“A meditation on contentment.” That’s how I described Trayee, Bertrand Duchaufour’s perfume for Neela Vermeire Creations, back in March (click through to read the interview with Neela).
It was a surprise to me to go back and read that description when I started writing this post. I hadn’t worn Trayee in several months, until recently when I remembered its calming quality and put it into heavy rotation. Lately, each time I wear it I think of my Grandma N’s house. Newspaper, tea, cough drops, soap, vitamins, black coffee, honey, cut flowers, library books, mouthwash. All my scent memories of her house juxtapose sharp smells against smells with much softer edges.
Trayee is like that too. Right up front, it broadcasts its intentions when it takes creamy and comforting cardamon into medicinal territory by pairing it with sharper and more bitter herbs and woodsy notes. It isn’t jarring; it’s energizing.
I found it interesting, reading my description, that I associated it with two qualities that were strong in my Grandma—contentment and an ability to be introspective without being insular—but didn’t connect Trayee’s actual notes with her until now.
I often experience perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour’s fragrances as being “hyper clear.” Each of the notes that I can pick out feels to me like it is shouting its name, but somehow the whole is harmonious too. Trayee is like this for me. Cedar, cardamom, currant, jasmine, vanilla, and oud are all present and accounted for. The notes are not so much blended as stacked. You know how when you press a flower between the pages of the book, the paper doesn’t just smell like the flower or like a mix of flower and paper, but instead it feels like you are smelling the paper underneath the flower? That’s how Trayee smells to me. Like all these great notes are stacked on top of each other, and I can almost choose how many layers down the stack I want to smell. It’s fascinating, it’s weird, and it’s wonderful.
Neela Vermeire Creations and other companies which worked with Duchaufour have recently been caught up a little bit in Duchafour’s unfortunate decision to create a perfume for the daughter of the dictator of Uzbekistan (you can follow the story from Undina’s comment on it). I hope you won’t let Duchaufour’s choice prevent you from trying Trayee, if you haven’t. And I hope Duchafour will make more conscientious choices in the future.
Trayee was provided by Neela Vermeire Creations, with no obligation. As always, my opinions are honest and my own. More on the Media & Disclosure page. Image courtesy Gourmet.com.