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Sublime Balkiss

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Created in 2008 by Created by Céline Ellena, for The Different Company, a niche perfumery she founded with her father Jean-Claude Ellena, Sublime Balkiss is always front and centre on my fragrance shelf.

Ellena was inspired by Balkiss, the Arabic name for the Queen of Sheba and the rich, powerful woman who traveled to Jerusalem to meet with Solomon to get her answers to her questions.

Her meeting with Solomon, as reported in the Bible, seems fairly ordinary, yet over the centuries she has intrigued people – how did she get so wealthy?  Was there more to her meeting with Solomon? Did they really have a child? The mystery surrounding Sheba has made her the the subject of legends through Jewish, Arabian, and Ethiopian elaborations of her meeting with Solomon that still inspire books, opera, film, television – oh, and perfume  -  to this day. Well, there‘s no mystery why I love wearing Sublime Balkiss – it’s gorgeous.

Sublime Balkiss opens with crisp bergamot teamed with the metallic, aqueous freshness of violet leaf. Smelling it the first time, I was surprised by its ethereal beauty. Before long, it gets sweet and tart from blackberry, blackcurrant and blueberry.  I get a whiff of the fabled "cat piss" facet of the blackcurrant. It balances the rich, ripe berries beautifully. And then the heart blooms with flowers: rich, lush Damascus rose, sweet, floral, lilac and bright, green-nuanced lily of the valley. Both the lilac and lily of the valley are jasmine-tinged and play off the rose so that the heart is softly and seductively floral. But what really makes Balkiss sublime is the base. Patchouli two ways - patchouli fraction and patchouli essence, bring different aspects of the sweet, dark, woody herb to the base making it complex and a little unpredictable and, well, mysterious.  Cocoa powder, lightly spicy and bitter, doesn’t smell of chocolate here – it mostly adds warmth to the base. There is heather here too, the type that, to me, has a woodsy, mossy smell.

The drydown is smooth and seductive skin scent that’s warm and enticing and perfectly unisex.

And that patchouli!! Well, that just makes Sublime Balkiss an all-season patchouli that’s been worn around here for years.

Notes: violet leaf, bergamot, blackberry, blackcurrant, blueberry, Damascus rose, lilac, lily of the valley, patchouli, heather, Cocoa powder.

Type: EdT

Parfumeur: Céline Ellena

Price: $6.00