Dior Escale à Pondichéry

Everyone who knows me knows that I’m pretty much obsessed with fragrance, so much so I’m starting my own line in the very near future, though there are more details on that to come, I promise! Digressions aside, I’ve been a fan of fragrance since elementary school, and I’ve always had a rather strong sense of smell which means for me, scent is memory. As I’ve grown through the years my style has evolved and so have my tastes in perfumes and colognes, but each one I’ve worn has left its mark in my history.

One of my favorites is ESCALE À PONDICHÉRY, which is from the legendary house of Dior. Dior describes this fragrance as being inspired by the previous raw materials from India: Black Tea, Cardamom, Sandalwood and Jasmine Sambac Absolute.

It’s bright, it’s fresh, it’s clean, and it’s at once incredibly elegant and inherently comfortable.

For me, this scent is Paris.

I wore this scent every day when I lived (albeit briefly) in the City of Lights, and as such I can’t separate the two. And while the inspiration behind this fragrance is in India, it is also very much a Parisian scent.

I would describe this overall as a fragrance that is fresh and clean, and reminiscent of the fine perfumery traditions of Paris. There is a brightness and a cleanliness that befits the Parisian sensibility, where streets are cleaned every morning and the culture of beauty and self-care reigns supreme.

For me the black tea note is first and is incredibly addictive — its brevity and power give it great tenacity, but the overall note is rather soft and unspoken. Which maybe doesn’t make sense to read, but take a whiff and let me know. The jasmine brings this scent alive and gives it a loving, intimate quality, emphasized but the gentle warmness of the cardamom.

This perfume lasts and lasts on me, and has a nice sillage — while it does project, it does so without intrusion, due to the relative softness of the fragrance notes.

I actually think this is one of the more reasonably perfumes out there, especially as the quality is sublime.

Jeff Smith

Jeff started in photography and short format video, and he's been at the forefront of the web tv movement. He’s worked on haute couture shoots in Paris, shot street style in Milan, and is currently developing a steady roster of beauty, fashion, and digital clients in NYC.