Growing up, I was told that being “hot and cold” was not a good thing; if someone had “3-minute enthusiasm,” you quickly outstayed your welcome with them. You might be greeted like royalty and soon treated like a nuisance through no fault of your own.
Perfumes, I believe, are exempt from this idea.
It being a dreary day, I decided to wear my sample of FZOTIC Feu Secret that I had requested with another purchase. The decant was just enough for 2 proper applications. The brand website suggests occasions as “Dusk when the stars first appear. Peaceful walks in solitude. Cuddles by a fire.” Alas, I brought it to Zoom meetings starting at 8:00 AM.
The first application was mostly warm, except for the chilly outline of a silvery sliver of iris. This must be the sleight of hand of eucalyptus. The cloud bearing the silver lining is soon filled out by a rich, smoky, powdery body of orris root. Feu Secret by perfumer Bruno Fazzolari is a paradise of orris, remaining thick, creamy (vanilla), and dense throughout most of its wear. A deep inhale from inside my top even got the scent literally filling my nostrils as though it were tangibly trapped there for a few seconds.
The second application, several hours later, surprisingly showed the cool side. The theatrical curtain is raised to show a dry, woody background; freshly cut, raw carrot starts dancing across the stage. This part settles into a dusty-smoky tone (possibly aided by birch tar), and the wood begins to feel more hollow—inside this olfactory sculpture perches a citrusy note reminiscent of elemi. The closest note listed might be pink pepper.
This phase is lovely but transient, as the temperature continues to drop and the woody facets become slightly medicinal (maybe this is the turmeric note in action). However, Feu Secret never loses the gravitas of thick roots, close to the earth with a very low center of gravity.
I find it interesting that Himalayan cedar is listed, as I don’t see it often in perfumery. To my nose, the essential oil of this variety (Cedrus deodara) has a sweeter, more fleshly quality than even Atlas cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) and certainly Virginia cedarwood. It assuredly meshes well with the warm side of the orris pillow.
(Update: At the very end, I’m getting whiffs of a synthetic sandalwood from my clothing. It’s one of those molecules that outlasts the others.)