Cocktail Hour In Two Dimensions – Review: Olfactive Studio Still Life

Still Life is the brightest and happiest of the three Olfactive Studio perfumes. A woody citrus fragrance, Still Life is – contrary to its name – very effervescent and sparkling, very much alive, very dynamic and full of energy and movement.

“A breeze could throw them off course yet these 2d spheres – faceted and seemingly frozen – continue spinning like lyrical and living sculptures.

These images froze life to better prolong it. To immortalize nature is quite different from what the French call without any apparent reason nature morte, or literally «dead nature.»

Here, they appear in time suspended, a moment frozen for all eternity. More appropriate than the French, the English still life does more justice than the French word to the life still resonating within.”

-about the photograph Still Life

Created by perfumer Dora Arnaud, Still Life includes notes of yuzu, elemi, pink pepper, black pepper, Sichuan pepper, star anise, Galbanum, Dark Rum, Cedarwood and Ambrox.

Still Life opens on a sparkling note of yuzu, with its characteristic bitter brightness, along with peppery spices. Soon a rum note in heart makes the perfume seem grown up and give the impression of a cocktail. A Mojito maybe – citrus, green leaves (that is the galbanum waving softly from the sidelines), rum, ice cubes clinking, beads of moisture slowly running down the sides of the glass… Still Life in its early stages is positively giddy, you almost hear it giggling, having a blast at that party.

Like a cocktail on a hot night, the perfume becomes slowly warmer, the ice is melting and different aspects of the cocktail come to the fore. The yuzu recedes, although never quite leaving and thus keeping the freshness to the very last moment, and warmer, woody notes emerge. I make out cedar and a lot, a whole lot of ambrox.

Still Life leans a bit masculine, it is angular and straightforward way, although it wears certainly great on both men and women.

The photograph that inspired Still Life depicts a 3D object, a sphere, on a 2D object, a postcard. This peculiar flatness is present for me in the drydown. Ambrox has little depth, it is more broad and wide than deep, it is more piece of paper than sphere.

I love my perfumes more three dimensional, but I am impressed with the artistic translation of the photographic template into an olfactory experience.

Still Life by Frederic Lebain

Still Life is only superficially a happy, go lucky scent. That cocktail party ends in intense, but intimate discussions by the fireplace. Low but insistent voices, carrying a range of emotions, talking deep into the night.

Still Life lives from its contrasting nature. Dynamic, and at the same time suspended in time, sparkling and vital, and at the same time flat and still.

It is true to its name after all, since both aspects are in there: still life, a contradiction in itself.

Image source: press kit http://www.olfactivestudio.com

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This entry was posted in Citrus, Fragrance Reviews, Olfactive Studio, Woods and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Cocktail Hour In Two Dimensions – Review: Olfactive Studio Still Life

  1. angie Cox says:

    Great review Birgit , sadly Rum makes me sick in any form …and me married to a guy from Barbados !!!

  2. This one sounds nice, I’m yet to find a proper yuzu scent, most just smell vaguely cirtrussy. I’m encouraged by the fact that you say the note is bright and bitter. Sounds like it’s one to try :D

  3. lady jane grey says:

    Hm, Yuzu and Rum – now that looks interesting (I love Yuzu – both, in food and parfume…). It also sounds like loads of pepper (scary…)

  4. Tara says:

    I must get familiar with the Yuzu note, I tried Yuzu Fou once but can’t bring it to mind. On the other hand, the scent of rum I love and know well!

  5. Pingback: The Last Days Of Winter – Review: Olfactive Studio Lumière Blanche | Olfactoria's Travels

  6. R says:

    I really like your reviews :) I think you manage to catch the essence of perfumes while making them interesting for everyone. Great job at that!
    I have a decant of Flash Back on my way and I’ll hope to write a little review for it as soon as I get to wear it a bit. I’d be curious to share it with you when it’s done to see what you think too, and also looking forward to your review. Bring it on :)

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  10. Pingback: Still Life by Dora Baghriche-Arnaud for Olfactive Studio 2011 « AustralianPerfumeJunkies

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