Post by Azar
Hello Perfume Pals,
New perfumeries pop up everyday and it is inevitable that some will fall by the wayside. The ability to create beautiful fragrances does not mean a house will be around forever.
In 2016, after 9 years in business, Meredith Smith sold her Seattle based Sweet Anthem to a Portland, Oregon perfumer. While the name and the logo have not changed, my favorites – Joan, Lolita, Red Queen – are missing from the new website. Meredith will remain involved as a perfumer, but I have to admit that I miss her presence and my visits to her tiny shop in West Seattle.
Today I’m reviewing two perfumes that include the illusive scent of tomato leaf.
The Trouble with Tomato Leaves!
First let me say something about tomatoes. Last year the 100 + tomato plants in my garden produced a bumper crop in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. This summer I’m growing half that number of plants and the season has been cool. We won’t have a glut of tomatoes this year. However, we will have the fragrance of tomato leaves – but not for long! The leaf scent is produced by glandular trichomes in the epidermis that secrete a yellow substance giving each variety a characteristic odor. As the nights get cooler and the days shorter the trichomes no longer function and the scent of tomato leaf is history. At this point I resort to manmade perfumes for my tomato leaf fix!
Tomato Leaf: Sweet Anthem + Illuminum reviews
Tomato Leaf by Michael Bondi for Illuminum 2012
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Tomato leaf, carrot seeds, orange, jasmine, freesia, osmanthus, musk, vanilla
Tomato Leaf is a green, raw, and crisp white floral, chilly and slightly acrid, lacking the vegetal warmth of the real thing. It seems the perfumer tried to create warmth using osmanthus and something like clove, but instead managed to push the fragrance into the realm of Tiger Balm – Baume du Tigre Fraîche! Don’t get me wrong! I like Tomato Leaf but would adore it if the green floral lasted longer and the Tiger Balm was less prominent.
Joan by Meredith Smith for Sweet Anthem 2010
Basenotes gives these featured accords:
Beeswax, coriander, peony, tomato leaf, white mint
Joan, on the other hand, is a warm, sunny floral – herbal, minty and full of beeswax. The tomato leaf is entwined with peony creating the scent of an early summer garden. While not a true tomato leaf, Joan captures the essence of a tomato plant soaking up the sunshine. I prefer the solid version to the EdP, as Joan is quite long lived with serious sillage.
Both fragrances have been discontinued. So – why am I even reviewing them? Good question! What do you think? Should reviewers write about impossible to find fragrances? Has one of your favorite houses been sold or gone belly up? Do you like the scent of tomato leaf in perfume?