Brand Spotlight: Motif Olfactif

Motif Olfactif is a US-based independent and Black-owned fragrance brand. Oswald Paré is the founder and the perfumer. In fact, he does everything from the fragrance formulations, to designing the packaging, and marketing the brand.

Oswald Paré was born in Burkina Faso, attended university in Minnesota, and now lives in the US. I’m sure this has given him a richness of perspective, and I think you can smell it in his compositions. I received four scents as part of the current discovery set, and each scent feels so imaginative. They take you on a journey, which is my favorite aspect of fragrance.

Mon Oasis: This one stood out to me right away. A cooling lavender, blended with a blooming jasmine, with a subtle undercurrent of smoky tobacco. It reminds me a little bit of Do Son with that luminous white floral quality, and a little bit of Carven Le Parfum, with its slightly smoky jasmine. And yet, Mon Oasis is a fragrance all its own. It takes me to a place of peace and calm. It’s really an oasis.

Nectar Boisé: I don’t have synesthesia, but I sense this one as a bright, dense orange color. There’s a lovely peachy-fruit and vanilla accord. I get a Serge Lutens vibe with that dried, candied fruit note you often smell in a Christopher Sheldrake composition for Lutens. It’s funny, I don’t find Nectar Boisé sweet or gourmand though. It definitely has a warmth and a richness, but it’s balanced. It’s refined. I think this one is the most sophisticated composition of the group.

Vêtu de Vert: This is the one in the bunch that just doesn’t work with my skin chemistry. It’s bound to happen, and 3 out of 4 isn’t bad! There is a wet soil accord here that just does not mesh with my skin. The composition seems to hover slightly on top of my skin and never develops or changes.

Voile d’Encens: This incense scent is pure balsamic, resinous heaven. It feels textured, like a layer of dust on a hymnal in a church pew. It feels so tangible. The cedar stands out here as well. I just love it. It’s also the scent with the strongest sillage and longest staying power on my skin. This reminds me just a touch of my beloved Costes EDT by Olivia Giacobetti, and I mean that as a huge compliment.

There are two other scents that are currently sold out: De Toma à Zouma and Murmure Chypré. Those two scents are not part of the current sample set, so I haven’t tested them.

Cafleurbon has a recent write-up on Oswald here. It’s a really interesting article, if you’re interested in learning more about the brand and the perfumer behind it.

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The photo was taken by me. I purchased the discovery set directly from the Motif Olfactif site. It was not gifted to me.


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