Coven by Andrea Maack 2013


Post by Sister Mary Magdelene, Patron Saint of Perfumers


Bright blessings of another scented day fellow fragrance worshippers. I wonder if I will surprise you with the focus of my adoration today. It is a truly ecumenical day when a nun sings praises to a witch’s brew!

Of course nothing wicked this way comes. This is a perfume, a consumer product like any other niche-ish fragrance release, with the toil and trouble being that of Icelandic visual artist Andrea Maack and an uncredited perfumer. Ineffable is fine by me, I’m a woman used to mystery. But how does it smell?

Let us spray!

Coven by Andrea Maack 2013

Coven Andrea Maack FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Woody notes, green grass, soil tincture, oakmoss, whiskey, spicy notes

I’m happy to report that the delicate instrument the good Lord placed in the centre of my face registers no essence of newt or tincture of bat, however this fragrance could well be the smell of their habitat. Such an onrush of sappy and bitter green. There is grassiness and a light but distinct touch of galbunum, but the strongest and most lasting impression is of dank earth notes to rival Demeter Zombie. Yet where Zombie achieves a suitably claustrophobic and menacing accord, all the green in Coven conjures a convincing outdoorsy and airy loaminess of an evergreen forest with oakmoss growing thickly. Is that a waft of brimstone through the trees? Or just the sulphurous breath of Maack’s volcanic homeland?

Coven Andrea Maack  Iceland Volcano Victor Montol FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Now there be spirits! Notably whisky, which in keeping with the scent story is peaty like my favoured Islay single malts. This boozy heart warms the composition and beats strongly for hours along with a vanillic Peru balsam and the tickle of cassia and a peppery capsicum. The initial green and earthy character recedes only slightly, the duet of fecund earth and peaty aqua vitae has a balanced progression. Over the hours what at first seems to be a trick of my nose gathers strength and becomes an undeniable sweet and floral tone. It is a lovely and unusual drydown.

The longevity of Coven is exceptional, lasting on skin overnight and on clothing for days. Whereas this tenacity could be unwanted in many perfumes, I was happy still to carry the scent of this enchanted forest clearing.

Coven Andrea Maack Enchanted Forest Kat Wojcik FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Unless excessively applied, I can’t think Coven would be out of place in any situation. It’s possible many people will not recognise this as personal fragrance, perhaps mistaking it for lingering air from outdoors. But if he does ask, don’t tell the Bishop its name. Men of his ilk can sometimes not see the forest for the trees.

Naturally I am heartily in favour of a scent that is unique, dark, earthy and green. I pray that Coven shows respect in its name to communities of women engaged in ritual and devotion, leading healing and caring lives connected to the rhythms of days, seasons and natural cycles. There is much to admire in that.

WitchPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

The equinoxes approach us (vernal in the Southern, autumnal in the Northern hemisphere), what an ideal time to try such a fragrance as we celebrate the warming fertile earth or give thanks for its fruits as it cools.

Further reading: Persolaise and Colognoisseur
Libertine Parfumerie has $185/50ml including FREE delivery in Australia
LuckyScent has $135/50ml + samples

Do you have a scent for rituals?

Bless, and blessed be!
Sister Mary Magdelene, Patron Saint of Perfumers.

19 thoughts on “Coven by Andrea Maack 2013

    • Hi Sister Mary,
      Your description of Coven is stunning! And yes I have a couple of scents for rituals, both from Rosarium Blends. One is called The Rosarium. I have several other samples that are tempting me to a full bottle buy. I’m sure you would enjoy reading about Catamara Rosarium, (the nose alchemist, master herbalist and ritual artist) on the Rosarium Blends website. BTW she has kindly consented to do an interview for APJ with me sometime in October.
      Azar xx


      • Oh hello, and thank you Azar, this really is a special scent.

        Of course I am intrigued by Rosarium Blends and have had a peep at the website already. Thanks so much for the recommendation. I shall await the interview eagerly, you really are meeting some wonderful fumie folk of late, it’s lovely that you share with us here!

        Good! October is next month.
        Bless xOx


    • Marie, how lovely of you to pop by. Perhaps not the most glamorous of bottles, but a wonderful scent.

      I’d love to hear of some of the marvelous flaçons you have seen…



  1. Hey there Sister Mary,
    I can’t tell you how much fun I had searching for pics to garnish your post, I love Andrea Maack’s work, both scent and fine arts, thanks for reminding me of this beauty.
    Portia xx


    • I always adore the images you select Portia. It’s a real talent.
      I ran out of space to mention Maack’s very striking artwork, so thanks for mentioning it. Beautiful.
      Sister Mary xOx


  2. Hi Sister Mary 🙂 – I absolutely adore this fragrance. It one of the few that is all it says on the can. Like breathing in all the facets of a forest, including the sunshine breaking through the trees. I like to layer this with some incense, or squirt a few drops + some lavender EO into a diffuser recreate the smell Wales in Kuwait!


    • Hello to you in the desert Jane EP. If Coven can bring you Wales in Kuwait there really is some magic in it!

      Adding the incense and lavender in the air are super ideas…

      Blessings upon your work!


    • Lovely to see you CQ, and you are heading into weather soon that will be just perfect for this scent. I hope you enjoy.


  3. Fabulous writing, my dear Sister M. It brought a big smile to my face on this otherwise gloomy day. I must hunt down this fragrance for a snort, as I love galbanum green scents 🙂


    • Ah Christine W, I shall be very interested to hear what you make of this one. There is a lot going on as well as the green, so pray do let us know your impressions.


  4. I do not have a scent for rituals, which suddenly seems like a terrible oversight. Coven sounds like it actually does justice to its name, which is a pleasant surprise. Bless you, Sister. (And thank you for a review both lovely and funny.)


    • As you might imagine Laurels, my rituals have more usually been scented with frankincense! But you are quite right – this one most certainly fits the bill for a magickal happening.
      Let us know if you happen upon something to scent a soulful soirée.


  5. For flying rituals I would wear Hokkabaz, a dark scent from Esscentual Alchemy.
    But I will never know where Portia found that picture of me and my broomstick…


    • Jackie b I have a strong sense that we have just touched upon a subject here in which you are very well versed. Essentual Alchemy? Another treasure trove to explore!

      Lovely image of you on the broomstick, no doubt all wreathed in Hokkabaz. Spellbinding!

      Blessed be.


  6. I absolutely must get my hands on a sample of this – it sounds magical, in no small part to your wonderful writing Sister Mary. Maybe it’s because the equinox is coming but I’m really drawn to the idea of having some witchy scents in my collection.


    • Thank you for such kind words, I have faith that I have not merely woven a spell of words around something simply ordinary. It is quite a special scent. I can imagine it’s not to everyone’s taste- it is bold and unusual. I shall be very interested to hear your impressions Yin.
      Many thanks for stopping by,
      Sister Mary


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