Pale Fire is immediate relief. Skip the ibuprofen; this fragrance is truly modern medicine. A tiny whisper of sweetness and smoke is so incandescently simple it renders us stunned, soothed and cool. Yet, as this fragrance aptly demonstrates, transparency is not one dimensional. Tahitian vanilla comingles with labdanum, creating (at least) three delicate, disparate effects. At first vanilla and labdanum are creamy compadres, smoke gliding close to the supple contours of vanilla’s flesh; then, these notes become intimate, and vanilla starts to bubble and burst against labdanum’s hot surface. Finally, like lovers who choose the ultimate eternal bond, vanilla and labdanum self-immolate, vanilla’s rich, sweet texture evaporating in passionate absorption of labdanum. In the aftermath of this fiery climax, we momentarily register only a thick, flavorless grey smoke. But then we notice the soft tendrils and amorphous, Phoenix-like form of oakmoss. Curling through it, olibanum weaves with the effortless, fugitive glide of a serpent, one moment incense, the next a sparkling, solid cylinder of resin. The faintest trace Ghanaian cocoa tinges the air, a light rainfall signifying the pleasurable release of this reincarnation. Smoldering, earthy and almost silent, Pale Fire reimagines the saying “still waters run deep”; sometimes, what you can barely see (or smell) is the most impactful.