The Scented Hound

Perfume blog with abbreviated perfume reviews & fragrance reviews.

Sultan Pasha Attars: Aurum d’Anghkhor & Irisoir


sultan-pashaI often wondered if being a perfumer only requires a purely scientific skill, like that of a chemist; or if a perfumer holds an innate ability or talent that can be developed and nourished.  I have seen quite of few upstart perfumers who begin their journey with a love of perfume, who then decide to create their own perfumes which then turn out to smell exactly like a scientific experiment; an incongruous mix of ingredients with an end result of a perfume that smells like it was conceived in a lab.  That makes me wonder if being a perfumer requires an ability that can’t be measured by science, but of which comes from within; like an artist.

I had heard a great deal of buzz about a perfumer from Britain who had created some attars that were unique and beautiful.  Kafkaesque had written much about perfumer Sultan Pasha and his creations  and I have seen many exchanges on the perfume feeds in Facebook.  Always wary of trends, I didn’t rush out to find out more about these attars.  And I have to admit, when I hear the word “attar,” I automatically think of heavy ouds.  The wonderful Esperanza introduced me to Sultan Pasha and I will be the first to admit that this “trend” is well deserved.  I received a sampling of 27 of his attars…with not one in the 27 being anything but incredible.  These perfumes have a soul and it makes me believe that you can’t just be a chemist to create incredible perfumes, you have to a god given talent.

Of course, with 27 perfumes, I can’t sing praise on each of them, but will speak to two of my favorites:

Aurum d’Anghkhor

WHAT I SMELL:  Aurum d’Anghkhor goes on my skin with a deep, warm honey and cream, that unfolds with a ripe rose.  It’s so beautifully weighted and almost gourmand.  In short time, an orange blossom, tobacco honey seems to swirl around the rose, which has become a bit decayed with a slight hay like consistency.    The rose is incredibly contained, as it feels like it could burst brightly at any minute, but instead the surrounding notes keep it under guard in the most beautiful prison.  The perfume remains captured in this timeless state for quite some time where the rose,  warmed and rapturous, is wrapped in a cocoon of labdanum and the purest sandalwood.  Aurum d’Anghkhor isn’t a carefree rose, instead, there’s something rather melancholic about it as if it holds an incredible secret.  As the perfume continues to develop, it begins to grow and expand and what was melancholic is now grand and majestic.  Still controlled, the perfume starts to emit this confident golden radiance as if projected like rays from the sun.

Top Notes: Saffron Oil, Jasminum Auriculatum absolute, Persian Rose Otto

Middle Notes: Bulgarian Damascena Absolute, Honey Absolute, orange blossom, Henna, tobacco,

Base Notes: EnsarOud’s Encens D’Angkhor, Beeswax, Hand Macerated Ambergris, Hand Made Shamama(aged sandalwood, 30yr old patchouli, henna, labdanum, Siamese benzoin, musk) raw Persian and Spanish Saffron Strands maceration, Siamese benzoin resinoid, Labdanum, tobacco absolute and Mysore sandalwood

enchanted-roseWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  The enchanted rose from Beauty and the Beast; kept as a beautiful prisoner until love can set it free.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE AURUM D’ANGHKHOR:  knowing, mysterious, careworn



WHAT I SMELL:  When Irisoir first goes on my skin it feels as if it’s devouring me with its warm and buttery floral cream.  The perfume feels like the most exquisite elixir worthy of any princess or queen.  I can envision a small bowl of this pure heaven being rubbed all over the living deity.  I’m not going to try to pick apart the notes of this magnificent beauty because doing so would be futile and would not provide any justice to it.  Suffice it to say, this perfume has bewitched me.  When I think of iris, I tend to think “cool” and “aloof.”  Here, mixed with other florals it’s warm and caressing.  As the perfume continues to develop it begins to dry and the buttery opening moves to a more deep and radiant amber and sandalwood.  There’s also a slight medicinal smell, which may be the mimosa.  But don’t worry, this is one medicine you will have no problem taking.  Beyond gorgeous.

Top Notes: Iris absolute, violet absolute, heliotrope, lilac, mimosa, peach,

Middle Notes: Orris Pallida butter, carnation absolute, Jasmine grandiflorum absolute, Persian rose Otto, violet leaf absolute,

Base Notes: White Ambergris, mimosa absolute,Tonka absolute, sandalwood Mysore, Cedar, Haitian Vetiver, Orris Pallida butter

Irisoir is my ode, my homage to iris of the yesteryear, from my favourite period of European art and culture… La Belle Epoque.

From the outset, one is greeted with the rooty notes of the finest Florentine iris and violet. Slowly revealing a honeyed fruity woody core with a deft touch of spice, just to tease ones senses with something extraordinary rather than the mundane and lacklustre examples of this genre that one is accustomed to.

