Saturday, May 30, 2015

Shrill Musk, Quiet Fig

Have you ever been compelled to seek out and buy something simply because it was featured on a blog? That's what happened with me and Lumira Paradisium eau de parfum. Beautiful pictures and rave reviews on The Beauty Look Book had me convinced I needed it in my life. Many probably have never even heard of Lumira. I certainly had no idea of its existence until Sabrina's posts introduced me to the boutique Australian candle company. That's right, Australian. It was so weird to me that this small Australian brand was being featured on this huge American beauty blog. I tried looking up more information about Paradisium, but hardly anything came up. When a fragrance doesn't even have its own listing on Fragrantica, it doesn't get more niche than that. One day after work, I made a dedicated trip to Made on Earth on Pitt St to smell it, and in the absence of absolute revulsion, buy it. I paid $89.95 for a 50ml bottle after spraying it on my hand and walking around the shop for 2 minutes. Because you know, I'm hasty and ridiculous prudent and measured with my perfume purchases like that.

Before I launch into a review of the scent, a couple of things irritated me about the packaging. Firstly, the spray nozzle thing on the perfume is SO TIGHT that I have to press down super hard to get it to spritz. It's almost like it's stuck. If my fingers are slightly greasy due to putting on some hand/face cream beforehand, it's nearly impossible. Secondly, the sticker on the bottle wasn't applied in a straight line and is noticeably crooked. I mean, it's not the end of the world, but neatly affixing the label to your $90 perfume shouldn't be too hard to ask.

Paradisium opens with the immediate freshness of fig combined with candied citrus. Instantly reminiscent of Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Fico di Amalfi EDT. The prominence of fig in the top notes doesn't last too long and within a few minutes, it starts to mellow into a somewhat woody, somewhat sweet, somewhat fruity concoction. Every now and then, I get a hit of sharp, strong soapiness, bordering on laundry detergent or similar household product, that destroys the delicate, ethereal nature of the fruits. It gives the scent a fullness and body, but I still haven't made my mind up whether it destroys the whole thing or adds to its character. The fig is my favourite part of this perfume, but apart from the burst of it at the very beginning, it's very much in the background. Still detectable and undoubtedly there, but not center stage as I would've preferred.

Paradisium is a fragrance that smells better from a distance than up close, and in smaller doses than liberally sprayed. This is truly an EDP in terms of strength and longevity, which I absolutely appreciate. I can see this being very potent mixed with sweat on hot summer days, especially if you're generous with the spritzes. You don't need much at all. One spray on the neck and one on the wrist is plenty.

The Lumira website lists the composition as top notes of Bergamot, Grapefruit and Lemon, middle notes of Fig Nectar and Guava and base notes of Vetiver, Sea Moss and Cedarwood. I'm by no means a perfume expert, but I detect almost no guava, and the vetiver (or my embarrassingly limited understanding of it) is faint if there at all. It claims to be "evocative of a verdant Mediterranean nirvana", but I don't get a huge naturalistic greenness or lushness to it, mainly because of the overbearing, almost headache-inducing freshly washed sheets smell I mentioned earlier.

I'm happy to have Paradisium in my perfume collection despite it not being everything I hoped for. I don't have anything like it, plus it's strong and lasts a long time — just how I like 'em. It's hard to categorise as it's not predominately fruity, sweet, woody or green, though all those elements make an appearance at some point. Any sweetness is restrained (it's meant to be unisex, after all), and after an hour or so, there's only the suggestion of fruit, not the juicy, ripe, real thing. I'm mainly left with a shrill, clean musk smell with a hint of sweetened citrus, salt, and woody fig. If only they'd toned down the soapiness and amped up the fig à la diptyque Philosykos or Jo Malone Wild Fig & Cassis, I probably would've bought a backup bottle.


  1. I also had no idea of Lumira's existence until my friend lighted one of the candles (Tropical Gardenia) and it was heavenly! It's a bit on the expensive side of my candle budget so I guess I'm going to save up a bit for it. Paradisium does sound like an interesting fragrance but I'm not sure if it's the one for me.

  2. Oh man, that sticker... I noticed it right away, and it honestly would have put me off buying the perfume because I'm normal like that.


  3. I don't really know too much perfumes. It's like...I either Like them or I don't.
    I usually go for more sweet and fresh scents, mostly because it's what also suits my personality and mood.

    I don't know but, I kinda how this one looks like. :3


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