Quartz Quantic 17.8 image by Ermano Picco© from Pitti Fragranze
The Glaive sparkles, the golden swords twirl
Gold of Mary
and the two Suns dance
Benevolent intent is a silent language
The Forty precedes the Rebirth Flame — Olivier Durbano
Olivier Durbano, image Olivier Durbano
Jeweler and artist Olivier Durbano is one of today’s most poetic perfumers. His Pierre Poemes, or Stone Poems series, which began in 2004 with the release of the stunning Rock Crystal, is premised on the spiritual and physical properties of the gemstones with which he crafts his pieces. His seventeenth fragrance, Quartz Quantic, is a fragrance of gold; of brilliant but beneficent light, of marigold flowers giggling in the breeze, of living things reaching towards the sun. It is a comforting, lovely citrus-incense with aromas of conifers, resins and herbs, and a soulful rosy heart.
image by Olivier Durbano©
Olivier Durbano Quartz Quantic shares a strong kinship with last year’s Aram. When I first smelled Quartz Quantic, I had a sense of Aram’s imprint, like the after-image of something seen in bright light after you close your eyes. The two fragrances share a bright, citrusy opening and rosy heart, and a deep sense of optimism. But Aram is terrestrial, reaching back into antiquity, with its dusty roads, seaworn shells, and cracked wood. Quartz Quantic does not look back. Where Aram is like a plane taxiing on a runway, gathering momentum for something that has not quite happened yet, Quartz Quantic takes off. It expands the gleaming top notes of its sibling with pine and wildflowers, heading towards the sky.
The fragrance begins with a tingly citrus-pine and the woodsy smell of tree bark, closely followed by the comforting aromas of frankincense and resin. By deploying an undercurrent of contrasting cooling notes that filter in gradually and unobtrusively throughout the first half of the fragrance, the bright, warm notes of bergamot, marigold (which smells herbal and a bit mulchy), and hyssop stand out memorably throughout the fragrance’s trajectory, and, along with the nursery milk sweetness of tonka bean give Quartz Quantic a continuous, almost rhythmic sensation of warmth.
Sunset image courtesy of Olivier Durbano
Durbano is a deeply spiritual person and evocations of the holy are always present in his fragrances, often conveyed through different forms of incense as well as through plants that have Biblical significance. Dominating the heart of Quartz Quantic is a gentle rose – a centuries-old metaphor for the Virgin Mary – which makes a tender centerpiece around which the herbal, citric and tree notes dance. The rose is unobtrusive; in fact, it takes me a while to discern that it is the soft, floral scent of the mid-section. But its presence is important, cushioning the heart of the fragrance against the medicinal facets of kunzea ambigua, a Tasmanian plant related to tea tree, and the chilliness of cypress and pine.
photo by Ermano Picco ©
As time goes on, Quartz Quantic becomes more aromatic, spicier, but stays luminous and lively. The flowers step back a bit, and Durbano’s incense becomes a coda to the dry-down. There’s a song from the musical, “Pippin,” called Morning Glow that implores:
“Morning glow, fill the earth
Come and shine for all you’re worth
We’ll be present at the birth
Of old things looking new. Morning glow is long past due.”
Quartz Quantic is like that. It looks toward tomorrow with gleaming eyes and soulful heart. As Durbano told me, “For a year … I have felt a great awakening.” Wearing his quietly joyful Quartz Quantic, for a few moments, I feel it, too.
Notes: Scots pine needle, oliban essence, bergamot, hyssop, kunzea ambigua, marigold, Damascus rose, magnolia, musk, nargamotha, tonka bean, oliban resin.
Disclaimer: Sample of Quartz Quantic kindly provided by Olivier Durbano. My opinions, as always, are my own.
Lauryn Beer, Senior Editor
photo by Ermano Picco©
Thanks to the generosity of Olivier Durbano, we have a 100 ml bottle of of Olivier Durbano Quartz Quantic for one registered reader EU or USA. To be eligible, please leave a comment saying what appeals to you about Quartz Quantic, where you live and whether you have a favourite Olivier Durbano perfume. Draw closes 10.4.2021.
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