“Light filters into the temple in luminous shafts. The sound of running water connects this moment to the outside. A plume of incense smoke signals a timeless, wordless peace. But whilst tranquility reigns, the rush of bergamot and pink berries reminds us of all of Life and its pulsing beat. The sacred resin Oliban blends into one with the omnipresent incense and a milky-skin deep accord. Garlands of Himalayan Jasmine, God’s own flower, hang ready outside, for the wedding festival to adorn the heads of guests. The jasmine, blends with the incense and lifts with light the sombre vetiver and the fragrant Indian sandalwood. Another sign of the sacred, and of Life.”
Top Notes: Bergamot, Palo Santo Essence, Pink Pepper Pure J.Ess™
Heart Notes: Incense & Olibanum Essences, Milk Accord, Sambac Jasmine Absolute
Base Notes: Vetiver Essence, Sandalwood, Suede, Fir Balsam Absolute
Be still my beating heart! I love Penhaligon’s Trade Routes Collection with all my heart! There are so many great fragrances which have come out of this collection; As Sawira, Halfeti, Lothair and Empressa to name just a few. Penhaligon’s Agarbathi is another fine fragrance to add to that list. It is the counterpart to Paithani, which I reviewed here: both fragrances are inspired by a fantasy journey to India. Agabathi was created with men in mind, Paithani for the ladies. Although both fragrances are unisex.
Forgive me, I’m about to sound like a fickle blogger. Let me explain… As soon as I smelt Paithani I adored it, the rich spices, the smoky incense, oud, teas and milky almond deliciousness. I mean, it’s just stunning! However, I then tried the slightly more masculine scent of Agarbathi and I have to admit, I actually prefer this one. Don’t get me wrong, I love them both, I’ve been wearing them both a lot lately, but I think for me, Agarbathi has the edge.
Agarbathi is a hot, smoky dream! It opens with smoky citrus bergamot, spicy pepper and a heady mix of oud and incense. The heart rich, deep, dark and textured, but it’s lifted and brightened with the jasmine absolute, milk accord and traces of citrus in the bergamot. The base is hot, dry and woody with notes of vetiver, sandalwood, suede and the balsam from fir trees. Whilst I love Paithani for it’s exotic Indian accords mixed with tea, sweet roses, rich vanilla and milky accords, it’s got more of a celebratory and sweet feel to it. Whereas, Agarbathi is hotter, dryer, sexier and more woodsy and leathery. It’s got more of an exploratory feel to it, like being lost in the middle of a vast market, filled with antiques, leather tanneries, vast arrays of spices, dried florals, incense, oud, amber and teas. Both are a slice of Indian wanderlust, make sure you head into a Penhaligon’s store soon to try both of these, they are both so special and so exciting! Comment below or tweet me to let me know which is your favourite, because although Agarbathi is my favourite, I still have a huge soft spot for Paithani.