Leisurely the veils lift and fall and curl in the fir perfumed air high above the valleys of India. Veils made of silk dyed a thousand years ago in saffron reds of the maharajahs golden yellows of the sheikhs and violets of the princesses of Persia. The worn but still splendid and nearly transparent with age the veils are all shot with golden threads. Here in the Himalayas in the abandoned palace of the fallen Chauhan there lingers a memory of the old gods of India. It is buried in the faded wall paintings of elephants and monkeys in jungle gardens stained with centuries of faded incense.
Occasionally someone stumbles upon the abandoned palace on their way to Kathmandu and beyond in search of fabled Shangri-La. When sudden twilight traps them here they crawl into sleeping bags laid out on old woven vetiver mats and turn to the walls against the bitter early spring cold night. They huddle in corners way from the broken sandalwood fretwork windows and fall into exhausted sleep. It is only then when the fever dreams of the searchers come upon their heavily closing eyes does this place reveal its secrets.
The painted monkeys awaken in the walls and begin to chatter as they eat petals of pink jungle roses and cardamom seeds and look down upon the sleeping visitors. Musk deer bound from one wall though a cracked plaster corner to the next. A bull Elephant trumpets a call to the herd to move deeper into the now steaming lush forest away from the river where the sage grows. A hundred or more eyes open within the green painted fronds of palm, bamboo and rubber trees. Brown kohl painted and deep the imperious eyes look down upon the mortals who have invaded their sacred palace. A far radiant and distant music, ethereal, primal and sensual comes from deep within the walls. The eyes in the forest fronds shift to the windows of the palace and the veils flutter separating the world within from the mountains of the Himalayas. The monkeys laugh like humans as the veils swirl to the music of the gods in seductive undulation. Within the silk shot with gold are a thousand dancers moving as one. The world of dreams is alive and floats inches above the sleeping men. Those mortals who paralyzed to myth and magic have forgotten how to dream.
Upon the touch of the henna orange fingers of the first rays of dawn the air stills. The veils fall straight again and the painted walls fade to amber hues and only the memory of burned incense hangs in a Morpheus cloud above the now stirring bodies of the strangers. Awake at first light to push on in search of Shangri-La not knowing they have just spent the night within its very walls.
Fever Pour Homme by Celine is a remembered dream of incense perfume. It lies lightly upon the skin where is stays close and soft. It opens with a fresh whiff of mountain sharp fir and a spicy sweet cardamom. This aromatic opening gives way fast to the lightly smoky incense which is the main focus of this perfume. Not heavy catholic incense but rather ethereal eastern and almost balmy incense. This note is made more interesting by the rose and at the same time tamed a bit by the dry influence of sage. There is a solid masculine dry down of a sturdy blending of sandalwood, patchouli, musk and vetiver toward the end it becomes paper dry.
Fever is not a spectacular oriental incense perfume but rather a dreamy dry woody spicy well blended perfume that is light enough to wear in close quarters and still get away with a touch of glamour in the burning of incense cones. For what it is, the silage is light thus it has the ability to capture the attention of those who come into close orbit. Once they are within range, say kissing range, the gravity of the perfume will pull them closer and you will more likely than not have a complement to deal with. The longevity is moderate, about five hours at most on me. A short duration for me is no problem. I enjoy the ceremonies involved of perfume application. There is a sensuous joy I find in that act.
In the end there is much to be said for a subtle touch in a perfume. This is a nice change of pace when you are feeling exotic but you don’t want to awaken the gods by ringing every gong in the temple.
FOUR GOLD STARS ****
(DHOOM TAANA from OM SHANTI OM 2007 INDIA