Please head from now on to:
New site is up and it’s gorgeous!
Please head from now on to:
New site is up and it’s gorgeous!
I mistakenly wrote in the last installment that frangipani was an important ingredient in Mrs. Younger’s custom perfume. It’s not; I plan to include frangipani in Artemis concrete de parfum (CDP from now on). I’m hoping to make a powdery lavender CDP. I’m hoping diluted tonka-bean absolute will make for something powdery (Jane Cate of A Wing and a Prayer Perfumes told me that to make her perfume Epione she used tonka tincture which she’d made herself; that perfume is quite powdery, and I’m hoping the diluted absolute will make something powdery (I can’t think of a better term, but people must understand what we mean by powdery? Smelling like talcum powder, but only at the edges of the aroma). Epione is an eau de parfum, so I wonder if tonka will have a similar powdery-giving effect in a CDP. Frangipani, to me, smells fuzzy in its floral nature; I’m hoping this will enhance the powdery effect of the tonka.
Much to my surprise, John Reasinger said Daphne extrait is “better than Caron or anything coming from Paris” !!! It’s funny, because I didn’t think much of it when I first smelled it; I liked Anthea extrait better, but John has a better nose than I do–I’ll often send him perfumes I’m not sure about, and I trust he’ll be honest and frank. I say I send him stuff I’m not sure of, but then that’s not true. If I thought I made something terrible, I wouldn’t dream of sending it to John; I’d prefer he only smell the better things I have to offer. Still, it’s good to know I have a friend who will smell samples, good and bad, and give me sincere feedback about them. John recently has been getting much attention from blogs; my, does he deserve it. I encouraged him to blog for Ca Fleure Bon, which is the fifth most popular perfume blog.
Artemis, my lavender CDP, still needs work. It’s almost there, but I know what I did wrong: I added too much lime essence and not enough lavender (CO2 in the base and EO on top). You’d think I could just make something simple; I’m afraid because I’ve had so much trouble with lavender alcohol perfumes. I took out the frangipani from the formula; I have a simple 8-note CDP to make. It promises to be excellent, but I won’t know for sure until the CDP has matured. Natural perfume is a waiting game. I let my alcohol perfumes rest a month, the CDPs more like two weeks. When I first got into natural perfume, I realized ambergris tincture wouldn’t work in CDPs; so I bought raw ambergris, chopped it up, and macerated it for six months in fractionated coconut oil (FCO). I still have two bottles of it left.
Ms. Youngers loves her custom perfume! She said she’s wanted a custom scent for years, and Rhea is exactly what she was looking for. She was impressed, as many others have been, with my obvious talent, especially at making custom perfumes. I have a particular knack, a finesse, a facility, when it comes to constructing custom-perfume formulae. Some of my best perfumes, moreover, if you ask me, are solids, Anthea, Aphelia, Selene, Rhea; with liquid perfumes it tends to be more difficult for me to see the big picture. Some are only just now becoming what I wanted them to be all along, Chronos EDP, Ares EDP, etc. I think I’ve said before on this blog I feel Ares EDP is the essence of me; if you could distill me (in some absurd universe), Ares EDP is what you’d get.
Still working on a lavender perfume, which I’m calling Artemis. The one solid we made smelled too much like Rhea, which isn’t bad necessarily–I’m just hoping for more of a lavender aroma. I’ve tried to make liquid lavender EDPs; I’ve found lavender can be a difficult aromatic with which to work. I’m hoping the solid form will make it easier on the nose, more pleasant, not stinky the way liquid lavender perfumes can be, at least in my own personal experience. I’m determined: I think this represents a major hole in my line: no lavender perfume? Any self-respecting natural perfumer should have something which smells like lavender; however, that’s only my own personal radical notion.
John Reasinger’s copy for Chronos EDP:
“The Myth: The personification of Time itself. Chronos was the second oldest of all beings (according to Hesiod) after Chaos, from which all things rose. Time cuts down all men, no matter how rich, or how mighty, eventually. It has seen the rise and fall of man, of empires and the birth of the universe itself. Somewhat of a mystery to the ancient Greeks, they named him but did not worship him in temples or with festivals; though they were keenly aware of his presence and his power over them. Somehow, Cronus (the titan father of Zeus, Poseidon, etc), lord of the Harvest, who ruled the world in the Golden Age became confused with Time itself. Now we have Father Time who carries a sickle (symbol of the harvest) and symbolizes the end.
