Vintages Vintage Ava Luxe “Luxe Edition” Review: Shisha

Vintage Ava Luxe “Luxe Edition” Review: Shisha

01/19/12 18:34:31 (9 comments)

by: Ida Meister


Created in 2007, Serena Ava Franco’s new parfum Shisha launched to highly mixed reviews. Ironically, that is clearly not how I felt about it—and when I sent it to a dear friend in Zurich, she enjoyed it as much as I did….



I can only assume that it felt polarizing to many, if the often brutal-sounding commentaries I read on the various perfume boards are to be believed! If one were searching for a workplace fragrance in which to fly under the radar—like some cloak of invisibility—then they were barking up the wrong tree.


Serena’s inspiration was the voluptuously fragrant, flavored tobacco enjoyed via hookah or Turkish water pipe, also known as narghiles. (Actually, the narghile’s origins have been claimed by many Near Eastern regions.)

These tobaccos were commonly infused with honey or molasses, spices, dried fruits,
and /or rose petals. (It has been many years since I last attempted to smoke a hookah… my memories were honey and fruit-reminiscent ;-) )

 


NOTES: tabac, honey, raisin, aubepine [aka hawthorn], Indian jasmine, amber, sandalwood, spices, incense, and musk.
 

Sampling Shisha resembles entering a waking dream state of both pleasure and meditation. It delicately conjures the very reasons for the narghile’s existence in the first place: conviviality, community, intimacy, the desire and ability to listen, and the continuation of oral tradition via the wondrous art of storytelling.



The dulcetly resinous base intones the many hues of flesh itself, a second-skin of carnal charmeuse. Colette remarks in her short story "Armande": “he could not shut out the smell of black hair and hot skin, the sandalwood smell that healthy brunettes exude…” It is this exquisite quality sandalwood wed to a fiercely animalic musk of quiet desperation that yields itself to the tenderness of aubepine and mesmerizing jasmine beloved by women of experience and maidens alike.

Spices, ambers, dried fruits have been used, time and again—but not like this. Unfulfilled desire borders on obsession; the mind endeavors to quiet itself through the stillness of contemplation. We succeed at taming neither. Under the perceived calm of a luscious diaphanous veil, the heart beats wildly, and the monkey mind will not relent.

We are left in limbo, where the mind and body refuse to reconcile. The narghile is passed, as each pauses to take stock of his own soul…   Brava, Serenochka.


N.B.: Sadly, this scent is no longer in production, but I wanted to share its unique beauty with you, dear readers.. To my best knowledge, I’ve not yet read a detailed review of it…
 


Images: Woman with hookah, original print on Ava Luxe website

Author: Ida Meister (chayaruchama) has been an avid collector and sniffeuse for over 40 years. She adores consulting and collaborating with niche, budding,and independent perfumers . Her hypervigilant nose has  been of great help  in her profession as a neuroscience/oncology nurse, where she often smells fear, suffering, stress, and can identify most micro-organisms, medications, stages of disease, and has written about the amygdala.

As a Senior and Natural Perfumery Editor, Ida has participated in many blog events with natural and mixed media perfumers and other writers. She has also been a teacher, translator, opera singer, dancer, and a caterer.
 

 



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yvashche
yvashche

Its not available...what's the point?

Jan
22
2014
oobunillaoo
oobunillaoo

thorough and enjoyable review. ava luxe fragrances are unique, inspired, and well executed.

viva is my absolute favourite.

Feb
06
2013
MsMaryO
MsMaryO

What a wonderful review!! Thank you so much. I hope I can still get this to add to my little Ava Luxe collection. I'm a huge fan of SL Chergui and Gucci 2002 version. Give me tabac and spices and I am in heaven.

Jan
20
2012
jeca
jeca

Thank you, Ida, and welcome back to Fragrantica ;o)))
I do wish to try this, but from your lovely description I realize that I live to quickly for this pleasure and meditation.

Jan
20
2012
NebraskaLovesScent
NebraskaLovesScent

Lovely review, Ida! I never got a chance to try this one before it was gone. It's a shame so many of Serena's best scents are no longer available. I hoard my last few drops of Midnight Violet, another great one.

Jan
20
2012
jenmeade
jenmeade

Wow, Ida, you make me want to sniff this even though I know it won't suit me at all! What a beautifully written review.

Jan
20
2012
ANGELICA07
ANGELICA07

I just can't believe someone would wanna smell like shisha ....

Jan
20
2012
lindy-fay
lindy-fay

Very interesting reading, thank you!

Jan
19
2012
naheed
naheed

Great review, Ida! When I read the lines “he could not shut out the smell of black hair and hot skin, the sandalwood smell that healthy brunettes exude…”, oh, it created a picture of women who, despite wearing no high-end fragrances, smell clean and divine with just the smell of sandalwood.

Jan
19
2012

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