Fez and Essaouira: the two fragrant offerings from Kahina Giving Beauty. Inspired by the ancient Moroccan city and sunny beachside town, these two fragrances capture the spirit of their cities namesakes.
Essaouira, the lighter of the two fragrances, opens with a geranium explosion; a citrus-like floral note. When I first sniff the bottle, this is the primary essence to greet my nose. However, that subsides quickly on the skin and I’m greeted by the much softer, sweet rose notes. As the brightness of the geranium continues to wane, sprigs of lavender and blue tansy begin to emerge adding a soothing and calming quality to Essaouira.
This perfume also contains petitgrain, a soft woodsy-citrus note. Sandalwood anchors the whole perfume, however it’s very subtle and doesn’t shift the fragrance into the woodsy category. This perfume is a very light floral; sweet in nature and uplifting, which captures the essence of being oceanside; light and breezy like a day spent soaking in the sun.
This is a skin scent and wears very close to the body. The wear time on this one is short – around 1-2 hours on me. It wears very linear and doesn’t change much on the skin. I love this perfume, it’s a beautiful rose-based fragrance. I just wish it lasted longer before needing to be reapplied and had a slightly bigger presence! This is not uncommon for true natural perfumes though.
Oh Fez, you are a unique one. Bold, earthy, and grounding, this scent takes some time to develop fully. The biggest note initially is patchouli both in the bottle and on the skin; strong and herbal in nature followed by vetiver. Sandalwood tempers the sharpness of these notes beautifully. These are the heart and soul of this fragrance and carry all the other notes as well as provide incredible staying power.
Over the next few hours, whispers of spices like clove drift out clove. I actually feel like this blend smells a little like cardamom, which I love, although it’s not a note in this blend.
Next come the florals – soft, sensual, and somewhat powdery ylang ylang adds a very delicate quality to the more masculine base notes. Very light traces of neroli float in and out as the hours roll by. There is just a hint of rose, almost undetectable, like a piccolo in the orchestra; it is subtle, but adds something special to the blend and ties everything together.
It’s interesting, but I feel like the notes of this perfume work backwards starting with the heaviest notes and get lighter and sweeter with time. The wear time of Fez for me is 5-6 hours easily before I need to reapply. It’s an earthy floral with a hint of spice: this is the perfect representation of walking through an open air market, surrounded by spices and herbs.
If patchouli scents aren’t your thing, this is not the scent for you. That being said, while it is heavy on the patchouli, there are so many layers and depth to this perfume. I also feel this would make a fantastic unisex scent. This is a much bigger fragrance than Essaouira, but it still maintains some restraint and doesn’t over-project. I feel an instant sense of calm when I wear Fez.
Both Essaouira and Fez are essential oil blends in a jojoba base. They come in black glass bottles with a stainless steel rollerball. The boxes these come in have the most gorgeous Moroccan tile inspired patterns on the outside! The size of these are perfect for travel, also. Out of the two, I find I reach for Fez more because of the overall grounding quality and staying power.
*Please note, these products were gifted; all thoughts are my own.