“The Fragrance: A thick green balsamic opening, redolent with warm spices (both smooth and sharp), permeated by an amazingly clean and pungent woodiness catch your attention immediately. As the fir needles and spices fade, but never quite disappear, an extremely sweet floral bouquet greets the nose. Built around the immortelle flower (and its delicious aroma), this covers one like a warm cloak of flowers, woods and spices woven together seamlessly. Roses, jasmine, magnolia and ylang all dance, joining their aromas like a chorus of voices, celebrating the sweetness and beauty. Drying to an earthy blend of moss, orris, and resins kissed with woody musk, here is where Summer meets Autumn. Days, though still long and sunny, grow cooler and shorter. Time marches on. A scent for those who like sweeter scents, and love the crunch of leaves underfoot and the feel of an earthy forest wind.”
I recently made a custom-perfume _solid_, believe it or not. Bianca Youngers said she wanted a solid instead of a liquid; I kind of agree with her–a solid (concrete de parfum) is very intimate, only those who hug or kiss you get the aroma. The whole point of perfume, good perfume, especially natural, is that it should be, first and foremost, sensual. After two tries, I got something I thought she might like. Who knows–I may be in the wrong ballpark entirely. The formula will be secret of course, but a few notes in it are sandalwood, magnolia, and bergamot, out of 14 notes altogether. I’ll get back to you in the next installment about exactly what she thought about the stuff, Rhea I call it.
I recently created Anthea eau de cologne; we started with a 7% eau de toilette, but that was too strong (compared to the solid), so we ended up making a 5% cologne. I got the idea to make a 25% extrait, or pure perfume; we tried Anthea and Daphne. Anthea was the clear winner; I may jack it up to 30%, but that would such a small amount. Small price to pay for something that smells truly magical. It is all the best parts of Anthea, but multiplied and even more extravagant, delectable, and sublime. My ode to jasmine hit all the right marks in all its forms, solid, cologne, and extrait. It, along with Ares EDP, are my two main prides and joys.
I’m also determined to make a lavender perfume–every female at Fashion Week Tampa Bay asked what I had that smelled like lavender. I tried for several years to make a lavender perfume, and each time I failed miserably. Now I have a better idea how to properly construct a professional perfume, I thought I’d try again. We made a couple of liquids, which were only okay, so-so. So I decided to make solid; I have lavender CO2, which not many perfumers know is essential to making a solid. I feel I have an uncanny ability to create beautiful solids. I think on the new website I will end up calling them concrete de parfum.
“Snake: Yeah. Well, now that I can wear it openly, I gotta say it’s my new holy grail in rose scents. I mean, it’s kinda weird being solid and all-natural and everything, but this stuff rocks. The rose – dammit – it’s just good. It’s so smooth and so together, you’d figure it was made by some big-ass company that spent a million dollars figuring out how to make it just right. But at the same time, it smells complex and harmonious like a natural. Cause it is. Just weird as hell.
Joey: Well, for once we agree. I have to say it’s two big thumbs up on this one. Adam really hit this out of the park. I don’t know if it’s the solid format, or the composition itself, or a little bit of both, but the rose here is supported so well, I almost wouldn’t believe that it was done as an all-natural. The longevity isn’t spectacular, but the ride sure is. It’s the rose equivalent of an amusement park. Where they serve excellent booze, I might add. It’s 100% Adam, but I’ve gotta be blunt – about 15 minutes in, this stuff reaches a magic moment that knocks the socks off of a lot of top designer and niche rose fragrances. And it hangs on for quite a while. Rose lovers simply must try it. No excuses.
Snake: What did he say was in it?
Joey: 13 ingredients to be exact. The base is fascinating – orris, vanilla and ambergris oil. The heart is rose and rose gallica, supported by araucaria [a rose-like scent] and hyacinth. It’s a very clear and simple rose, but very beautiful. The top is rosewood, cedar, geranium sur fleur (rose), palmarosa [also rose-like], and pink pepper. Item thirteen is the carrier – jojoba/beeswax. Well, there you go – beeswax – there’s your pomade. Not just manly and American – it’s old-timey and natural, too.
Snake: Damn – I knew there was more reasons I liked it. But I still don’t get why he called it Ophelia.
Joey: It’s Aphelia. Ophelia is a character in Hamlet. Aphelia is the spirit of simplicity in Greek mythology. She was nurse to Athena. A related word is still used today for “naïveté”. Rolling eyes NOW.
