Xerjoff Oesel – nothing drew me towards this. I don’t like the name (it sounds really stupid in German, don’t you think Lady Jane Grey, Georgy and all who speak the language? I know it is a Baltic island, but still…) and it is prohibitively expensive. And truth be told, while I appreciate the quality and craftsmanship of the Xerjoff bottles, I don’t find them very attractive, that top could be a weapon in clumsy hands, my hands, some would say.
Casamorati Lira took me in though, and in its wake I tried other samples by Xerjoff that I had stashed in secret places around the house, lest I am tempted. I did not stash them securely enough apparently.
Why, oh why did I have to do that?
I should have been happy that I did not particularly like Kobe or XXY, or was not really wowed by Elle or 1861. Lua and Dhajala are lovely and nice, which at this price point can be a major disqualifying label.
But Oesel – okay, I am trying to rein myself in here, try to not swoon, to not be over the top in my descriptions. I have deleted numerous versions of this review, because it always ended in uncontested praise and heartache.
But there is no denying it, I have been nursing my two samples for days on end, relishing every tiny drop, screaming at my younger son when he tried to take it (I apologize, the poor child was not traumatized I hope, but is now trained not to put his little grabby hands on my Xerjoffs and received a compensatory banana), and delighting in wearing it as often as I can considering my limited resources.
I think now it is time to come clean.
Oesel is pure and unadulterated love. Oesel is a golden halo. Oesel is an aura of magic. Oesel is sunlight and warmth. Oesel is no holds barred beauty. Oesel is just wonderful.
There you are, that is me, restrained. 🙂
Oesel was created by Richard Melchio and includes notes of orange flower, Paraguayan petitgrain, Bulgarian rose, jasmine sambac, acacia, white flowers, Indian patchouli, cedar, and tobacco flower. It lasts about four hours and has a lovely, but tight sillage.
To me Oesel is dominated by something that smells like the perfect fusion of orange blossom and mimosa, a honeyed, round and enveloping smell that is bright and deep at the same time, happy and sad, there is plenty of golden light and a long dark shadow.
You may gather that, although I am trying hard, I find it impossible to review this in non-lyrical terms, they creep in immediately.
I want to say it smells like flowers, but I see fairies flitting around and golden bees buzzing. I want to say how lovely the tobacco note comes through, but I hear peals of laughter and I feel the warmth on my skin. I want to say how the base of woody patchouli serves as an anchor for the exuberant floral accord, but I sense the depth of the abyss it carries in its heart, the shadow it trails, it is all part of its beauty.
I am giving up now, there is no way this is going to be an impartial review. I am tired of deleting all I write for fear it is too emotional, too close, not helpful for anyone reading it.
And you know what, the only thing able to convey the beauty that Oesel is to me, is by smelling it and seeing for yourself. And I take full responsibility for enticing you, sadly I cannot accept responsibility for eventual consequences. Enter the golden world of Oesel at your own risk. (Tara asked for a disclaimer, here it is! 😉 )
Stupid name or not, I have fallen in love with Oesel, damn the consequences.