A Tintannabulation of Skin

 A review of Opus Oils’ Eau Pear Tingle 

So far as our senses and sensory impressions are concerned, all too often we tend to take them entirely for granted. We will always be able to appreciate the visual beauty of a burning crystal clear sunset, our ears and minds will marvel at a perfect F over C, our fingertips vibrate with the anticipatory pleasures of touching silk, skin or velvet, and all the thousands of sensations that together spell out “chocolate” will always be addictive. And for a dedicated hedonist/perfumista, what could be more important than our sense of smell to awaken all our other senses?

Now imagine you’re an anosmic who has lost your sense of smell due to trauma or illness, and in an instant, over one fifth of your entire sensory register is…gone. Suddenly, your sense of taste is vastly diminished since so many complex taste sensations are more smelled than tasted, suddenly flowers are only able to be appreciated for their visual beauty and not their fragrance, and as for perfume, well, really…what’s the point? Or what about being born congenitally anosmic, that is to say without any sense of smell at all?

We’ve all experienced bad colds that killed our sense of smell and taste. For epic colds, my sister swears by Naga chilis so thermonuclear, not even native Kerala Indians will go near them. And as it happens, she’s on to something.

Such are the workings of the human brain, that even with anosmics, they don’t lose what’s called the trigeminal response – that is to say, the nerve that registers things like the heat (or pain!) of chilis, the prickly bubbles of carbonation, the cooling sensation of mint and many other responses that are tied to your nose more than you think.

A few months ago, the writer Michelle Krell Kydd of Glass Petal Smoke issued a perfume brief via the social media of Twitter and Facebook. The challenge was to make a pefume that would both register with anosmics as well as appeal to non-anosmics, since is there any reason why anosmics too shouldn’t experience the pleasures of wearing a truly good perfume for themselves as well as their surroundings? After all, the rest of us may wear perfume to please ourselves first and foremost, but no small part of the thrill – at least for me – is to make an impression, too.

One perfumer took up that challenge – Kedra Hart of Opus Oils, whose mother was diagnosed as an anosmic after a skating accident when Kedra was a teenager. So Eau Pear Tingle was created, and now that I’ve tried it too, I can tell you this – this is not your usual ‘perfume’.

In order for such a perfume to succeed, it had to appeal in a different way, to work for anosmics and also to satisfy the rest of us as a true perfume does – with complexity and evolution, and by triggering that precise trigeminal response that tells an anosmic—yes! There’s something new on my skin!

So there is…because right away, Eau Pear Tingle announces its presence with the tingling sensation you might know from Vick’s Vapo-Rub or Tiger Balm…nothing nearly so obvious but emphatically present – soft, sensuous and simultaneously warm and cool at once – and even more surprising is that sensation on your skin stays with you for as long as the scent itself, and really, how great is that?

Wait! It gets better! But first, let me hear you scream…

Eau Pear Tingle as a perfume is best classified as a fruity-floral-oriental, which tends to make perfume bloggers break out in verbal hives, if not howls of derision for their sheer, unavoidable ubiquity in the mainstream perfume market. So before I’m pelted with rotting bottles of Giorgio Beverly Hills, may I say that this is Kedra Hart, darlings, and with two notable exceptions, no one does fruit+floral better. Combined with the uniqueness of being able to feel it, it takes the concept of wearing perfume to a multi-sensory experience you won’t find anywhere else.

It starts green and minty, effervescent and slightly astringent to the nose – the spearmint that gives it that effect on skin – and in seconds, what smells like a tropically flavored cocktail of pear, pineapple and coconut starts dancing away, even though neither pineapple nor coconut are listed in the notes. Lime/linden blossom and jasmine must give my nose that impression, and they are thick, heady and truly luscious to behold – and not indolic in the slightest. What next happens as the flowers and fruit fade to sensuous green embers is a woody, elegant, vintage feel of the musk, pine and a glorious sandalwood – an accord I’ve begun to recognize in many of Opus Oils’ perfumes as a definite signature.

This sandalwood is not the sandalwood we’ve had to settle for these days, this smells like the very best of very vintage Mysore with all its many facets of magnificent, moody, sensual wood…a journey in time and on skin back to the bad old days when opulence wasn’t an advertising byword or overused PR ploy but a fragrant reality you trailed in your wake, precisely the kind of trail that gets you noticed for all the very best of reasons!

If I had to put another name to Eau Pear Tingle, it would be…wearable champagne. Think about it – half the thrill of champagne – apart from its taste and effect – is… all those thousands of bubbles dancing their cancan in your mouth and up your nose – stimulating the very same trigeminal nerve this perfume does.

I love the unusual – in life as well as perfume – and Eau Pear Tingle is unusual both in its creation and its effect, and as unique as Kedra’s perfumes always are. It happily satisfies all my perfumoholic urges for exploring new territory – a multi-sensory time trip from the future through providing a sensation – the present in its sparkling fruity-floral richness, and the glowing, vintage depths of its long-lasting drydown, a wave and a knowing wink to the wonders that were that so many of us still revere and love. Most of all, however, there is that wonder and shock of unique …like strumming a pear guitar, or like the tintannabulation of skin to make a music all its own that everyone should be able to sense.

Notes: Spearmint, lime blossom, pear, jasmine, white musk, pine, sandalwood

Disclosure: A sample of Eau Pear Tingle was provided for review by Opus Oils.

Don’t miss Michelle Krell Kydd’s excellent article on anosmia and the development of Eau Pear Tingle, as well as Kedra’s own words, too!

Images: Pear Guitar, vir41, Eau Pear Tingle atomizer bottle by permission of Opus Oils.

9 thoughts on “A Tintannabulation of Skin

  1. Thank you Dear Sheila!!! I am blown away by your beautiful & enticing review! Your way with words never ceases to amaze…. “Wearable Champagne,” is music to my ears!
    You have certainly done your part in contributing to the cause of “Anosmic Awareness.”

    Huge thanks from all of us at Opus Oils!;)

    X0X0,
    Kedra

  2. Wearable champagne? Sounds gorgeous! Pear as a note frightens me, but the promise of Mysore Sandalwood is enough to make me forget that “fruity-floral” is a curse word 😉

    1. Dee…If you’re afraid of something along the lines of, say, that monster of ubiquity where I live – Viktor & Rolf’s Eau Mega, which is beyond awful – rest easy. This isn’t THAT kind of pear at all! I used to think of fruity-floral as a curse word, too, but then again, I’ve been impressed by a few – and back in the day, I wore a lot of YSL Baby Doll Paris and Ralph, so they’re not (or they weren’t!) all bad…But wearable champagne, yes indeed! And that gorgeous sandalwood…

    1. OMG!! Carlos – how thrilling to see you here! I know you’re no stranger to the wonders of Opus Oils, so you should know you have a lot to look forward to anyway, and then, there’s that wearable champagne thang, too!

  3. Wow, quite a stirring challenge behind this, and it sounds like it was more than well met. There are actually a number of fruity-floral perfumes that I enjoy; combining such notes with mint and giving the whole thing a champagne sensation sounds brilliant. 🙂

    1. Suzanne – it is! I mean, we perfume writers say all sorts of things about how a perfume makes us feel, but how often do we wear something we do actually…feel? Never, if you ask me. I’m blown away…I can’t say enough good things about Opus Oils, but I can say that Eau Pear Tingle is like nothing at all else, and that being the case, everyone should try it! 🙂

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