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Monocle Scent Two: Laurel – Memories of places past (September 5, 2011 New Fragrance Listing)

Photo - Wikipedia - Bay Laurel pair of leaves and buds - Benjamin444

I have a friend who worked in Lebanon over the course of a few years. The country and its people made a deep impression on him and something about the place just resonated with him. Sometimes when he’s in his cups he’ll say that among his most vivid memories is the way his hands would smell after having washed them with the local soap - Aleppo soap.

Well, I’m a good friend, so when I would travel to France I’d always bring back a few bars of Savon de Marseille, the traditional French soap made around Marseille. I mean, if you like artisanal, regional soap from Lebanon, then you’ll like artisanal, regional soap from France, right? Gracious man that he is, he always accepted my offerings with thanks and gratitude.

One day we met up for smart drinks and as he leaned in to greet me with a kiss, he caught a whiff of my perfume. “It’s Aleppo soap, it’s Lebanon ” he whispered. “No, it’s not soap, it’s Monocle Scent Two: Laurel” I said. Of course, we were both right.

The Monocle web site says that the inspiration for Laurel was “…a trip to the Bekaa Valley…it will remind regular visitors to Lebanon of the country's hand-made laurel soaps and fragrant gardens in Byblos.”

I’ve never been to Lebanon, so I wouldn’t know the smell of the Bekaa Valley or Aleppo soap, but I do know the smell of Monocle Scent Two: Laurel and it is a got-to-have stunner.

When brisk blast of camphor laurel at the opening hits the lizard brain, so there’s no time to think, just smell. It’s not long before a lemon/thyme accord appears - the perfect combination of fresh citrus and green herb. Soon, more aromatic laurel comes forward amplifying the green herbal aspect, and adding a touch of eucalyptus. Fiery pepper, and plenty of it, gives it a dry heat, while cinnamon adds another spicy dimension to it. As it blooms, the laurel evolves and at the base, it gets deeper and darker from smoky incense and amber and earthy from patchouli. Cedar, a nod to the Cedars of Lebanon, and oak give it a gorgeous woodiness that balances the green/herbal elements of the scent perfectly.

Monocle Scent Two: Laurel is a dry, exotic, woody aromatic scent built around the herbal, green, eucalyptic aspects of  laurel with some high-voltage pepper riding sidecar. Unique and enticing, it can be worn to full effect by either a man or woman.

Oh, and the Aleppo soap association my friend had? It’s not because Monocle Scent Two: Laurel smells like soap, it doesn’t at all, it’s because it has so much laurel in it and laurel oil is the defining ingredient of Aleppo soap.

Now that I know it’s the laurel scent of the artisanal soap and not the artisanal soap itself that brings him to a happy Lebanese place, I bought him a bottle of Monocle Scent Two: Laurel and kept my latest purchase of Savon de Marseille for myself cause every time I use it, I am reminded of the time I spent in the south of France…..

Today, we’re adding Monocle Scent Two: Laurel to our decant sample offering, Decants are $6.00.

If you would like to know where you can buy a bottle of any of the scents we write about, just email us, telling us where you live and we’ll tell you where you can get it.