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Dominique Ropion IFF 2017 - Kyphi


IFF is International Flavors and Fragrances, a global leader in flavors and scents, the ones we experience every day in our favourite brands of food, household, personal, and beauty products. The artistic in-house talent at IFF is prodigious, but the work they do and the degree of their creativity is pretty well under the public radar. To showcase their artistry, in 2009 IFF created their annual Speed-Smelling* event, a scented variation on speed-dating. The way it works is this: With no creative or budget restraints, IFF perfumers, including celebrated noses such as Dominique Ropion, Anne Flipo, Bruno Jovanovic, Sophie Labbe, etc., each create an original scent for the event, then personally present it at Speed-Smelling: 

“...over the course of an hour 14 perfumers have less than 7 minutes to seduce the most exacting of juries – the best fragrance editors and bloggers in France…their creations must surprise, seduce, be acknowledged, be memorable. This event allows perfumers to veer off beaten paths, cut loose and shake up the codes of their trade…and to speak about their art…”M. Ropion went right back to the beginnings of perfume to the very first scent for which we haveh a note list, Kyphi, best considered as a type of incense.  Its ingredients are engraved on the walls of Egyptian temples Edfu and Philae, it was used later by the Greeks and Syrians and, according to historians, Kyphi not only played an important role as a sacred fragrance in many ceremonies but was also used as a remedy for ailments. Recipes varied through different time periods and cultures but common to all were raisins, wine, honey, myrhh, mastic, pine resin, camel grass, mint, sweet flag, cinnamon. Kyphi has a beautiful, full-bodied, rich multi-layered bouquet with a warm, relaxing, sweet, spicy and sensual aroma. Source

A few years ago, Dominique Ropion researched the ancient Kyphi composition in order to create an alcohol based version, guessing about the proportions not found in the Egyptian hieroglyphics. It’s this form of Ropion’s Kyphi that you can experience at the Grand Musée de Parfum in Paris, a new interactive museum on rue du Faubourg St Honore that is dedicated to the history and art of perfume, and it’s this version that he used as the base for his Post-Modern version.

Kyphi "2.0" opens with a light resinous honey beeswax accord which soon sweetens with the mellow yellow-floral sweetness of broom – both natural LMR absolutes which are perfection. Soon spices expand the honeyed floral – musty dusty saffron, aromatic cardamom, and tingling ginger add a layer of sensation, and the base begins to unfold, releasing transcendent notes of soft myrhh plus sugary notes of ripe fruits. Is it wine or is it plump purple grapes I’m smelling? It’s CosmofruitTM, a new note in the recipe and a sensual balance to the honeyed spices. In the dry-down Kyphi becomes more expansive, releasing a woody earthy accord of cypriol and oud, an accord which tempers the sweet and which for me has a very grounding effect. 

Ropion’s Post-Modern Kyphi doesn’t speak to me of gods and temples and Afterlife. It speaks to the Now, to living in the real world, and savouring the scents of all things that sustain me. I have no idea if Kyphi is Post-Modern, or if my reaction to it is Post-Modern, and I don’t care. It smells very beautiful, and very real.


Price: $6.00