Monday 18 October 2021

LOUDO by Sarah Baker Perfumes

The idea of using childhood as the inspiration for a fragrance is always going to be fraught with dangers, quite simply because everyone’s childhood is different. What resonates with one person may not be familiar to another. Add into the mix a fashionable ingredient and you also have a second level of preconceived ideas that carries the potential to disappoint. So, when Sarah Baker announced that her latest fragrance would combine childhood memories and oud, there was a definite intake of breath. Could the inspiration and the ingredient really be brought seamlessly together and offer something truly original?

I’ve said before that the route to launching a perfume company is as varied as the scents themselves, and this definitely applies to Sarah Baker. A renowned multimedia artist, who has worked in pretty much every medium, launching her own perfume brand seemed the natural progression in such a varied career. She formed Sarah Baker Perfumes in 2015, following a highly successful scented art exhibition, and went on to launch an impressive thirteen fragrances. However, 2021 has seen number fourteen arrive in the form of Loudo and, in true Sarah Baker style, it promises a mix of innocent and evocative aromas.

Most of us, at one time or another, played the board game Ludo. It involves moving your brightly coloured pieces around the board and, as usual, being the first to get all of yours to the final square. Sarah wanted to take the idea of these innocent childhood games, and also the joy at rediscovering them in the attic as an adult, and weave it into a scent that looked both forward and back. This idea of your childhood shaping your future, and often through play, became the brief for the fragrance, and the task of realising it fell to Chris Maurice.

Chris is no stranger to Sarah Baker Perfumes, having created Symmetry in 2020, but this would be his first extrait for the brand. He is one of the directors of Carbonnel, a leading Spanish perfume manufacturer, and his list of credits is impressive. From Xerjoff to Nishane, and Zoologist to Neandertal, he has a refined and polished style. There does seem to be an oud theme that runs through many of his creations though, and so this also made him the perfect choice. With a promise to magically reveal the child in the adult, Loudo (which playfully combines Ludo and oud) takes me back to a childhood spent in Cornwall.

Loudo opens with the aroma that you get when you enter a house that has been shut up, or a forgotten attic, with its notes of aged cognac wood and powdery dust. Within this is a wonderfully aromatic citrus blend of bergamot, neroli and petitgrain, but there’s also a childhood cherry note that hints at carefree summers. The Cornish link for me is the arrival of a stone-like quality that is reminiscent of abandoned mines and fern-covered walls, but the appearance of the resinous oud adds a modern touch without dominating that aged quality. With a sweetened labdanum amber blend appearing at the end, Loudo is the scented embodiment of “give me the child and I will show you the man”.

Loudo is available from the Sarah Baker Perfumes website at priced at £120 for 50ml or £6 for 2ml. [Sample provided by Sarah Baker]

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