Snake: Cool. Simple is good. So how are we going to explain to people just how good this sexy beast is?
Joey: The only way we possibly can. By abusing classic literature. Horribly.
“Aphelia Perfume Solid
“The Legend: Aphelia is the personification of simplicity. The Greeks often gave life to to qualities that they were attempting to understand, or wished to glory through poetic expression. The simplest answer is most always the best (Occum’s Razor) and how thinking too much can actually cloud the solution is something we all need to remember. The more we attempt to dissect and analyze something, the more chance we have of missing its intrinsic beauty.
“The Fragrance: Composed of roses, the sacred flower of Aphrodite (goddess of love) but not defined solely by them, this scent showcases all the beauty and evolution of a rose, as it evolves subtly and slowly. From its first bursting buds on the vine: woody, ever-so-slightly spicy and green with delightful fruity nuances, to its full fragrant many petaled blossoms: rich and luxurious, accented with green woody balsamic notes. A rose in the country, a rose in the wild; this dries to something almost yet not quite oriental, with supporting notes of smooth sheer vanilla, iris root and ambergris. A floral creation that exalts the beauty of a single flower with complimentary notes that bring its richness to the fore and enhance it without overpowering or diluting it. A scent for those who like to stop and smell the roses…”
This was an old review of Dionysus, on basenotes.com, also by Neil Sternberg. I had no idea this existed until two days ago; it’s Dionysus meets Star Trek. Neil is the character Redneck Perfumisto. A small excerpt here:
“Redneck perfumisto (RP): Oh yeah! The green thing at the beginning, plus the animalic part. I noticed some similarity to Verdigris. I’m assuming it’s due in part to the use of Africa stone which Adam mentioned. All the facets and notes – animalic, grassy, tobacco, oud, earthy – they’re all there.
Dionysus: What about skin? I like skin. Any differences?
RP: The tobacco and oudy notes seem stronger. Definitely more boozy. And it has these “antique wood” notes that are just pretty amazing. You know how a really old cedar drawer with old papers can get this kind of strange odor that just takes you back? Yeah. Big-time.
Dionysus: How about a lighter application? Not that I’m asking for any particular reason…
RP: Glad you asked! At a lighter spray, it has a lot in common with Guerlain Homme Intense – although I personally like that one more. The same kind of herbal thing, but less sweet, less gourmand. It tends to be more elegant and subtle with a light misting application, more powerhouse when applied wet to skin.
Dr. McCoy: What about longevity?
RP: Can we talk about something else?
Spock: If I may answer, longevity is typical for naturals, meaning moderate at best. One does get a fairly long-lasting skin scent with heavy application.
Dionysus: How about development? Either of you…
RP: It’s there, but it depends. The big wet spot holds its form pretty well. The misted arm develops faster, but it’s gone quicker.
Spock: He also found the heart notes very compelling. There is a region where the herbal aspects are diminished, but the woody, oudy, and especially the boozy aspects predominate. That is something of a holy grail moment.
RP: Yeah, I really liked that part. Maybe that’s the cognac-and-spikenard thing. Whatever it is, it rocks.
Spock: In answer to your original question, there is substantial development, but only moderate longevity, unless applied strongly.
Dionysus: I don’t know why everybody is so worried about longevity. To paraphrase, ‘Fragrance is short, memory is long.'”
Dr. McCoy: What the heck does that mean?
Spock: If I may.
Dionysus: Be my guest.
Spock: Our lifetime as intelligent biologicals is fleeting, and is composed less of the things we want to remember, than of our reminiscences of those things. Therefore, it makes more sense to create a few really good memories and recall those, than to demand that less enjoyable things persist as both less enjoyable events and less enjoyable memories of those events.”
