After a week off to recharge for our plunge into the winter holiday season review run, (and because I’m back and happy to be reviewing a fragrance from one of my favorite houses, Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777!
Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 was founded in 2012 with its first creation releasing in 2013. The nose behind the fragrances is Stéphane Humbert Lucas (SHL). SHL was born in France, and like Swedish nose, Maya Njie, came to perfumery through art. After an encounter with Henri Sorsana, the self-taught SHL plunged into the fragrance world.
SHL bottles have a distinctly unique design with their domed caps and bold colors, owing inspiration to Arab culture. SHL himself considers the Arab world the “cradle of the universe” and has said he loves the “smell” the Middle East has. (In yesterday’s episode of Sartorial Splendor, we discuss the fragrance culture and history of this region.)
Isra & Miraj, released in 2019 was a celebration of the 7th anniversary of the house, as well as SHL drawing on inspiration from the number 7 to explore spirituality. (In Islam, Isra and Mi’raj is observed on the 27th day of the month of Rajab, the seventh month in the Islamic calendar. This event marks the night that Allah (SWT) took Mohammad (PBUH) on a journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and then to heaven.)
So with that in mind, let’s actually look at the note breakdown for this fragrance.
Isra & Miraj Notes
Top: Mandarin orange, nutmeg, bergamot, cinnamon
Heart: Heliotrope, osmanthus
Base: Ambergris, vanilla, white musk, sandalwood, agarwood, patchouli, leather
So how does this “anniversary” fragrance hold up?
Isra & Miraj is one of the few fragrances I would genuinely describe as creamy. Generally, I try to avoid using this term as it’s too easy for people to conflate creamy with “Sweet”. Although Isra & Miraj does have sweet elements, that’s not what I’m referring to. More, I’m referring to the “texture” of the scent. And yes, fragrances can have texture.
“Beast mode” is a texture. It’s loud, and bracing and feels like someone knocked you in the nose with a two by four. Minty/icy fragrances have a texture. They’re cold, and tingle the lungs in a menthol-induced burst. So too do fragrances with the right blend of notes like ambergris and sandalwood and even non-skanky oud. These blends are creamy… indolent, rich, and soft to sink into.
Such is Isra & Miraj. Though the spicy elements are very much present, as is the sweetness of the vanilla and the citrus of the mandarin and bergamot… this scent is like sinking into soft butter. Blended beautifully, easy to wear, and with a revealing dry down of layers giving way to new and richer discoveries.
It’s light enough to wear in the warmer weather, but after having finally been able to try it on some cooler nights, it’s a fantastic “fall” fragrance as well. Prepare to have a lovely sillage cloud wafting around you, though not as long as other fragrances. I got about 5 hours out of this one, but I’m not a particularly heavy sprayer so others who like to spray more may have their mileage vary.
That said… this is NOT cheap. SHL fragrances are hard to come by on any kind of “grey market” so you’re looking at having to pay full retail on these or buy slightly used to save some money on sites like Mercari. They’re also limited in the US to select stockists. A full retail bottle of this will cost you $295 for a 50 mL bottle, and a whopping $425 for a 100 mL. Obviously, I am going to strongly recommend that anyone interested in this fragrance sample first. Decants are hard to find for Isra & Miraj in particular, so this is a heftier investment piece. You can grab a sample from LuckyScent for $6.
The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated.
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