This is a composition that even took me by total surprise as it revealed countless facets of the usually shy and timid iris, and now you shall be able to experience them with me! Be prepared for a journey back in time…” – Sultan Pasha

moses-in-a-basket-by-konstanti-f-02015_02_04_23_03_08-0WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Irisoir is less Belle Epoque to me, but instead it makes me think of when the pharaoh’s daughter found baby Moses in the bulrushes.  She is beautiful, warm and comforting, yet very regal and royal.  The sun and earth shine brightly on the baby Moses and the royal princess.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE IRISOIR:  ancient, majestic, other-wordly


BOTTOM LINE:  It’s clear that Sultan Pasha has an incredible gift for perfumery.  These creations are beyond spectacular and solidify my thoughts on perfumery as an art form.  As these are attars, a little goes a long way, but the way these beauties unfold is a magnificent experience and one that I can say that I was lucky enough to witness.  Beyond the two perfumes, some of my other favorites in the collection are Thebes 1 and Encens Chypre.  Trust me, there’s something for everyone in this collection.

Author: The Scented Hound

Just a normal guy with the nose of a beagle!

26 thoughts on “Sultan Pasha Attars: Aurum d’Anghkhor & Irisoir

  1. I do have Incense Royal, Tabac Grande ,Delice Artisanal and Nankun Kudo.
    My next will be Aurum d’ Anghkar. Gorgeous .
    Very nice review.
    Thank you so much for your insights.


  2. Oh my! When was the last time you gave one thing, let alone two, 5 bones? On Valentine’s Day of all days, your love for well made perfumes and writing about it in such a way as to birth instant lemmings shone bright and clear. Heh, you even got Kafka to come out and play!


  3. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Um, okay! I needed a kick in the butt to delve into my sample set (50!!!) which has been quietly singing its siren’s song in a drawer. What’s up with that? Is it a deficit of paper clips? My prosaic attention to potential financial ruin? I shall throw caution to the wind forthwith and am ready to fall in love, if only for a moment. Thanks so much for these reviews, Steve!

    Sadly, I do not have Irisoir.
    Happily, I have the other three you mentioned. 🙂


  4. When I have order from him, he generally sends samples with it. I love my Nankun Kudo, along with the others .

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy Valentine’s Day! Thank you for the enchanting reviews. Coincidentally, I am awaiting my order of the sample set with both attars. It will now be difficult to focus on anything else until they arrive! The paperclips are primed.


  6. WAAAAAAAAH these sound just incredible.


  7. Dear S, I am really glad you are enjoying Sultans Attars. Loved reading your impressions. XXxxE


  8. Would I pay $165 for 1ml of any perfume? I probably could. Actually, I wish I came across any perfume, for which I’d consider paying that money. But I just don’t believe it’s possible to impress me to that extent.

    So far I saw reviews, mostly, from people who either got to try these perfumes for free, or paid for a set of samples. I’ll wait to see if anybody actually decides to pay for these masterpieces to own and wear. I am not saying that I do not believe you or Kafka when you say that these perfumes are good. But I know that it is a long way from saying that something is worth its price to actually paying that price.


    • After buying my Dior Oud Elixir Precioux at an enormous cost for 3ml, I can tell you that 3ml of perfume oil will last a lifetime. These attars are in the same vein. A little goes a long, long way. Like you, I was wary…but I opened my mind and am happy that I did 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • You can also be a Long term member in regards to Sultan Pasha.
        I get emails on when he restocks, introduces a new one, plus you
        can get discounts. You just follow him and you get all the benefits.
        The last time I ordered from him he sent me 15 samples free.
        He is very generous, and he does sell a number of his attars and
        You just watch . Click on his Ebay site and one day there’s 4 Tabac Grande,
        then ,in just a few days latter , there’s one. You shouldn’t apply a lot of his
        work on at one time. You need to read his paperclip method of application.
        Trust me, that’s all you’ll need. I put the whole sample on of Tabac Grande,
        for I didn’t know .Glad I liked it. Whoa.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I remembered about your Dior purchase, and I have no doubts as to the price per use rate. What I’m saying is that at that price it is a commitment – so I’ll wait for others who tried these perfumes and liked them to demonstrate that they’re ready to commit to at least one of them before I consider putting any money even into testing these. I’m curious but not curious enough, I think.

        Liked by 1 person

    • There is an ongoing Basenotes conversation on Sultan Pasha’s masterpieces (google “Basenotes Sultan Pasha”)


  9. Sorry, I accidently sent before finishing. there are a number of comments from people who’ve made purchases of 1 ml or more based on previous purchases of his samples. There’s also a Face Book group. Every time I dab a miniscule I’m amazed that these masterpieces are being composed by a self-educated nose who got started only four years ago.


    • It is amazing isn’t it. It goes to show that sometimes, people are just born with certain talents. I have met perfumers that state they are professionally trained, yet their perfumes smell like bug spray. But his work really is beautiful isn’t it.

      Liked by 1 person

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