Post by Azar
In the past ten years or so the Pacific Northwest has become a hot spot for niche and indie perfumers. Our unique northwest culture of creativity and innovation, our dreary wet winters (we’ve got to come up with something to do!) and the independent spirit of many of the residents all contribute to an atmosphere that encourages our local “noses” to flourish. Several PNW (Pacific North West) perfumers have developed international followings and have been written up and blogged about extensively throughout perfume-land. If I name a few of these perfumers I will be missing too many. Today’s post is an introduction to a PNW perfumer who is probably not as well known as some others but whose work is very popular nonetheless.
Sweet Anthem Perfumes – Meredith Smith, perfumer
Meredith Smith initially founded Sweet Anthem as a small press / independent publisher in 2001 while at college in Texas and closed the business when she went to study abroad in Eastern Europe. She began studying perfumery in 2005 while working as a graphic designer and web developer in Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood. Like many independent perfumers Meredith found composing a fragrance to be a natural extension of her love for creating music, visual art and poetry. Sweet Anthem evolved into an on-line perfume shop in 2007. Three years later she left the mass design industry and began working as a full time perfumer. In October 2011 Meredith and her husband Phil purchased a live/work residence where she opened her brick and mortar Sweet Anthem storefront and workshop at street level.
Photo9 Stolen Sweet Anthem Perfumes
I love visiting Meredith’s tiny shop on California Street in West Seattle. She offers her own perfumes for sale, maintains a small inventory of other niche and indie brands and teaches occasional classes in the basics of perfume composition. For more information about the Sweet Anthem product line and scent related services check out Meredith’s new website Sweet Anthem Perfumes
Recently Meredith added a sample service to her shop. I recently received my first of four installments from Sweet Anthem’s “SA List”. The “Spring Anthology” includes two 2ml samples of soon to be released EDPs – Poppy and Lolita, a 2ml sample of Alice and a perfume solid of an older favorite, Cath. While I have enjoyed a number of the Sweet Anthem perfumes for several years I found that these latest fragrances have taken a slightly more sophisticated turn.
Photo Stolen Sweet Anthem Perfumes
Poppy, a sort of gourmand-oriental, unfolds like a flower bud in time-lapse photography. The pointed clove quickly opens into a dark cocoa tinted with red flowers that I perceive as spicy carnations (Meredith points out that there is a trickle of saffron here as well). After a couple of hours the gourmand heart develops and finishes as a dry, smoky incense/opium fading to musk. While the name “Poppy” references the perfume classic Opium, I find this new scent to be kin to fragrances like DSH Café Noir and Olympic Orchids Café V, but lighter and drier. Poppy is a warm and spicy fragrance with good sillage and great longevity, a perfect scent for holing up in a cozy den, anticipating the arrival of spring.
Photo Stolen Sweet Anthem Perfumes
Lolita, on the other hand, is reminiscent of a warm spring afternoon, but without the muguet – thank you! (Don’t get me wrong, I love Lily of the Valley, but it seems to have become such a seasonal cliché.) Lolita opens with just a touch of black current, evolving to a heart of fragile and delicate cherry blossoms. I can barely detect the rosewood mentioned in the fragrance notes. The cherry blossoms linger for several hours eventually combining with and drying down to a salty sort of tonka bean. Lolita is more intimate than Poppy but seems to last just as long on my skin and, like the movie “Lolita”, the final impression of the salty cherry blossoms evoke a youthfulness far removed from innocence. Lolita will be mine as soon as she is available.
Sweet Anthem Perfumes US GIVEAWAY
WHAT CAN YOU WIN?
This week we will have ONE USA winner:
Who will receive:
A 2-season subscription to the Sweet Anthem “SA List” sampling program for one lucky US resident. The winner will receive two different sample sets. The “Spring Anthology” will be sent right away and the “Summer Anthology” at a later date (see the subscription FAQ on the Sweet Anthem Perfumes website).
P&H to the USA
HOW DO YOU WIN?
Open to everyone in the USA (or who has a USA friend who’ll post it to them) who follows AustralianPerfumeJunkies via eMail, WordPress, Bloglovin or RSS. Please leave how you follow in the comments to be eligible. I must be able to check that you follow so if you have an email address on your gravatar that’s different to your follow address then please email me so I know. Yes, you can start following to enter, in fact it’s encouraged.
You must tell me how you follow APJ
You must have a US address
Leave a comment about a Sweet Anthem fragrance that you already know or about one that you would like to try
Sweet Anthen GIVEAWAY http://wp.me/p3PURw-2uA @sweetanthem #Giveaway
Entries Close Thursday 27th February 2014 10pm Australian EST and winners will be announced in a separate post.
Winners will be chosen by random.org or some other more fun way at the discretion of Azar, our host for this giveaway
The winners will have till Monday 2nd March 2014 to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or the prize will go to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit.