I was a bit suspicious, neither of these notes were listed among the official scent notes, but within minutes the perfume started to get hold of itself and suddenly it settled into a lovely, mouth watering, fruity floral.

I think Secret Garden is a very apt name. It IS a fruity floral, sure, but these are not fruits and flowers as we usually know them. I'm finding it hard to pin down the exact listed notes, what I am getting are  flowers yet to be discovered, forbidden fruits and every now and then there might be a reflection of an eye or a sharp tooth, barly visible through the shrubbery, belonging to one of the mysterious inhabitants. An image that has been coming to me again and again is of a castle in the sky. A beautyful mirage anyone would wish to possess - but the castle is impossible to touch and merely it's own.

Oud Luban is a whole different thing. It smells of smoke and incense and made me feel the way I do when staying at my husbands familys cabin, far out in the woods. There is no running water and no electricity and all cooking is done, medival style, over a small fireplace. Oud Luban took me back to the state of utter relaxation one gets into after sitting alone, staring into that cooking fire while the rain is pouring down outside for hours and hours. If it would be a person it would be that big, calm outdoorsy type. He doesn't say much but you know you can rely on him anytime you need.

But, then I tried Secret Garden layered with Oud Luban and a complete tranformation happened. My experience when doing this was like I have this Secret Garden floating in the sky and suddenly someone slappes a lower body onto the whole thing, complete with hips, legs and a nice ass. And now we're talking accessability on a whole new level. All of a sudden this is a scent you can dance with and do a whole lot of other stuff to that are more fun than just gazing at something admireably from a distance.

I'm thinking of Secret Garden and Oud Lubin as those kids, back in school, that were not allowed to sit next to each others in class because they would disrupt the order in the classroom. I can understand, from a teachers perspective, why it's a good idea to keep them apart but if you don't mind a bit of fun, chaotic excitement in your life, by all means smear both of them on - because they really enjoy each others company.

Official Notes:

Secret Garden:
Top: bergamot, bois de rose, Geraniol, blood orange.
Heart: jasmine sambac, raspberry (compounded isolate), Turkish rose, blue lotus.
Base: civet, castoreum, vanilla, deer tongue, benzoin, aged patchouli. 

Oud Luban:
Top: elemi, orange terpenes, blood orange, frankincense CO2.
Base: oud, opopanax, choya ral, benzoin, aged patchouli.

These sampels were sent to me for considerations


  1. Thank you so much Sigrun for your fabulous double review! I love the way you looked at Secret Garden & Oud Luban separately first, and them put them together into something new. Your image of them as a new/whole being with hips, legs, and a nice ass is so delightful, I’m so grateful for that treat!
    - Mandy

  2. Thank you Mandy! When I started writing I was planning on 2 separeate reviews but I found that the blend spoke to me a lot louder than wearing them separately :)

    I'm very intrigued with how these two come together. The Oud has so much character on it's own but when wearing it with SG, the SG ends up being the dominant one, gaining strength and suport from the Oud. I'd never guessed...

  3. I didn't plan it that way but I also found out that that the two of them created a beautiful third perfume. i really loved your review and how you "get" me. thank you so much

  4. I love your reviews, Sigrun- they are always so fresh and different!
    When I first tried them, I applied Oud Loban on one arm and Secret Garden on the other- but I was so overwhelmed by Secret Garden (i.e I LOVED it) that I ended up ignoring the Oud. However, recently I did try Oud separately and love how it just melds into the skin. WIll try your suggestion of layering them.

  5. Thanks Lavanya! Do try, and I'd love to hear what you think of them!

  6. I agree with Lavanya: I love reading your fresh perspective. I'm really looking forward to trying Secret Garden (probably next week).

  7. Thanks :) I'm looking forward to your opinion about SG!