The King of the Gods Does Perfumes: ODIN 12 Lacha & 00 Auriel review

     My first childhood love, well before fragrance ever became a driving force in my life, was truly mythology. I was that kid in the fifth grade that read books at recess and had facts on just about everything, and stories about gods and monsters were indeed my favorite. When I wasn’t reading I was playing Age of Mythology, Ensemble Studios’ 2002 masterpiece with a recently announced expansion pack (yesssss!). There was something about the legends of heroes and beasts that captured my attention, as it had for a million others over the years, and I was a Grade A geek because of it. Greek, Egyptian, Mayan, or Norse, I loved it all.

     For many others, however, the introduction to the Norse Parthenon came from the unlikely source of Marvel Studios and Paramount Pictures. Chris Hemsworth played Thor, the hammer-wielding god of thunder and lightning, in the 2011 film by the same name that went supernova in just a short time. Even though it had little to do with the original tales of Thor, who would have probably been more likely to destroy Earth than to fall in love with Natalie Portman, the film gave another Norse character his moment in the limelight: Odin.

     Odin is the king of the Norse gods, the All-Father whose destiny was to be eaten by his son’s pet wolf, Fenrir, at Ragnarok (world’s end). Aren’t mythological families just charming? The reason I’m sharing all of this with you is so you have a background for today’s review: two new fragrances from ODIN, a New York-based men’s boutique founded in 2004. They cater to today’s fashionable men, a rare breed that follows the likes of Rag & Bone and Comme Des Garçons. Their blog is also a really great resource if you ever need to know what’s hot in the world of hipsters. Although their name is of mythological origins, the only connection to the Nordic/Germanic namesake is the architectural lines and contrasting textural design of their bottles. I’m also quite sure they’re not designed to attract wolves, but we’ll see.

© Gil Segev 2015

© Gil Segev 2015

     These samples are for the recent October and November launches of 12 Lacha and 00 Auriel, respectively. They are part of the Black Line, a collection of exclusive fragrances that won the first ever Indie FiFi Award in 2012. Priced at $165 per bottle*, they are currently carried at the original NY boutique as well as at Barneys, Lucky Scent, and many retailers across Europe and Asia. Fittingly, each of the 12 pieces is inspired by exotic destinations like the Mediterranean, Japan, and Jordan to name a few.

© Gil Segev 2015

© Gil Segev 2015

     12 Lacha takes inspiration from India’s hypnotizing beauty, and is a super vivid and complex kaleidoscope of spices and pungent odors that seem intensified by some mystical sun. Saffron, nutmeg, and black pepper make up the heady top notes that smell oddly sweet and very deep, with a hint of delicious woodsy notes. It becomes progressively sweeter with a positively lively leather and patchouli base, one that suggests something old and decomposing. 12 Lacha is a dangerous fragrance as it can smell mildly dirty and quite offensive, but the clients of Odin seem to be the type that care little for style conventions. They will enjoy this journey into the foreign, this foray into the exotic and unknown reaches of India’s spice markets and luxurious entertaining.

© Gil Segev 2015

© Gil Segev 2015

     00 Auriel is certainly a safer fragrance, a heavy rose jam that brings to mind a sweeter Nin-Shar and may originate in Turkey. Mixed in the decadent preserve are fresh ripe berries and a hint of sandalwood. It is a perfectly fitting fragrance for a synthetic summertime.

© Gil Segev 2015

© Gil Segev 2015

     Verdict: Both of these fragrances are uber powerful in both projection and longevity, and certainly brought out reactions in people. Of the two I’m actually strangely attracted to 12 Lacha’s unusualness, but perhaps clientele of different origins would find it to be more tame. Regardless, I think that the ODIN collection could hold some real gems, and am excited to see where their inspiration comes from in future releases. 08 SEYLON also looks like a potentially super-creative take on yuzu and nutmeg, and 09 POSALA‘s American South origins seem like the perfect inspiration for a peachy cologne. 00 Auriel and 12 Lacha are available now, along with the White Line of deconstructed florals and home fragrances, at the boutique and online. Check them out at the link below!


 

 

*Prices true at time of writing.


 

You can check out ODIN at their website or follow them on Facebook.


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