Monday, 25 January 2016

Palo Santo Review

Shyamala Maisondieu’s Palo Santo (Sp. ‘sacred stick’) takes its name from the wooden chips or sticks burnt by curanderos (shamans) as part of folk healing practices. In Perú, Palo Santo typically indicates Bursera graveolens – a member of the Burseraceae family and so related to Frankincense and Myrrh. As painstakingly catalogued in Duke’s Handbook of Medicinal Plants of Latin America however, the appelation Palo Santo is applied to a wide variety of plant species across the region and it is important to note that here, it is Guaiacwood being referred to.
By accenting various of Guaiacwood’s facets, an opening impression of eggnog is created, blending lactonic (methyl laitone), boozy (davana), and caramelic sweet (vanilla, maltol) notes. As the augmented milkiness settles, the titular wood’s spicy and balsamic qualities appear at the fore, supported by vetiver that provides a subtle impression of smoke, and a fond of pale woods and musks. Substantivity is excellent, though the extended drydown develops little, remaining lightly creamy, resinous, woody and above all, sweet.

Nose: Shyamala Maisondieu
House: Carner Barcelona
Release date: 2015
Notes (per Fragrantica): artemisia, rum, milk, guaiac wood, tonka, vetiver, vanilla, sandalwood.

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