Dusita Anamcara ~ fragrance review :: Now Smell This

As more and more department stores and perfume boutiques continue to close in New York City — a situation that pre-dates Covid and has only worsened over the past year-and-a-half — I have fewer and fewer opportunities to try certain niche perfume brands. Back in the days when I could spend my lunch breaks at Barneys or just swing by Twisted Lily on my way home from work, I had a better idea what was out there, scent-wise. (Of course, the ever-spiraling annual number of new releases doesn’t help.)

Dusita feels like a luxury niche line that I might have encountered somewhere like Henri Bendel (to name one sadly missed store) if the brand had existed back in the earlier 2000s. I’m finally working my way through the Dusita catalogue, thanks to a discovery set I received as a press sample, and I’m enjoying many of its offerings. They’re classically inspired, often lean towards white-floral or amber compositions, and are accompanied by charming illustrations by Dusita founder and perfumer Pissara Umavijani. 

Dusita’s latest release is Anamcara, whose name comes from the Gaelic word for “soul friend.” Its composition includes top notes of blood orange, orange flower and freesia; heart notes of tea, vanilla, rose de Mai, tuberose and jasmine sambac; and base notes of patchouli, sandalwood, cedarwood and vetiver. Anamcara is described as “an olfactory expression of true friendship,” and in that spirit, Pissara invited about two dozen perfume reviewers to attend an online launch party for this fragrance. 

Anamcara’s name suits its character: this perfume is joyful and abundant, the scent-equivalent of a tea party in a sunlit summer meadow. It initially overflows with citrus-inflected orange blossom (for reference, my favorite orange blossom fragrances are L’Artisan Parfumeur Seville à l’Aube and Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger Neroli Blanc Eau de Parfum) and then deepens into a honeyed jasmine heart with accents of peach and apricot. Its sweetness is tempered by the cedar and vetiver notes as it dries down; it’s still a fruity-floral, but never a flimsy or childish one. Dusita has above-average longevity on my skin, lasting through most of a workday. I haven’t actually worn it to the office — it feels a touch too opulent for that — but it has kept me good company when I’m working-from-home!

In the online launch event for Anamcara, Pissara talked us through three accords (nicknamed Bouquet, Tea and Rainforest) that she had created as building blocks of the composition, and then we sniffed the final product together. Each of those accords was pleasing in itself, but the final composition is even more complex and radiant than I anticipated. My  personal favorites from Dusita (so far) are La Douceur de Siam and Splendiris, but I highly recommend Anamcara to anyone who loves orange flower and jasmine combined with fruity woods, or anyone who just needs a hit of something that guarantees a smile. I may have come late to this brand, but I’ll be staying around and smelling more.

Dusita Anamcara is available as 50 ($180) or 100 ml Eau de Parfum, or in a set of three 7.5 ml travel sprays ($110) at Luckyscent and the Dusita website.

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