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Myrrh: A Warm and Balsamic Note
Myrrh, with its warm and balsamic notes, is commonly incorporated into base notes of oriental perfumes. The sweet and tenacious myrrh lingers on the skin even after other fragrances have dissipated. It lends a warm, sweet, dark, sensual, or even sexual aspect to perfumes. Serge Lutens, a renowned perfumer and lover of the Orient, brought myrrh into the spotlight with his creation, La Myrrhe, part of his Palais Royal collection. La Myrrhe masterfully combines myrrh, amber, musk, incense, and spices to create a quintessential oriental scent. Another notable tribute to myrrh is Giorgio Armani's Imperial Myrrh, where the ancient gum-resin occupies a prominent position in the fragrance, evoking an atmosphere of oriental palaces with its majestic and captivating blend of lemon, spices, myrrh, and frankincense.
Myrrh's Compatibility with Other Fragrances
Although myrrh is a fascinating, beautiful, and potent ingredient, its association with heavy symbolism can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. Except in oriental perfumes, myrrh is seemingly challenging to blend with other scents. However, it can be found combined with floral notes, as in Guerlain's Myrrhe et Délire, where the perfumer incorporates myrrh in heart notes with rose and iris. The top notes feature grapefruit, pear, rose berry, and pepper, while the base notes reveal incense, patchouli, and licorice. The resulting fragrance is rare and atypical, leaving a breathtaking impression.
In Annick Goutal's Myrrhe Ardente, myrrh meets the woody family of scents. In this composition, the essence of myrrh stands alone in the top note, while it partners with benzoin and tonka bean in the base notes. The resulting oriental-woody blend is voluptuous and captivating, showcasing myrrh's enchanting allure on those who wear it.
As an ingredient with a strong symbolism dating back to antiquity, myrrh is often used in oriental perfumes for its bewitching and captivating aroma. Although many perfumers have highlighted myrrh in their creations, few have ventured to mix it with other fragrances. The question remains: Are its symbolism and scent too powerful for other fragrances, or is myrrh simply too challenging to tame?
Fun Facts About Myrrh
- Myrrh is a resin derived from the Commiphora myrrha tree, native to northeastern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
- In ancient times, myrrh was not only used in perfumes but also for medicinal purposes and as an embalming agent for mummification in Egypt.
- Myrrh has a rich religious significance and is mentioned in various religious texts, including the Bible, the Torah, and the Talmud.
- Due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, myrrh has been used in traditional medicine for treating wounds, infections, and other ailments.