The old blind soothsayer’s breath fell upon the sands that were spread over the silver plate. The glittering grains moved slowly, almost imperceptibly. The Princess, daughter of the Caliph of Baghdad leaned closer to the shifting sands to see a shape begin to appear, the shape of a perfect rose.
“The sands foretell my princess, the one who will win your heart and your hand; he shall be the first to touch the rose.”
The thief Ahmed perched in the highest branch of an agar tree that stretched out over the palace walls watched his beloved receive her fortune. She whom he loved from afar since his eyes first beheld her veiled beauty in the bazaar of the silk merchants, she who was so far above him, she whom he dare not dream of.
“The rose?” the Princess looked up into the face of the blind man.
“Yes the rarest rose in the garden of your father, the Persian Rose of Ispahan.”
The Princess glanced across the garden of her father and beheld the perfection of pink and perfume which was the very rose the soothsayer spoke of. There by the palace wall near the old agar tree set in a planter made of sandalwood it bloomed in the sun. Its beauty only surpassed by its magical aroma that filled the garden.
“How can that be?” The princes looked back to the old teller of impossible tales. “No man but my father is allowed near his precious rose. It is forbidden to all but him.”
“There is one, I see him, and he is very near. Even now my Princess, even now he knows of this rose. The having of it is the key to unlock your love. He will bring the rose to you in the lowly leather satchel of a thief.”
The Princess laughed and dropped three silver coins in the hand of the soothsayer. “A thief? You are mad my dear old one. Sweet and full of fantasies but quite mad. Now off with you and come back tomorrow to tell my fortune again.”
Ahmed watched as the ancient blind one was lead away by the princess’s servant. He watched as the princess walked though the garden past the green patchouli and the fragrant labdanum flowers. When she came to the Rose of Ispahan she bent down to smell it and as she did, one tear fell from her cheek onto the perfect petal of the rose.
“If only it were true.” She whispered. “Allah, please make it so.”
That night in the cover of a moonless sky with only the light of the stars to guide him the thief Ahmed again climbed the agar tree. With the aid of a magic rope he had stolen from a magician in the marketplace he dropped silently into the garden of the Caliph. He easily moved along the shadows of the blue night to where the rose grew. In one swift moment he snatched the bloom from the bush and gently placed in into his leather satchel
“Who’s there?” a voice rushed across the darkness. The Princess stood at the gate of the garden holding a sputtering golden lamp. Ahmed turned and smiled.
* * *
Oud Ispahan by Christian Dior is a tale from the Arabian Nights. The perfume that Scheherazade might wear to tell her tales to the King and in so doing weave an even more enchanting spell over him. It is also the perfect rose scent for a thief of Bagdad to steal and wear to woo a princess. It is magical.
In this floral oriental there is all the beauty and splendor to be found in the gardens and bazaars of the Near East. The rarest and most romantically pungent and intoxicating oud is at the center of this fragrance. For it is all about the oud and the tale it tells here in conjunction with the other notes. This base note is the solid foundation upon which all else is presented. The perfume opens with the lush and overtly sensual labdanum (the very scent Madame de Pompadour used to seduce King Louis XV) it is rich and wonderful and smells of sexy warm flesh. A garden of exceptionally wonderful patchouli comes in to warm the middle and plays counterpoint to the song sung by the labdanum. Up then from the base floats the beautiful Damascus rose and very fine sandalwood.
(The Damascus Rose used in Oud Ispahan)
This rose, sandalwood and oud are fantastic together. Out of the bottle or sprayed on a blotter it is beautiful. When it hits the skin it is a perfume of resplendent rose and agar wood oud of the most perfect creation. It is miraculous.
The perfume has a wonderful life that lasts on my skin for many hours and even the next morning it lingers close to the skin in the most delightful and inviting way. As if calling you back for one more night in the garden of the Caliph. The projection is good but not overwhelming if you apply it with restraint; which is hard to do since it is so delicious upon the first application.
The entire Dior Privée Colletion
For me this is one of the top perfumes in the truly magnificent presentation by Christian Dior of the Privée line of fragrances. A masterpiece by a house I am coming to love even more with every new foray into each of their perfumes.
OUD ISPAHAN FIVE PLATINUM STARS *****