Monday 20 May 2024

SOAPY HEART by Shloksha

A bottle of the perfume Soapy Heart by Shloksha
One of the continuing trends in the niche fragrance market is the appearance of the “self-taught perfumer”. Originally you had to go to one of the established perfumery schools, or work under a master perfumer, to perfect your sensory muscles, but all of that has now changed. With the ever-increasing online courses, as well as in-person taster sessions, the secret layers of the industry are being peeled away to allow a more diverse offering to customers who are hungry for originality. Now, the results from self-taught perfumers are very variable, but the release of Soapy Heart by Shloksha shows what’s possible with commitment.

“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”, is a phrase that could arguably be everyone’s mantra through their lifetime, and especially when it comes to creating and releasing fragrances. The market is already oversaturated and, with the best will in the world, most “new” perfumes have been done before. So, it does take a very clever perfumer to create a fragrance that both has its own space in the current offerings while also having a recognisable hook that draws the customer in. However, if you do decide to have a go, then my advice is practice, practice and then practice again!

When Jay Patel started his journey into the world of perfumery, it came from an Indian heritage that had seen him surrounded by what he describes as “a tapestry of flowers, customary rituals, aromatic cuisines, and spices”. It was this idea of evocative ingredients combining to create story-driven fragrances that he would eventually instil into his debut collection of twelve perfumes. It was a confident launch, especially when most companies debut with three or four fragrances, but he had a strong desire to present a statement collection that “transcends borders” and “infuses artistry into everyday life”.

A bottle of the perfume Soapy Heart by Shloksha
There are the full range of fragrance families within the Shloksha collection, from green right through to gourmand, but I was drawn in the spicy floral direction. Soapy Heart is described as being inspired by “long forgotten sensual soap”, and it really does conjure up the depth of fragrance that used to be present in those gloriously frothy bars, but with a nudge towards naughtiness. This is a fascinatingly embracing scent and, while sandalwood has been used many times to create a soap-like aroma, it is used here as an anchor for so much more. So, if you’re looking for some bewitching bubbles, it’s time to discover Soapy Heart.

The fragrance opens with an initial burst of sharp green bergamot and sweetened mandarin, but even at this point there’s a resinous oud starting to come through. It gains prominence as the strident jasmine appears, robustly displaying its animalic facet, before a hint of thyme adds an aromatic edge that really helps to cut through the scent’s density. The blending of saffron with sandalwood definitely gives you that soapy quality, but with an added golden shimmer, so the spiciness has a warmth rather than a coldness. With the final fade being the sandalwood and the oud, along with a touch of labdanum-dosed amber, you are treated to a sensuous dry down that hints at naughty nights in need of soap rather than humble handwashing.

Soapy Heart is available from the Shloksha website at priced at £35 for 15ml and £55 for 30ml. It’s also available as part of the Fun Discovery Set which is priced at £36 for 6x 2ml samples. [Sample provided by Shloksha]

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