Watch the dryads dance under the Arctic light.
Grapefruit, coconut milk, cedar, patchouli, sandalwood.
Liquides Imaginaires has been around as a brand since 2012. It is the brainchild of Philippe De Meo and David Frossard. Their website describes this French brand as imagining a new relationship to scent, “based on the spiritual, mystical, symbolic and emotional virtues”. Of course.
They do mention myths and legends a couple of times in their bio, which is littered with perfume-language and semi-esoteric sentences, but art based on old stories interests us here at The Sniff, so we thought we would take a deeper dive into the first scent we experienced from their line.
We felt that if you liked Tumultu you may also like Flashback in New York by Olfactive Studio, or Santo Incienso Sillage Sacre by The Different Company.
The first time we smelled Tumultu by Liquides Imaginaires was in a tiny perfume shop in the heart of a bustling European capital city. Traffic roared by on the road outside and the fog of city-life hung over us as we wandered around on a warm summer’s day. This is important to mention, because Tumultu has significant powers to transport you to a different time and place, and this was apparent from the first sniff.
The opening notes of Tumultu are bright, searingly white, dry and full of raw power. Suddenly we were no longer in a shop in a city, instead we were walking in the foothills of the mountains of Northern Scandinavia, on the edge of a forest, with the blinding thin sunshine of very late autumn streaming down from a clear blue sky. Tumultu evokes that line between autumn and winter, when everything slows down as temperatures drop and the air hovers around freezing point. It’s a sharp, focussed and very confident opening, with the cedar coming through strongly, along with cool spices like cardamon. At times there was a hint of something akin to fresh sweat, just fleetingly, and it’s easy to imagine that this is referencing the eroticism mentioned in the marketing blurb for the scent.
Imagine the scene…
You’re out walking on the edge of the woods, it’s late, it’s cold, the light is fading, frost is starting to crystallise on the silvery bark of the tree trunks and out of the corner of your eye you catch a movement. You tell yourself it’s a fox, but turn your head nevertheless. The light is almost gone now and your heartbeat quickens as the trees around you sparkle in the frosty light. And then they begin to move. Twisting and turning their trunks and branches as if dancing to music only they can hear. You drop to your knee, as silent as possible, wondering if you are going mad, your breath coming in smoky plumes as the night draws on. The trees grow lifelike as they dance, bodies writhing where trunks once were, branches becoming arms as they shake the frost from their fingertips. You’ve never seen such majesty before, such beauty, such confident movement. You are bewitched.
And that is what the heart of Tumultu smells like. This is dry woods that writhe and dance as you try and capture their scent. There is still a bright, cold tone to the whole perfume, but it warms as it rises away from the skin. The coconut gives a rounded dryness to the composition which enhances the prolific woody notes. And throughout the whole scent there is a really powerful vibe. It’s not a stupidly loud scent, but it has this spine of strength running through it that commands attention.
There’s a metallic, sinuous thread which appears in the base of Tumultu, like steel encircling the trees, capturing them somehow. The spices are still there, as are the woods, but the vibrant energy of the dance has slowed, the trees are becoming still again, your senses are returning and your head has stopped spinning. What appeared as a nymph is now just a tree again. You rise to your feet, stamp the cold from your boots and continue towards home. The feeling that you witnesses something unreal, something quite special will follow you all the way.
The other stuff
The sillage of Tumultu is good, going to around or just beyond handshake distance. The longevity is also great too, lasting a good 8-10 hours after a morning application at least.
In terms of the gender of this scent, we felt that it sat towards the more masculine side of the spectrum. As always though, if you like it then wear it whoever you are or what gender you identify with.
Tumultu would be a great scent to wear if you wanted a bit of extra confidence for a job interview or date night because of that sense of sureness it has. It’s sophisticated without being brash, and confident without being overly cocky. People will smell it on you without being overpowered by it. It feels like an expensive scent to wear, but in a luxurious rather than challenging way.
Finally, the presentation of the Liquides Imaginaires line is worth a mention, as it is rather beautiful. The straight bottles are topped with a beautiful, flared silver cap. Very elegant indeed.
Tumultu is available from the Liquides Imaginaires web boutique where it is priced at €175 for 100ml. You can also buy it from Jovoy Mayfair, where it is priced at £160 for the 100ml bottle. Jovoy Mayfair kindly gave us a no-strings-attached sample of this scent.