Post by Azar
In my last post, an interview with Meredith Smith of Sweet Anthem Perfumes, we talked briefly about the Indie Fragrance Criterion – Discover Pacific Northwest Perfumes. Today I am reviewing all six of the fragrances in the collection (whew!). In an attempt to be brief I will list the perfumers’ notes for each scent, my perceived notes and a short comment about each perfume. Years ago my mbira teacher referred to melodic lines that emerged from complex interactions of rhythmic patterns as “the present and obvious”, the present but not obvious” and, my favorite, “the obvious but not present”. You will notice in my lists of perceived fragrance notes there are scents that are totally obvious to me but not at all present in the perfume compositions.
Indie Fragrance Criterion – Discover Pacific Northwest Perfumes
Blooming Dream Natural Fragrances: Otto by Suzinn Weiss
The Perfumer’s Listed Notes: Savory basil, pepper, cardamom, a spicy carnation accord, irresistible chocolate, lavender, cocoa, pink pepper, amber accord.
Perceived Notes: Top – milk chocolate, cocoa, pink pepper. Middle – lavender, garden herbs, Herbes de Provence, a peppery red flower, cardamom. Base – cocoa, amber.
Otto is a rich and complex oriental semi-gourmand that smells a lot like the cabinet where I store my dried herbs, flowers and spices for cooking, and the extracts, powders and chocolates for baking. I am a sucker for fragrances with basil. My 2 ml sample will soon be gone.
Olympic Orchids: Olympic Rainforest by Ellen Covey
The Perfumer’s Listed Notes: Cedar leaves, green sword fern, rhododendron, forest mushrooms, wild flowers from the clearing, oakmoss, Port Orford cedar (also bee-balm, myrtle, black spruce, balsam fir).
Perceived Notes: Top – the Olympic Rainforest in WA state USA. Middle – wild flowers, sweet grass, myrtle, cedar greens and wood. Base – cedar, balsam and oakmoss.
This is one of my favorite “scents of place” from Olympic Orchids. I really hate breaking down and dissecting this one. To me it IS the scent of the Olympic Rainforest; fecund, lush, cool, verdant, wet and dripping with life. The sillage is moderate and longevity a respectable six hours on the skin and longer on clothing.
Pirouette Essentials: Wild Spruce and Tobacco by Karyn Gold-Reineke
The Perfumer’s Listed Notes: Crown – bergamot, fern, spruce. Heart – spice, smoke, leather. Root – vetiver, tobacco, roots.
Perceived Notes: Top – Vicks Vapo Rub, vanilla, bergamot, spruce. Middle – lime, spice, spruce, smoke. Base – spice, vetiver, spruce.
The medicinal, “Vicks Vapo Rub” component actually serves to pull me into this fragrance. The bergamot morphs to lime at the heart. I don’t really get the tobacco but perhaps what I believe to be vanilla is actually part of the listed tobacco note. After exhausting my sample I immediately purchased full bottles of cologne and cologne oil as well as a shaving soap for B.
Rebel & Mercury: Royal Couple by Nikki Sherritt-Lewis
The Perfumer’s Listed Notes: Top – white grapefruit. Middle – Russian rose, Bulgarian rose, organic jasmine. Base – cognac, oud, sandalwood.
Perceived Notes: Top – funky oud, cumin, coriander, dry white grapefruit. Middle – woods, labdanum and just a touch of rose. Base – labdanum, woods, a whiff of grapefruit.
Several of the notes I smell in Royal Couple are in the “obvious but not present” category. The oud is scorched and funky and partners well with the white, dry grapefruit. The rose is almost invisible but the grapefruit lingers throughout the entire life of the composition, evaporating in a dry breath after about two hours. Royal Couple is a unique and fun to wear woody/grapefruit unisex scent.
Sweet Anthem Perfumes: Phoebe by Meredith Smith
The Perfumer’s Listed Notes: Head – maple sugar, snow. Heart – lavender. Base – dirt, tobacco, white amber.
Perceived Notes: Top – cumin, celery seed, maple sugar. Middle – muddy snow, lavender. Base – dark patchouli, amber.
For just an instant after spraying I smell something dirty and sweaty (cumin?) and then immediately celery seed and maple sugar candy. Despite the dirty aspect, Phoebe leaves an overall impression of something sweet, cold, green and clean, reminding me of playing in the snow and eating snowballs fortified with drops of maple syrup.
Sweet Tea Apothecary: Dead Writers by Jen T. Siems
The Perfumer’s Listed Notes: Black tea, vetiver, clove, musk, vanilla, heliotrope, tobacco.
Perceived Notes: Top – heliotrope, amber, clove. Middle – heliotrope, carnation/red flowers, black tea. Base – heliotrope, strong sweet vanilla.
Heliotrope is usually not for me and so I was a bit surprised when I initially got along so well with Dead Writers. The sweetness of the flower seemed to be tempered by warm, rich amber. I loved the top and the heart but in the end I was left with just too much heliotrope for my taste. If you are a fan of this purple flower I would highly recommend Dead Writers, a creative, modern and well crafted resurrection of a classic, sweet floral.
If you happen to be in San Francisco on July 17th don’t forget to drop by Tigerlily Perfumery (http://www.tigerlilysf.com) for the Indie Fragrance Criterion event where you can meet the proprietress Antonia and say hello to some of today’s featured PNW noses.
Indie Fragrance Criterion GIVEAWAY
WHAT CAN YOU WIN?
Meredith Smith of Sweet Anthem Perfumes in Seattle has generously provided the prize for today’s drawing, one complete sample set of the Indie Fragrance Criterion – DiscoverPacific Northwest Perfumes.
P&H Anywhere in the world
HOW DO YOU WIN?
Open to everyone worldwide who follows AustralianPerfumeJunkies via eMail, WordPress, Bloglovin or RSS. Please leave how you follow in the comments to be eligible.
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Please comment about “the obvious but not present”> In your perfume experience have you ever smelled a note that wasn’t really there?
Tweet: @OzPerfumeJunkie Indie Fragrance Criterion GIVEAWAY http://wp.me/p3PURw-2Xc #Perfume #Giveaway
Entries Close Thursday 10th July 2014 10pm Australian EST and winners will be announced in a separate post.
Winners will be chosen by random.org
The winners will have till Monday 14th July 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.
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