Monday, May 9, 2011

MAKEDA by Shelley Waddington - NATURAL PERFUMERY - fragrance review

En Voyage Perfumes is a Natural Niche Perfumery Brand located in one of the most charming coasts of USA - California - Carmel-by-the-Sea. A small city with more or less 3,000 residents, including famous actress and singer Doris Day, with a one mile of white sandy beaches, and the home of many artists, such as perfumer and owner of En Voyage Perfumes, Shelley Waddington. Her creations are a reflection of the beauty of its nature, combined with her refined professional training in France, and her talent to develop elegant and exclusive scents, with eco bio-ethycal fragrance materials.
In 2010 I had the fortune to receive fragrances from her both collections, Odissey and Carmel-by-the-Sea. Last year I reviewed Pêche Noir (click HERE for the complete review), which in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful fragrances with peach notes I know. Today, I bring Makeda, a beautiful fragrance, inspired by a biblical couple - King Solomon and  the Queen of Sheba.

In Biblical Times, The Queen of Sheba or Makeda, ruled a nation named Ethiopia (the home of the first homo sapiens in the Middle East), and according to legends, she was a dark mysterious womanInspired by her, and her love for King Solomon, the perfumer also describes her fragrance as being mysterious. 
To me, the only mystery here is how did she manage to be in my mind for 40 days, during my trip to the Middle East.

Photo credit: + Q Perfume Blog*
Jerusalem - Western Wall
Photo credit: + Q Perfume Blog*
Jerusalem - Western Wall
It all started in Jerusalem in a very cold night. I approached the Western Wall from the outside, I got out of the car to take this picture. The Western Wall is located in the Old City, at the Temple Mountain, and it was built by King Solomon. It was not the first time I visited this Holy City and the Temple, but it was the first time in my life that I stood there at night, thinking of Shelley Waddington!
One can think of many things near the Temple, specially if from the Jewish faith. But the fact is, Makeda moved me in a way (its beauty stroke me so intensely), that all I head in my mind of was thoughts of King Solomon with Queen of Shebba - Makeda fragrance - Shelley Waddington.
When this perfume touches the skin, you feel the sparkling notes of grapefruit tickling the senses and illuminating the soul. It brings an uplifting aura that probably came back from my memory, the minute I stepped outside that car and I felt the freezing air on my face! Citrusy notes always bring me a fresh cooling sensation. In Makeda, the citrusy opening is a combination of grapefruit and bitter oranges notes. (Bitter oranges, also called Seville oranges,  grow in the Mediterranean region). 
As its scent is a mix, something like a combination of sweet oranges and grapefruits, with a bitter touch - the first thing that came to my mind when I first used the perfume was: Holy Land! (said to be the land of milk & honey, but in fact is the land of citrus and rosemary!) 
So there I was, in a freezing cold night in the Holy Land, overwhelmed by the beauty of the huge illuminated blocks of the meleke limestones of the Wall, thinking of Shelley, and how she definitely managed to capture the essence of this region. 
Thinking about  hundreds of years of Biblical history and breathing it through my nostrils, I actually could smell the scent of Makeda in the air.

