Spyros Drosopoulos of Baruti is one of the most consistently original perfumers I have ever encountered. Baruti Indigo is a case in point. This is a perfume built on a series of weird but wearable contrasts.
First, it is balsamic but also airily floral. With its clutch of frankincense and mastic, it smells like a dense wall of greenish balsams – all crushed pine needles, sap, and terpenes – through which a slightly wilted (but still deodorant fresh) tandem of oily hyacinth and lush rose throbs like a flesh wound. Still, despite all the floral and balsamic notes, the first big hit to the synapses is of polished wood and spice.
It is never less than syrupy sweet, thanks to that rose, but it is also as vegetally piquant as long fingers of butter pickles fished straight from a jar to your mouth. This watery, almost cucumberish element seems like it would make the scent feel fresh, but instead, the overall impression is one of dark, seedy warmth.
Something about the interaction between the peppered wood, the gripe water florals, and that balsamic curtain of green makes me think of something delicious reduced to a dark, sticky concentrate. Its nectary heft makes me think of those balsamic vinegar glazes you buy to drizzle over a tagliata or green walnut salad – sweet, sour, and thick with the umami tang of Parmesan or soy.
The sandalwood and labdanum in the base are supposed to bring the bodacious comfort of an amber to finish things off, but hold up, because though there is creaminess, it is the animalic creaminess of goat yoghurt, sweat, and caramel taken too far past burning point. The lingering tartness or acidity from the hyacinth, or maybe even from Baruti’s signature ‘nood’ – a dank, metallic, but rousing synthetic base built to approximate oud without using any of the industry’s off-the-shelf oud synths – runs in the background like an application, giving the blend an addictive piquancy that keeps your nose returning for more.
Like many of Spyros’ creations, Indigo is perhaps too special or distracting for me to wear on a regular basis. But I plan to buy it one day, if only as a piece of olfactory art I bring out for those specific moments when I want to tumble down wormholes and wander the labyrinthine pathways of a true artist’s imagination. Vero is gone. But we still have Spyros.
Source of Sample: I purchased a sample from Indiescents quite a few years ago.
Cover Image: Photo by miro polca on Unsplash