Other participating perfumers in this Natural Perfumers Guild project are:
Anya McCoy, Anya’s Garden, Ms. McCoy’s blog
Christi Meshell, House of Matriarch
Elise Pearlstine, Belly Flowers, Belly Flowers blog
Jane Cate, A Wing & a Prayer Perfumes
JoAnne Bassett, Ms. Bassett’s blog
Ca Fleure Bon, designated bloggers, Michelyn, Mark, Neil, Ida, Tama
“Ophiuchus is a large constellation located around the celestial equator. Its name is from the Greek Ὀφιοῦχος “serpent-bearer”, and it is commonly represented as a man grasping the snake that is represented by the constellation Serpens. Ophiuchus was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations. It was formerly referred to as Serpentarius (English pronunciation: /ˌsɜrpənˈtɛəriəs/; also Anguitenens), a Latin word meaning the same as its current name.”–from Wikipedia
Aphelia was the personification of simplicity for the ancient Greeks. I made this perfume, not because it fit with any of the ideas behind the 13th sign, but simply because I used 12 aromatics, which, when combined with jojoba-oil/beeswax (both organic, btw), makes for 13 basic materials. It’s a stretch, but it basically fits? If the perfume weren’t as good as it is, I wouldn’t get away with tossing the perfume in there with the others. It’s basically an ode to rose.
Aphelia solid (for each section, in order from greatest concentration to least):
1 Orris CO2
2 Vanilla CO2
3 Ambergris oil, homemade by me
5 Rose gallica
10 Geranium sur fleur (rose)
12 Pink pepper
More copy for my upcoming renovated web site:
“Heracles EDT 7%
The Legend: Heracles (Hercules in the Roman) was the son of Zeus and Alcmena (the last mortal woman Zeus embraced). He was from birth stronger than a full grown man, and strangled two serpents Hera sent to kill him and his mortal twin brother. He is the most famous of the Greek heroes. He completed Twelve Labors, vanquished many a monster and villain ravaging his Greek homeland (and Asia Minor). He went to the edge of the world for one of them and descended into Hades for another. There was nothing that he could not do. He married many times and had many affairs and countless offspring. One feat (often called his Thirteenth Labor) was siring 51 sons on the 49 of the 50 daughters of Thespius in a single night! He was a legendary lover, a true hero and an unstoppable fighter. He eventually ascended into Heaven (Olympus) and, forgiven by Hera, was wed to Hebe (goddess of youth) and became an immortal.
“The Fragrance: A dry spicy and clean woody opening gives way to a heart of flowers, both elegant and sensual. A beautiful essay in contrasts between vigor, strength and loving tenderness; this EDT is strong, but never overbearing. A finish of sweet resins, musky woods and seeds is balanced by warmth and a subtle oriental accord of sandalwood and amber, kissed with cassis leaves. A scent that is at once sexy and seductive, like a passionate lover clad only in a lion’s skin…”
–John Reasinger of Journey in Smells
“Phoebe EDP 11%
The Legend: Phoebe was from an older race of Gods called the Titans. The last offspring of Gaia (Mother Earth) and Ouranos (Father Sky), they were twelve in number. The were the first “gods” and ruled during the Golden Age of Mankind. Phoebe was “radiant” and was the original goddess of the Moon and lit up the night sky. She married her brother Coeus and had two daughters Asteria (mother of Hecate, goddess of witchcraft) and Leto (the mother of Apollo and Artemis). In the War of the Titans, she sided with her brothers and sisters against the Olympians and was, after their defeat, confined in Tartaros (the deepest darkest pit in Hades).
“The Fragrance: A bright blend of greens, and warm blossoms with a hint of spice greets the nose, invigorating and intoxicating all at once. A thick heady chorus of flowers begins to sing, weaving its spell of sensuality and mystery. Warm and sexy yet refined, Phoebe leans more towards the feminine but is utterly unisex. Osmanthus is the star here, majestic she is surrounded by flowery resins, giving an air of incense, vanilla and woody musk. A regal scent for those in touch with their own divinity…”
–Also by John
The following “copy” will part of my upcoming professionally renovated web site. I programmed the old one myself, and I just can’t get around the fact that Internet Explorer users simply can’t use my site (which involves, mainly, Internet Explorer not using the same CSS standards every other browser uses). I don’t know what to do, but I can detect in advance what browser a given person is using–but then all I can tell them is not to use Internet Explorer to view my site. A person simply can’t use my site at all in Internet Explorer (panes overlapping other panes so that you can’t see all the links or all the text on a given page). With luck, the renovated site will solve all that.
The Legend: Demeter was the goddess of grain and all growing things. She was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea (Titans) and sister to Zeus, Poseidon, Hera, Hades and Hestia. Her mother Rhea was worshiped as Ops, Cybele and many other names; she assumed her mother’s duties and divinity. She ruled planting, growing and reaping, and many of her rites and rituals involved all three of her aspects (maiden, mother and crone) though she is normally looked at as the fertile mother. Her daughter (to Zeus) was Persephone, goddess of springtime and flowers; who became the bride of Hades (god of the underworld and afterlife). Her power was so great that in her grief over Persephone’s disappearance; she forbid anything to grow. She is the “heart” of the earth, the giver of life, and was offered the first fruits and vegetables of every harvest.