Photo credit: + Q Perfume Blog*
Dried fruits - Ben Yehuda Market - Jerusalem

Photo credit: + Q Perfume Blog*
Dried fruits - Akko Market
Makeda has a combination of fruity notes that Shelley calls Mediterranean. Peaches and apples receive a small strawberry nuance, becoming very cheerful and festive. The citrus notes blend with the fruits, and once they start to mature on the skin, very slowly and very smoothly till ripping in its fullness, the fragrance becomes very sensual-sweet. 
I visited many Jewish-Arabic markets in the Middle East, and it was always a joy to see the colorful pile of dried fruits displayed on the stands. You can smell the aroma coming from the pulp of the fruits, warming up as the sun rises up at midday. The aromas of all fruits than mix together to compose a fragrance that is unique, and its sweetness spreads all over the place, inviting you to taste and buy. 
Makeda came again to my mind many times. The fruity notes of the fragrance were there, as I passed through the alley and took photos of those stands
Today, smelling the fragrance on my skin, I am back to the to a shiny day in Akko, tasting delicious dried pineapples, pears, dates, apricots, etc...
The introduction of the fruits in this perfume works as an announcement to sensuality, to  a power given to you in a precious bottle, just as Queen Makeda, who gave to King Solomon many precious gifts as she arrived in the Holy Land. 
As Jewish Biblical passages teach us, King Solomon was a very good negotiator and a man of wisdom, and he knew that the Ebony queen had many precious treasures and wealth.  The Queen knew about the king's wisdom and power, so she crossed the Red Sea, with a caravan, to meet with him. Both monarchs joint their kingdoms in marriage, and exchanged their wealth and power. Many have mentioned love when citing this alliance, but he who knows his Bible better, knows that this was political and financial bond. But in the world of perfumery, we can make it more romantic, can't we? 

Photo credit: + Q Perfume Blog*
As I left Jerusalem to the Dead Sea and then to finally get to Eilat (Jordanian border), I drove hours into the Negev desert, exploring its beautiful dry landscapes. Kilometers of pastel sandy colors, of many shades and shapes passed thought my eyes. Also quite overwhelming! Specially when you reach the Nabatean Spice Route. (but this is another story to tell later).
As everybody fell asleep in the car, there I was, driving alone with my thoughts about Sheba and her journey to meet the King... Shelley was once again in my mind! I thought of her notes of cedarwood dancing around unfurled petals of jasmine, embracing my skin. Full blooms spread with desert winds, reaching the woodiness of the fragrance. 
Listening to David Broza's cd...the wind entering through the slit of the window, whispering in my ears... Thinking of Sheba dancing for king's Solomon...her body spread the scent of Makeda...all that kept me from falling asleep after hours on the road.

As I travelled back home, Makeda stayed on my desk for quite a while, waiting for its review. It was hard to start the article because I could not find anything that would describe the fragrance, rather than the Middle Eastern experience. The fact is...I could have looked into a 1000 musics, master painters' canvases, movies or personalities, like I do most of the time, but Makeda is unique, with a personality of her own. Mystery solved, she impersonates the feminine aura of the Holy Land, not all of it. She is felt everywhere and can be seen nowhere. Once you are there, you will find her. Far from it, you will miss her. Lucky us that Shelley has succeed to bottled her, so we can wear not only a beautiful fragrance, with sparkling fruits, amazing jasmine with a woody accent, and also be close to the Holiest of the Lands, when it is missed.

Brand: En Voyage Perfumes
Launch: 2010
Perfumer: Shelly Waddington
Gender: Feminine
Range: EDP/EDC/Extrait
Olfactive family: Oriental - woody - NATURAL
Olfactive Notes: Grapefruit, bitter orange, Mediterranean fruits (apples, peaches and strawberries), jasmine Sambac, cedarwood, agarwood, musk.
Description by the Brand: " Lyrical, mysterious, passionate and carnal.
Silage: Great!
Fixation:  Excellent.
When to wear: Perfect for any occasion, specially at night.
Could pair with: nothing I ever met!
Rating: ✿✿✿:
✿✿✿✿✿ - Biblical beauty.
✿✿✿ - A fragrance for Queens.
✿✿✿ - I will try when I date any guy called Solomon...
✿✿ - I would not put my hand on the Bible for this one!
- a mist of 3000 years? Smells like that!

Where to find all Shelley Waddington beautiful fragrances - click for HERE for her website.
Prices updated till today: Extrait 0.2oz USD90/EDC 1.0 oz USD55/EDP O.5 oz USD40

Shelley Waddington is a member of PERFUME TALKS at facebook, if you wish to get to know her and her work, connect to our group!

*This image is belongs to + Q Perfume Blog, all rights reserved. 

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