Welcome back to the second half of my Osirian Purnima (OP) reviews! Y'all, I've put off reviewing these, because I just don't know if I have enough of a language to give them the accolades they deserve, but here we are, I'll continue along. They are really something special. All of my life, I'd loved incense, and to be able to wear a perfume that smells like incense (plus other amazing notes)? Yes, please. NA has done something truly incredible with these.
If you've already read Part One, found here, you can skip through these next few paragraphs, but I want to post the OP base and my little speech for anyone who might have come here first.All of the Osirian Purnimas (OPs, for short) have the same base, so from the website: "Each Osirian Purnima includes the original OP recipe in addition to the notes above for each individual perfume. The Osirian Purnima blend uses the most beautiful and exotic of ingredients, including the tuned recipe of Bastet’s Zamsara: An exotic Blue Incense blended into the dark sensuality of aged Kashmir in Mahogany wood and a drop of Santalum Black, Black Frankincense, Black Hessonite, Bastet's Amber and aged Eternal Ankh Vanilla Absolute. This was then blended into Purnima Incense: Blue Coriander, Italian Bergamot, Ambrette Musk, NA Incense Accord, Egyptian Cedar Chips, Palo Santo Chips and genus of three beautiful Frankincense Olibanum Resin: B. Carteri, B. Thurifera and B. Serrata. Solid Myrrh wood is then stirred in and taken out, leaving a trace element of sweet wood within the blend. Intoxicating blend of Labdanum Extract, Benzoin Syrup and Oakmoss stir in the incense ephemeral element to the blend. Five Sandalwood perfume oils swirl throughout the Osirian."
The labels are gorgeous. They're done by Trista Musco, an artist from New Orleans. If you click on my photo up top, you can have a closer look. Little, beautiful works of art, representing each God or Goddess. All the names are from the Egyptian pantheon.
A caveat: The components of this series are delicate due to the very nature of the oil compositions with their finite incense notes of absolute, essential and steam distilled nature. Travel really disturbs them. The impulse is to open them and at least sniff them, if not try them immediately, but they're going to be very off. Whenever I get a new OP, I won't even open it for a week. It's entirely up to you, of course, but I would hate for someone to get the wrong impression and miss out on something special. When they first came out, this was the one request Seth had for us, to please give it a few days, so as to have a proper first introduction. I have also found that giving these a full month aging really changes them. I was a little underwhelmed at first by OP Pakhet, my first choice of the series, and I didn't understand what I was missing. Everyone had rave reviews. So I stuck it away in a dark box, and went back to it about a month after I got it. The change was mind blowing - it was an incredible scent, far from underwhelming! /soapbox
Okay, there we go! Information passed along, let's get started on these last five Gods and Godesses, shall we?
OP ANUBIS: Guardian of the Necropolis, protector of the dead – With Underworld Oudh (unreleased ICON) at the base of this perfume with Black Frankincense and Black Myrrh ruminating through smoke, the Guardian of the Necropolis protects his dead with the incense of dark wood and rich incense smoke. Ooof, Anubis is absolutely brimming with deep resins. The myrrh is beautifully sweet, balancing the almost citrusy frankincense. Smoky incense provides a counter to the sweet. I bet Underworld Oudh would have been incredible, because the glimpse I get of it here sure does intrigue me. If you've got the SL Ember, it reminds me the tiniest bit of that - but it's much more complex. I adore Ember, so this was definitely one I'd wanted, and it doesn't disappoint. Mesmerizing, and yet so cozy.
OP BABA: God of aggression and controller of darkness – Black Musk & Nag Champa are the wild animal tamed only by a God. Oh, how do I love the various nag champas NA does, and this one is no exception. The black musk is so plush here, it's a wonderful juxtaposition against the nag champa, which is of course perfect with the OP base. I used to be scared of black musks, they can be so overwhelming and strident, but Nocturne Alchemy has by far the best I've ever smelled, it's just so appealing to me. It doesn't drown out the more delicate incense notes, but rather enhances them in a beautiful dance. And this one has special meaning to me, it's the name of an ancient Mesopotamian healing Goddess, and I have always had a connection to her, so I was really drawn to this. It was my third OP, and I wear this a lot when I am doing meditation or ritual work. It really helps with focus.
