There is always a feeling of contentment the moment you realize one of your intuitions came true. And this is part of the human nature, so I see no point in denying it. This time, is about my abiding passion for incense and the fragrance that were shaped with this unmistakable note in the composition.
As I told you in here previously (many times, I’m sure!), I developed a personal benchmark for incense-based perfumes, which is basically represented by Olibanum from Profumum. For reaching an unbiased conclusion, I also imagined a second and a third position on that reference, those being respectively, Olivier Durbano’s Turquoise and Heeley’s Cardinal. However, while reading about Olibanum for the first time, I also bumped into Oliban from Keiko Mecheri and I knew that until I will finally sniff the latter, my quest will be far from complete (there are as well a few candidates on my list and I’m sure I will review those in the next months).
So, Keiko Mecheri is a niche perfumery house based in Los Angeles and established in 1990s by Keiko and Kamel Mecheri. They initially started as Bazaar des Senteurs, a business dedicated to candles and scented body products and by 2000 they released three personal fragrances named Hanae, Te En and Loukhoum. This was also the moment when the company was renamed to Keiko Mecheri, having these days more than 25 fragrances in its portfolio. Oliban arrived on the market in 2004, as a masculine oriental floral.
On the official website, Oliban is presented as part of the “Les Orientales” collection and described with the phrase “A diffuse composition of pure olibanum incense sustained by woodsy notes and balsamic notes, to affirm its magnetic sensuality”. From my point of view, this fragrance represents the exquisite take in olibanum, which makes it the perfect choice for a person who loves this note in the composition of a perfume, however does not want something too conspicuous.
Olibanum did not fascinate me from the start (ironically, after that moment I reconfigured my list, placing it in the second spot, side by side with Turquoise!) having a level of sophistication that revealed itself only with the arrival of the mid development and the dry down. The woody accords from the beginning were perfectly sustained by a hint of rose within a couple of minutes later and then perfectly balanced towards the end by the magic essence of olibanum (also known as frankincense!). The list of official notes goes like this: Atlas cedarwood, palisander, blonde tobacco, Tonka beans and incense olibanum.
As for the flacon that accompanies the essence, although different at the time of its introduction, is currently having an image that suggests a very selective clientele. These days, the signature Keiko Mecheri bottle has an elaborate shape, made from opaque glass and evoking a modern architectural silhouette. The cap is important and designed to look like a precious stone with multiple facets, thus rendering an enchanting assemble. Overall, I’ll risk classifying Oliban as one of the few special fragrances that deserve a special spot in your wardrobe. This happens, of course, only if you love incense.
Keiko Mecheri Oliban Perfume Details
- Oliban by Keiko Mecheri is available in 75 ml Eau de Parfum Spray; the lasting power is above average (more than 12 hours!) and the sillage is good.
- Olfactory Group: Oriental Floral
- For: Men
- Year Introduced: 2004
- Recommended Wear: Day and Evening
- Dress Code: Casual