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Pierre Guillaume is a busy man, running two perfume lines: Parfumerie Generale and Huitieme Art Parfums, the latter focusing on just a few notes or materials so that the fragrance can be experienced as a whole rather than through defined stages of a scent pyramid.

I like the concept, but it was my love of myrrh that led me to Myrrhiad. Launched in 2011, the name Myrrhiad is a combination of the words ‘myriad’, meaning an infinite number, and myrrh. So the name refers to the countless ways the various aspects of myrrh are highlighted in the fragrance.

I’m not going to go through it note by note since Myrrhiad’s not built that way, but I am going to report my experience of it.

Sharp and bitter, myrrh is right at the opening and stays throughout the development of the fragrance as different  facets of it are highlighted. Soon it’s sweetened with a note of amber. A note of warm, rich vanilla coaxes sweetness out of the myrhh while a note of unsweetened licorice, which is bitter and intense, gently underscores the bitterness of it and contrasts with the sweetness of the vanilla. Balsam, which like myrrh is an oleoresin, highlights its resinous aspect. Black tea absolue gives it a smoky dimension, like burning incense. And just at this point, there is an animalic note of leather that contrasts so beautifully with the sweetness that proceeds it – this, to me, is what makes Myrrhiad a work of art.

The dry down is rich, dark and potent with the myrrh emerging to keep the sweetness of the scent in check so it doesn’t ever become truly gourmand, but still remains mouth watering. This is a fragrance that was designed to be experienced, not analyzed, not explained, not explored, but felt. And, let me tell you, there is no other feeling like it.

And, it should be said that the juice itself is a deep, reddish purple colour that leaves a shadow on the skin. I don’t know if it stains clothing – why waste it on something that doesn’t have the heat to animate it?

Notes amber, balsam, myrrh, leather, black tea, vanilla and liquorice

Type: EdP

Parfumeur: Pierre Guillaume

Price: $6.00