I chanced upon Thirty Three by Ex Idolo through an odd set of occurrences but, as life often teaches you, the oddest chance happenings often lead to the nicest of surprises.
Firstly there’s the name. Flanked by a much larger font, you tend to be mistaken that the rich, dark Courvoisier brandy look juice in its modern Victoriana type bottle is named Ex Idolo. Indeed, many do. However, peering closely, in small lettering underneath lies it’s name – Thirty Three. It’s only then that things start adding up and making sense. ‘Ah-ha!,’ you think, ‘I get it now.’ It’s either relating to thirty-three ingredients or the juice is aged thirty-three years? You can see where I’m going with this. And Bingo! It refers to the vintage oud from which this svelte, smooth seducer is derived. Distilled in 1980 and aged until its release in 2013. It’s sounding distinctly like my re-found, mis-spent youth with the edges rounded off. It may just fit me perfectly.
If oud holds memories and matures like fine whisky or brandy, then Ex Idolo’s Thirty-Three is on to something in the perfume world. Thirty three is a heavenly, rich burst of thick rose oud with a sticky aftertaste of alcohol; the sexy kind, like rich, exclusive brandies left on tables in darkened gentleman’s clubs or book-filled drawing rooms with dark wood surroundings. Or, being Halloween, it brings to mind sticky, dark and golden toffee apples that reveal their bite after the first sweet crunch of surrender. There’s a lot going on in this perfume format garden of good and evil.
Simple in it’s complexity, It’s heavy and one tonal which is no bad thing. The gift that keeps on giving and is sure to attract comments for all the right reasons. There’s a whiff of sharp black pepper and syrupy, sugar-laden mandarin at first, which groans with intensity and releases the chinese rose, chinese tea and orris root. There’s a cold steely element that’s like a sword through this velvet haze that is Damascus steel which is the surprise element. But the overwhelming narcotic haze is of the rare vintage oud and the aged patchouli with a dash of sweet, spicy Heliotropin thrown in for good measure.
Thirty three conjures up all sort of richness. Plush silk velvets, spiced mulled wine, Christmas pomanders studded with cloves, mature brandies, sexy smooth silks and the promise of illicit goings on. Thirty-Three’s sensuality is its hint of decay and debauchery wrapped within its sweet, soft, exterior. Not unlike the women and men it will appeal to.
Thirty-Three by Ex Idolo is priced £90 (30ml) and available from Roullier White. Samples are available for £6.