“The Scent: An opening of dark pine cones, spices and warm blossoms creates something utterly unique, reminiscent of the forest in late autumn . As earthy and dark as it is beautiful, this becomes softer and slightly more subtle with summery flowers, while retaining a depth and and mystery about it. The finish is a blend of drying hay, tobacco and pine-green, but more dry and dark. Hints of woods and oozing resins give it strength, while the aroma of libations of fruits and wine surround you. A scent for those who are not frightened by the “darker” side of nature, and revel in its mysteries…”
–by John Reasinger of Fragrantica
The Legend: After being chided by Apollo to “leave the bow and arrows to the grown ups”, Eros (Roman: Cupid) shot Apollo with a golden dart of burning love…but pierced the heart of Daphne (nymph and daughter of the river god Achelous) with a bolt of lead causing unrequited love. Apollo pursued Daphne, but she was not interested in the least, preferring to hunt with Artemis and roam the hills and valleys of Greece. When the golden god could no longer suppress his lust, he gave chase to the young lady, whispering sweet words in her ears and promising to make her his Queen. She fled from him aghast, yet he pursued her…and just as he was about to overtake her, she called out to her father to save her. Immediately, she was stopped in her tracks, her feet became roots, her skin bark and her hair the leaves of the Laurel tree. Apollo, still madly in love with her, plucked the leaves of the tree and fashioned a crown. Laurel became his most sacred tree. Oracles chewed these leaves to receive visions from the god and foretell the future.
“The Fragrance: An opening of dry flowers, spiciness and sharp greens echo the bewitching beauty that first captured Apollo’s attention. Here is grace, elegance and vigor; all blended seamlessly. As the heart of this scent beats, it warms (as the god’s did) with a melange of flowers ranging from sensual and seductive, to warm and sweet. As enchanting as it is serious, Daphne develops slowly, in typical chypre fashion, as it ranges from bright to floral and full, before it becomes earthy and haunting. A woody warm resinous sweetness lingers on the skin, hinting at the transformation of the poor nymph’s form from skin to bark. Dark woods coated in sweet saps blended with warm vanilla and amber combine with dry airy moss to create something altogether majestic and alluring. A scent for someone who love the feel of fresh earth beneath their feet, and is in touch with its beauty…”
–also by John
“On initially discovering the Lord’s Jester line, Ares was the first perfume that caught my attention. On receiving the samples Adam was kind enough to send me, I was quite smitten with this scent! Ares EDC is a warm, sexy fragrance that lasts on my skin (despite its Eau de Cologne concentration) and gently balances warm golden ambery incense aromas, with spices and sexy flowers on ancient dried woods. When I found out that he did an EDP of Ares, I jokingly said (having not yet tried it): “I want at least a half an ounce!”. He said “Try it first.”, so I did. On a cold cloudy PA autumn day, I spritzed Ares EDP on and went to town…
“All throughout my day, I was HAUNTED by the warm beauty of this fragrance. It is not sweet like a gourmand or like a dessert; but it reminded me of molasses and how it is thick, and darkly sweet and so very comforting. Every time I moved (or my shirt did), I got this heavenly whiff of Ares…and sighed! I got no less than four comments on how good I smelled that day (from complete strangers)!”
–John Reasinger of Fragrantica, on Ares Eau de Parfum
I cannot express well enough how good that first crafts fair at Tiga Bar in Portland Oregon was for my gumption; it was the first time I was in the spotlight with my perfumes. I was added to the line up for the crafts fair pretty late in the game (as far as I remember). It was a mad rush partly because I was making small batches at the time; I remember that for each perfume I only had enough of a given perfume to fill a few small bottles. Then came literature: I had at least to make basic descriptions of the perfumes (bits of which are still seen on my website). And I had to have business cards delivered by 3-day mail/UPS/FedEx/etc., from Vistaprint.
