To Step Out of the Shadow

Dusita Paris

Pissara Umavijani

It is difficult to be a child of someone who achieved a lot. The bar for you is set very high and you don’t know it. Because what you grow up in becomes a standard for you. On the one hand, you have the advantage of a stimulating environment, but on the other hand, any success you make, however appreciated by your loved ones, if you compare it to the set bar, it looks insignificant. 

Parents might try hard, they can even give you the name Pissara (freedom), but you will always have the tendency to compare your results to their achievements.

On top of that, the surroundings often do not make it easy. If the public see you through the Prisma of Someone’s Child, you will hardly get sincere feedback, whether positive or negative, and if so, you will always doubt it at least a little.

Pissara Umavijani – perfumist and founder of Dusita Parfums – looks and makes an impression like “The girl who have it all”, beautiful, educated, cultivated and successful.

She is a daughter of Montri Umavijani, who is considered one of Thailand’s most important modern poets and a philosophy professor Chutatip Umavijani.

In her native Thailand, she was successful as a beauty queen and a movie star in four movies, but she says she has little self-esteem and always needed someone else to push her for each of these things.

She was enchanted by old traditional fragrances, and while she studied aromatherapy, gradually trained herself in perfumery and strived to emulate beloved fragrances and composing her own.

And you can feel that foundation on her scents. They have something classic, timeless, you feel the quality without compromise, and truly honest and detailed attention in their composing.

When her father died in 2006, she endured it very hard, and her mother advised her to travel (mums should be listened to !) And during her travels she fell in love with Paris (who wouldn’t shall throw a stone…). She dreamed of living there, but it wasn’t easy for a Thai citizen to get a residence permit, so she applied to the Sorbonne to get a student visa.

(And since it is me and because we have just had elections, where the immigration was a frequent issue campaigned on, so I could not resist to point out to a kind reader – see what we lose with strict immigration rules???)

In Paris, she did perfumery in her free time, receiving very mixed reactions in the perfumery community – frequently either due to her origin or due to the fact that she had no classical perfumery education – she dared to open her own brand only after Francois Henin’s encouragement.

So in 2016 the Dusita Parfums brand was  launched  and immediately began collecting awards as snowdrops in the spring.

Adjiumi “Brand of the Year” Award  in  2016  at the fair Esxence Milano,  Art & Olfaction Award for Excellence in Perfumery  for fragrance Mélodie de l’Amour in  2017 , first place in the prestigious   FIFI Awards as “Breakthrough Fragrance of the Year” in In the year  2018  for the fragrance of Erawan and “ Best Niche Perfume 2019 ” in the selection of Fragrantica readers and in the same year and in the same competition her perfumes Le Pavillon d’Or and Splendiris were selected by the editors of the page among “ Best Perfumes of 2019”.

The brand currently offers 9 scents: Erawan, Issara, Fleur de Lalita, La Douceur de Siam, Le Sillage Blanc, Splendiris, Melodie de l’Amour, Oudh Infini and the latest Le Pavillon d’Or.

The scents are inspired by the poems of Montri Umavijani, whom his daughter pays homage to and helps to spread awareness of his work around the world.

All fragrances are characterized by sophistication, a slight “vintage” touch, but without being old-fashioned. They have their exotic charm, especially the herbal chord used in multiple fragrances is quite different from what I had originally imagined – I had to realize that herbs growing in Thailand might be very different from what we are used to in the Central Europe.

And when we talk about herbs, these perfumes have stunning 90% of natural ingredients.

Parfumerie  Le Parfum & Le Chic – an exclusive distributor of the Dusita Paris brand in Slovakia – provided samples of the complete collection, so here are my impressions: 

Erawan

(image source: www.viator.com)

I’ll start with the smell that touched my heart the most.

Erawan can be a three-headed elephant who wears the god Indra or a symbol of the Bangkok city, also a national park (and waterfalls) in Thailand, and also a title of one of Montri Umavijani’s poems. 

This fragrance needs to settle. It is like a journey through nature, perhaps just towards the waterfall. First, different tones intertwine, here some hay, there some flowers, some herbs, from which sage peeks. Then comes the herbal chord that reminds me remotely of Vietnamese White Tiger Balm. What might be a call to finally sit down and begin to perceive the fragrance as a whole. A beautiful, fresh-forest fragrance, conifers in warm humid air, a little puddled by herbal candies someone pulled out of the pocket for a break. Nothing is a coincidence. This fragrance has a light green color on its own, but I would paint it even more cold-green like that candy. Pleasant, meditative, gently refreshing.

Fleur de Lalita

First a load of galbanum, later pulls out a relatively heavy, green, but not indolic jasmine. Although it has no chypre ingredients (at least not listed), it reminds of great classic chypre fragrances – but Parure is against it too garish, Chanel Cristalle is too harsh, Chamade is too tame, and so we could continue. This one is smoother, softer and without sharp protruding components feels like a silk scarf or a polished piece of jade.

La Douceur de Siam

Oriental rose with honey, balanced by gently bitter plumeria and violet leaf. Very nice, very classic smell. 

Le Sillage Blanc

I don’t know how a fresh green tobacco smells, but that’s how it might. Starts with a very sharp orange flower that is combined with the tone of a freshly opened pack of cigarette tobacco. The smell is stinging, it is cold and sharp like a steel blade. Then a little leather tone and suddenly, all of a sudden, it is what I would expect from Jasmin et Cigarette from Etat Libre d’Orange (and what it does on test-paper and on the others – unfortunately, it is just a vented Fanta on me). Just more concentrated, denser and more spacious.

Splendiris

First gently a citrus introduction, then comes a powdered iris and carrot seed. It strongly reminds me of something, Hiris from Hermes comes to mind, but I haven’t had it in my hands for a long time, and then, unexpectedly, a ​​camomile herbal tea comes. But not some faint tea, a thick and well brewed camomile infusion. The powdered iris comes back with plenty of green, and a little wet clay. Softly powdery drydown. Lovers of iris should at least try.

Le Pavillon d’Or

Interestingly, unlike other fragrances, where herbal tones look easy, here the peppermint start feels explicitly homely. However, the original herbal tone is added almost immediately with a slightly smoky finish (incense). The greenery here is different, more cold and impersonal than in Erawan, while not really less gentle, rather weaker. Incense is still in the background. Very nice and calm scent.

Melodie de l’Amour

A well-armed army of white flowers against which Piquet’s Fracas turns to escape and throws away his weaponry in panic. Just lily of the valley instead of hyacinth. The good news is that when applied cautiously, I repeat, cautiously, the result is a very pleasant classic creamy white flower scent with a pleasant bubblegum-like tuberosis on the front.

Oudh Infini

Well, you dress up and get ready for a Sunday walk and your child asks for a trip to the zoo…

Like, oud is not my dream ingredient, but for its lovers I report that there is a lot of it. Good quality. If you like it and you already got some training, it is almost a duty to try. If not, run to the hills, run for your lives… ..

But I don’t mean it negatively, I myself don’t like unnecessary compromises, I just warn you.

Issara

Pineneedles with herbal tones. Pleasant and calming.

Herbal tones in this case are similar to Erawan, with the coniferous forest and dry vetiver green.

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