OP OSIRIS: God of the dead, God of the afterlife and resurrection into eternal life. Black Amber Incense is the base of this God of the afterlife, the resurrection of scent comes in the billow of incense and dark amber notes. This one is really close to my heart. I was pretty distraught when Laura, a dear friend and invaluable member of the Nocturne Alchemy community, passed away last year. I probably wore this for a solid month, it brought me so much comfort. Osiris is the dark amber version of OP Isis, there's a wonderfully fresh amber here, it's almost sweet, but it's a deep, viscous and mysterious. It's balanced against a smoky note and the OP base, a beautiful incense with this. It curls around you in a fragrant warmth. There's a feel of protection and comfort here.
OP SET: God of Chaos, Storms and Darkness; Lord of Sepermeru – With NAVA Egyptian Temple Oudh at the base of this perfume, the chaos of incense and rich dark smoky woods permeates this God of storms and darkness. Set has one of my all-time favorites featured, Egyptian Temple Oudh. I've raved and raved about this Icon, so I'm sure regular readers know how much it has my heart. Here are the notes: "A more intense Oudh that softens over time on the skin. Egyptian Agarwood Oudh is represented here and it is recommended for first time Oudh enthusiasts to inhale from the bottle softly or fan the open bottle toward you with your hand to catch the nuances of smoking embers, dried honeycomb and sandalwood." It's a smoky, deep, and a little sticky wood, and my bottle is so thick at this point, it's almost gummy. And I adore it. If this sounds pretty amazing to you, I really encourage you to get a bottle of OP Set and age it - it's one that I would more firmly advocate needs a good long time to come into its own, but I promise it's worth it to sock it away in a dark corner of a box and just walk away. Set is pretty simply Egyptian Temple Oudh and incense, but it's an experience. The incense adds a subtle sweetness to it, but it doesn't take away that incredible, deep dark sensuous smoke and wood. For me, this is like going into a temple at night. There are piles of smoky, fragrant incense, and immediately you are drawn away from your daily worries, and into a sacred space where you are calm and at peace. It's wonderful for meditating, but of course, I wear it more often than that. This one might possibly be my favorite, but of course I can't make that decision, I love them all so much.
OP SOBEK: Alchemist against evil, protector from crocodiles and the Lord of Faiyum; controller of waters – deep blood red Kashmir and Crimson musk flow throughout the OP perfume. Two of my favorite musks ever, combined with incense. Of course I love Sobek! Unapologetic, sexy red musk of Kashmir, against the cleaner, brighter red musk of Crimson. What a great combination here. So appealing! The incense base definitely provides a balance for Kashmir, which can be absolutely full speed, no stop - here, you're able to get all three aspects, and that's really awesome. However, if you're looking for a softer musk scent, this is definitely not it. This is definitely a warm red scent, and it isn't shy. I get a lot of compliments from random strangers when I wear this - people find it very appealing, and unusual.
I forgot something, and I feel like it's important to add this in. So, the OPs are all quite potent - especially aged. They last a wonderfully long time on me, and they are not in any way skin scents - a little does go a long way. I would start out with a light hand, and if you want more, you can always add to it! Also, I wanted to mention that I wear these year 'round. You might think, looking at the notes, that they're too heavy for spring or summer, and in my experience, they actually do great in the humidity down here in Florida. So give them a try, you might find yourself really enjoying them in warmer weather!
Okay, so that's the last of the OPs that I have. I'm missing Ammut, Horus, Khepri, Khnum, and Sekhmet. Hah, and I want all five! I've especially had my eye on Ammut, Horus, and Khepri, but I have definitely been loving myrrh and frankincense a lot more than I used to, so they'll have to come home one of these days. Which ones do you have? Which are you wanting to bring home? Who is your favorite? Gods, I couldn't choose one, if I had to. It's such a sublime collection, a magnum opus to incense. A love letter to the Egyptian pantheon. And now, the promise of more, with the arrival of the Spring collection! I'm beside myself. I hope y'all have a wonderful Sunday. Wear something beautiful today.