When I first smelled Sumatra by Tuvache (Tuvache 1942), it was in my early days of really discovering perfume. I had certainly been enjoying wearing various fragrances for years, but I hadn’t been exposed to that many scents really, especially old fragrances with notes that haven’t been widely used in years (and in some cases are now illegal to use). I thought it was nice, but very heavy and very strong and very “old.”
Now, I find myself amazed by Sumatra’s rich, wild charm. It’s a very underrated, secret gem. I am baffled as to why perfume lovers haven’t taken note of this scent more…
It starts out warm, friendly, dense and creamy with a heavy benzoin, styrax, spiciness. There’s a strong vintage carnation note as well, set against a sexy green background. It reminds me very slightly of Vol de Nuit, and in fact, there is a bit of a Guerlinade quality to Sumatra. It’s bolder and more scandalous than Vol de Nuit though, with a leathery, green sandalwood drydown. I honestly, can’t say I’ve experienced anything quite like Sumatra, and again, I question why it’s so unheard of.
The top notes I found listed for this fragrance are: cinnamon, clove, and a green accord. Middle notes are: galbanum, gardenia, ylang ylang, and carnation. Base notes are: patchouli, styrax, benzoin, vanilla, and sandalwood.