Thursday 1 November 2018

THURIBLE by Rook Perfumes

When a new perfume company launches it can follow one of two paths, a sudden burst into the public consciousness or a slow and steady growth. The latter could be argued to be the more successful, because it develops a loyal customer base, and this can definitely be said of the new boy on the block, Rook Perfumes. Started in May 2018, and now boasting a collection of eight fragrances, this self-taught perfumer has impressed with the variety of scents in his catalogue and also his wonderful disregard for convention. It’s time to see what Nadeem Crowe, the founder of Rook Perfumes, has to offer.

Perfumers come from many different backgrounds and it’s this diversity that can create such a wonderful array of fragrances. It’s true that you can be taught the tricks of the trade but how you apply that knowledge is ultimately what will come through in the finished perfume. The difference between creative and technical can sometimes be likened to exciting and reliable in the world of fragrance and, whilst neither is wrong, we do tend to gravitate towards one or the other. A perfumer’s style will also tend to follow one of these courses, and that is ultimately why we become fans.

When Nadeem Crowe started creating fragrance it was, quite simply, because he couldn’t find what he was looking for from the regular companies. He felt that there was a lack of emotional connection, of communicated history, and also that “trend” really appeared to dominate over creativity. This is where the niche sector of the industry can really flourish because they ultimately decide what their own style will be. While it still needs to be accessible to their customers they also have the opportunity to experiment in ways that the large companies can’t, and this is exactly what Nadeem has done.

With a background as a doctor, and then as an actor, the experiences that Nadeem Crowe drew on when he launched Rook Perfumes were definitely unusual. There is theatricality in his collection and a wonderful feeling of expansiveness but, on the flip side, you also sense that these are carefully created snapshots. From engaging citrus though to earthy chypre, Nadeem has created a selection of scents that already has me curious as to what he will come up with in the future. However, out of the current collection of eight very different fragrances, the one that I want to introduce you to is called Thurible.

This fragrance is an evocative unisex celebration of incense that opens with an aromatic pairing of clary sage, black pepper and clove. The clove stays with you as you travel into the scent and, whilst you do get returning glimpses of rose, it’s the woody base where the magic really happens. Patchouli and oakmoss are very prominent but it’s the latter that seems to grab hold of the incense to give an added earthiness to this woody resin. A sultry labdanum slides into view at the end but the stars are definitely the clove, incense and oakmoss. Is it a fougère or is it a chypre? You decide.

Thurible is available from the Rook Perfumes website at and is priced at £49.50 for 30ml. [Sample provided by Rook Perfumes]

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