Perfumed Alphabet: O is for Opoponax

Moët & Chandon


A lover of opoponax

Is, by proxy, a friend of mine!

This sweet resin has been, in fact,

Used in perfume since ancient times.

It hints at heritage of wood.

Quite simply, few things smell as good.


It reminds me of a dried fruit

That’s called, in Chinese, “dragon eye.”

With gravitas, and lift to boot,

It’s found its way to my heart, why—

Through my nose, of course! Ask the musks

And florals just how, if you must.



I first had the joy of smelling opoponax thanks to Sarah McCartney when I attended one of her wonderful perfume-making workshops at 4160Tuesdays last summer. It was love at first sniff. Since then, I’ve attempted a couple of blends featuring this treat from nature, including the semi-eponymous Opossum Tries to Relax (it might do with a bit of diluting, but it’s not half bad in my biased opinion). In marketed perfume examples, opoponax features in 4160Tuesdays Red Queen, which I very much enjoy in its rose–frankincense–raspberry-leaf fantasy escapade; Christian Dior Poison, which I find delectably grape-forward from my vintage bottle but am not sure I detect opoponax within; and Santa Maria Novella Opoponax, which I can’t wait to have the chance to smell.

What are your opted-for odes to opoponax?






2 thoughts on “Perfumed Alphabet: O is for Opoponax

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