I’m constantly thumbing through my notebook of “sketches” for future fragrances. Constantly trying to decide which ideas get priority for the coming year. This past April I had planned to release Ishtar, but just before I jumped into the formulation phase I pulled back and it never left its prototype status.
Originally Ishtar was an incense fragrance based on frankincense, benzoin and myrrh. I used a few tricks (an iso e overload being one of them) to give an expansive smoke effect. It was a nice fragrance… it was interesting, but in the end it was just a bit ordinary. There are so many great incense frags out there; for one I found the Comme de Garcons incense line quite impressive.
The Ishtar model went back into reformulation to change its direction. I took the fragrance style from incense to attar, and gave it a vintage chypre perfume twist. I kept the resinous heart of frankincense, benzoin and myrrh and set it upon a base of oakmoss (lots!) and bergamot. I then added a large dose of jasmine absolute and double-distilled patchouli and voila!! Ishtar is now reborn as a fragrance I want under the Rogue label! It is a bold, masculine chypre fragrance. The frankincense practically punches you in the face before the benzoin tames it down. The jasmine took on a quality like the florals I remember in vintage Jules. A small bite of galbabum gives the composition a dark, sappy green character before it settles into a soft leathery base.
This new Ishtar prototype will soon enter the full-batch formulation phase and will be ready for release by next spring. I tincture a rather large amount of frankincense resin for this fragrance which must rest for a period of time before I filter it. Ishtar is actually made up of about 80% natural essential oils, absolutes and resins. Not necessarily my style, as many of you may know I love my aroma chemicals -especially the banned and restricted ones 🙂 This time around I got by with just a little hydroxycitronellal and a few other goodies to seal the deal.