18 Jan 2012
( 4/5 )
Odyssey, released last November, is the latest solid perfume from French/Lebanese house Feniqia, and costs 22 euros for two 20g cakes.
Feniqia specialises in hand-made soaps, but also produces a range of hammam-style accessories, bath salts, and these solid perfumes, which have a base of beeswax and olive oil. You can rub them on your skin, leave them in a room diffuser, or perfume your linen with them. They are all organic, paraben-free, paraffin-free and non-photosensitising.
Solid perfumes are among the most ancient ever produced, and they pack a heck of a punch for their small size, so I rate these Feniqia scents as a great discovery, especially for the price. They also last forever, as you only rub off a very little of the wax with each usage.
Odyssey has top notes of lime, middle notes of magnolia and base notes of incense but I must admit it was the floral notes that struck me first, and only then the citrussy undertone, which nevertheless remains present throughout.
When it goes on, the perfume is headily soapy and bathroom-smelling and I thought at first this would be a problem for me, but it quickly sweetened as the wax melted into my skin and the soft, white fragrance has great persistence and some throw before morphing into a warm, Somalian incense drydown.
Like the other perfumes in the range, the 'concrète' medium gives the fragrance a very skin-scenty feel, as if it was your skin itself producing the fragrance, rather than something you've applied. This is a quality that feels profoundly womanly and sexy.
I quickly became addicted to the last Feniqia solid perfume I tested - called Escape - but made the mistake (or not) of leaving it next to my watch strap, which picked up the scent and this has remained permanent. Very often, when I'm wearing some expensive perfume, I'll think how nice I'm smelling, and then realise it's actually my watch strap, and my other wrist doesn't smell anywhere near so good.
I have a feeling that the same is going to happen with this more lemony, lighter fragrance. Certainly, I took one cake for testing to a girls' night and was lucky to get away with my life. I ended up chopping it into eight parts and giving it away, as everyone pounced on it.
Odyssey is available from Feniqia's website, www.feniqia.com and organic shops such as Madesmoiselle Bio.