Friday, October 16, 2015

Familial Incense: Lingua Franca by MikMoi

In Lingua Franca the idea of the universal is the starting point. The idea of the universal begins by starting with one of the most basic elements one can encounter in life and in doing so flips that element into focus. The beginning of Lingua Franca is fruit, fruit is universal in cultures, it is an everyday pleasure. Culturally it can have romantic, erotic, and sensual connotations but it is most often related to pleasure. Some of the greatest comparisons of beauty in the world have used fruit as the ultimate symbol of beauty. Fruit is the symbol of knowledge and longevity, if you want a commonality in cultures look for the sweetness of fruit. Lingua Franca is a scent which starts with one of life's sweet pleasures.

The fruit used in Lingua Franca is citrus, bright heady citrus, with hints of dried stone fruits, and the heady intense sweetness of papaya and pineapple. What I love the most though is the lemongrass note used to support the citrus. Lemongrass is one of the great unloved notes in perfumery so when it is given a feature role I am excited. The spicy clean quality it has brings such a brightness to scents and accents the sweetness of the fruit featured.

Eventually though the fruit of Lingua Franca recedes and what enters is a scent that I have spent a year trying to describe because it is so utterly personal in its familiarity to me. At best I can describe it as the scent of the hearth altars kept in homes around the world. It makes me think of the incense burnt in my Aunt's home that wafted through the rooms and eventually blended with the scent of home. The scent of home being woods and fruits with incense. This evocation is what catches me the most off guard. It is an incense that suggests the familial it is not high minded strict religion but rather the suggestion of everyday rituals that one does almost unthinkingly because you have done them so long and provides you with a sense of completeness in your day. It is an incredibly intimate and home life related incense.

There is a cool and hot quality to Lingua Franca's incense that has taken me awhile to grasp. It has a cool sweetness in it that works to balance the resinous and woody scent of palo santo. It ultimately reminds my of father's wood shop when he would freshly lathe whatever project he was working on. It reminds me of the effect of wood heated at fast speed but never becoming warmed enough to burn.

In the end I suspect Lingua Franca is a scent that will speak differently to each wearer but somehow it will speak of intensely of something familiar. It is a scent incredibly evocative of home and memory. I'm not quite sure I got what Mik intended, I cannot say I have ever quite encountered a perfume that was able to evoke so many elements of life as Lingua Franca has.

On a final note in no way is this a heavy scent, there is plenty of longevity, but as always Mik is able to play with heavy elements and make them practically ethereal in how they play on the skin.

Try Lingua Franca if you like Serge Luten's L'Orpheline or Guerlain's L'Heure Bleu. In no way does it smell like these perfumes but it has the same power to evoke.

The perfume sample of Lingua Franca was provided generously by Mik of MikMoi.

first image
second image from
third image Emil Nolda


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful description. And think that perfume itself is so much like language, and so much like poetry, the concept of a universal 'lingua frana' perfume is wonderful.

marzipan said...

Oh I am so intrigued! I happen to be a big fan of lemongrass (very disappointed when Pacifica discontinues its Thai Lemongrass perfume)...and I do love L'Heure Bleu although smelling it can make me quite melancholy...great review!

Jennifer Koth said...

Neyon, MikMoi really works around ideas and what a perfume can communicate, in fact his newest perfume is based around the whole concept. Right now I am working on a review of it. So glad you like the review.

Jennifer Koth said...

Marzipan, I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets melancholy when smelling L'Heure Bleu, thankfully Lingua Franca does not bring out the melancholy but definitely is a very familial scent to me.