Composed by Sophie Labbé, Valentino Uomo Noir Absolu is a modern exploration of oriental intensity. The Italian elegance of Iris, the original Valentino signature, is transformed through the intimate richness of high perfumery. Translated through sandalwood, cinnamon, pepper, and a veil of incense, it is a mysterious and eloquent interpretation.
black pepper /pwavʁ/n. Piper Nigrum Madagascar
Christened as “King of Spices” or “Black gold”. ♦ Botanical: Grows on a vine which flowers produce delicate fruits, called peppercorns. ♦ Steam distillation of ripe berries. ♦ Fragrance notes: Sharp, bold, spicy, stimulating notes. ♦ The Arab conquest of Alexandria in 642 marked the beginning of commerce. ♦ Legendary past: black pepper was placed in Egyptian sarcophagi to accompany the pharaohs with their precious and magical properties. ♦ Roman heritage: used as an exquisite spice for Roman emperors banquets. On conquering Rome, the King of Visigoths, Alaric I, demanded pepper as part of the ransom. ♦ Pepper is small in quantity and great in virtue (Plato).
sandalwood/ˈsændlwʊd/ n. Santalum Spicatum Australia
Originally from tropical Asia. ♦ Liquid gold: That is what its admirers called it due to its value. ♦ Steam distillation of sandalwood roots and wood reduced to powder and dried out. ♦ Fragrance notes: Woody, sweet, powdery, smooth, milky notes. ♦ Dark wood: In the language of trees, sandalwood is synonymous with mystery. ♦ Venerable: It was part of the formula for embalming fluids used in temples dedicated to the deity Shiva. ♦ Eternal: It was used to build temples, divine sculptures, boxes and various objects, since insects were repelled by its scent. ♦ Its smoke is uplifting for the soul and promotes meditation.
cinnamon/ˈsi-nə-mən/ n. Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Madagascar
5,000 years old. ♦ Steam distillation of dried cinnamon bark. ♦ Fragrance notes: Fresh fruity top notes leading to spicy, powdery, sweet overtones of the bark. ♦ Protected: Only Salagama people were allowed to touch the cinnamon; others who dared to touch it risked punishment by death. ♦ Beloved: In 16th-century France, it was included in over half of all recipes. ♦ “Merchants gave this bark the name Cin-a-momum, since the two words mean ‘Chinese wood which smells good’.” — Thévenot's Voyages, Book 2: India (1689).
incense/ˈin-ˌsen(t)s/ n. Boswellia Carterii East Africa
Also known as olibanum. ♦ Prized by the gods and cherished by men. ♦ Steam distillation of aromatic resin obtained from exudation process of Boswellia trees. ♦ Fragrance notes: Spicy, woody, resinous, balsamic notes, redolent of churches. ♦ Celestial memory: In ancient Egyptian, the word senetecher, or incense, literally meant “that which makes divine”. ♦ More precious than gold: Many Arabic kingdoms got rich off the Incense Route. ♦ Divine wisps of smoke: It was used in the production of kyphi, a sacred incense of ancient Egypt. ♦ Of all scents, incense is clearly the one with the most prestigious history.
iris/ˈī-rəs/ n. Iris Pallida Italy
Originally from the Far East. ♦ In Greek: Refers to any luminous halo around a source of light. ♦ Extraction of volatile dried rhizome solvents to obtain the extract. ♦ Fragrance notes: Powdery, chocolate notes, with a refined floral dimension. ♦ Messenger of the gods: In ancient Greece, Iris’ voyages were so frequent that she created a bridge in the sky – the rainbow – to transport her messages from Mount Olympus to earth. ♦ Royal symbol: In France, it is known under the heraldic name fleur de lys. ♦ Beauty: Its coloured petals and iridescent glow led this flower to be called iris in the 13th century.