Notes: Rose Absolute, Frankincense, Black Pepper and White Woods, Caraway and Mandarin Petitgrain.
As you may know, a few years ago beauty and perfume blogger Louise Woollam of Get Lippie experienced the nightmarish olfactory dysfunction, parosmia. She lost her sense of smell after a cold but when it came it back, nothing smelled as it should and most things smelt absolutely awful. You can see her talking about this traumatic time in her life tonight in Episode 5 of Incredible Medicine: Dr Weston’s Casebook on BBC Two at 9pm.
The fragrance Paradox was created with perfumer Sarah McCartney in a successful attempt to make a scent Louise could actually enjoy at this very dark time. It was a lovely, chilled, green violet perfume with a touch of lavender and spine of orris.
Now, to celebrate her sense of smell returning to normal, they have reunited to make the spicy oriental Louise has always wanted. The result is Parallel which again is available from 4160 Tuesdays. I love how, like most of the perfumes, you can get it in a 30ml bottle.
The mood boosting, citrus green-ness of mandarin petitgrain characterises the opening of Parallel and it feels like a fitting start to the optimistic story this perfume is telling. Louise must have felt such excitement as well as relief when things started to smell as they should once again.
The core of Parallel is a combination of peppery resin and almost creamy orange. It starts out punchy and invigorating and smooths out to create a constant, orange-tinted resinous buzz. It’s backed up by soft cashmere woods and just a splash of rose. This isn’t an all-natural perfume but there’s something about its simplicity and oil-like quality on the skin that reminds me of one.
Those wary of big orientals need not fear as Parallel stays close to the body. Far from being overwhelming, I find it extremely easy to wear and I’m not drawn to this genre usually.
It’s lovely that Sarah and Louise came together once more under much happier circumstances to create a perfume which completes this scented story. I’m looking forward to seeing the tale being told on tonight’s programme which is all about those with rare conditions. It also features a man whose bones are stronger than granite and a woman with two wombs.
It will serve as an important reminder that even if you can’t triumph over a medical condition you can always find ways around obstacles in order to live a life truly worth living. This is something I try to tell myself every day.