I’ve been using Vistaprint ever since that first time. The business cards, car magnets, cups, t-shirts, pens, all look great; sometimes the pens don’t work very well, but it doesn’t matter much–it feels very professional to be using a pen customized for my own business. They’re quick (whether you do 3-day mail, even overnight, or not), efficient, precise about the way things should look (well, you kind have to pester them about precision). Overall, I’ve only had very minor mistakes with this company. They offer, for business cards, recycled 100-lb card stock for a little bit extra, and you can even get a little recycled logo on the back. The following card, to me, looks elegant and quite professional:
“This deep, green, woody scent is an ‘80’s powerhouse of natural fragrance. A green, earthy, boozy floral, it has a musty retro feel that turns back the grandfather clock and never stops. One moment, you’re in a freshly mowed field after a rainstorm on a summer’s day, with wet, cut, wild grasses all over your boots. The next moment, you’re lost in the stacks in an old library, carrying a brandy snifter. And it wears differently every time. This is natural perfumery that doesn’t blink, doesn’t run, and doesn’t compromise.”
–Neil Sternberg for Ca Fleure Bon, regarding Hermes EDP
“The vividly mossy stain of the fragrance does not bely the scent itself: it’s rather mossy and quite animalic all right; musty, tart, very dry and earthy, but with a floral depth opening soon.”
–Elena of the Perfume Shrine, also regarding Hermes
John Reasinger’s Hermes review:
“How happy was I that Adam took my patron god (if I had to pick one) and made a fragrance (and an EDP, at that) inspired by him?? Hermes was the child of Zeus (king of the gods) and Maia (a daughter of Atlas). He was born in a cave, on Mount Cyllene, as Maia (though immortal and a goddess herself) sought to keep the child a secret from Hera (Zeus’ eternally jealous wife and queen). On his very first day of life, he crept out of the cave he shared with his mother and created the lyre (from a tortoise shell and innard strings), stole his brother Apollo’s sacred cattle, hid his tracks and the cattle…lied about it (to Zeus) when questioned and then made Apollo trade the caduceus (and all it represented) to get them back! He presented the lyre to Apollo as a gift.
“My kinda guy; Hermes was sly, clever, inventive and a real “go getter”. He was the patron and protector of travelers, messengers, gymnasts, athletes, shepherds, liars and thieves. Not only did he do all these things, but when a person died he was their guide to the gates of Hades (the underworld). He was married to Chloris (goddess of flowers) and was the lover of the youth Hyacinthus. He was androgynous, handsome, eternally youthful and the voice of Zeus himself to mortals. He figures in many myths (from early myths to the Trojan War and even after in the Aeneid and Odyssey), had many lovers (both male and female) and a multitude of children and offspring.
“He loved mankind and man’s curiosity and ingenuity. He lived in Heaven, had run of the Earth and the keys to the Underworld. Few gods had his far reaching power or his energy! He wore winged sandals (the talaria) that allowed him to move as quick as thought itself. His symbol was his staff and his sacred plant was myrtle. Hermes was a gentle god and more of a lover than a fighter, and his essence (in all of its aspects) was caught well, here in this scent…
“A thick moist wind bowls you over, right out of the sprayer, with fresh dense linden flowers and buckets of lime juice and their zesty peels. Though Hermes is all natural (as are all Lord’s Jester scents), there is something beguilingly harsh and at the same time fresh and sparkling; not unlike the newborn god himself who was at once innocent, yet devious. The citruses in the opening fade in their fury, somewhat, and a sunny sweet orange and dry woody marigold peek out. The heart of this magnificent perfume is like the heart of the god himself: sweet, yet masculine, and sensual. Rose bourbon (climbing roses from the Reunion Isle, off the coast of Madagascar, believed to be a hybrid of turkish Damask and “Old China” roses) adds a unique warm floral fullness to this, along with two types of thick jasmine (sambac and golden jasmine) and boronia (a wild climbing flower from Australia, with very intense smelling blossoms) that result is the epitome of genderless beauty and an edgy androgynous sexiness.
“The components of this perfume are from the four corners of the globe, symbolizing (maybe even without the perfumer’s knowing it) the god’s travels and worldwide duties. Hints of woody green balsam develop after a while, adding yet another facet to this crafty and complex character. The heart notes, to me, smell of a drier green wind; heavy with the scent of mysterious flowers and exotic, far way places. The dry down on Hermes is as fascinating and as elegant as the two stages that came before it. Still green with a thicker linden blossom absolute and the essence of green cognac-it is enchanting, only now it is nigh on intoxicating with its vapory warmth and smoothness. Ambrette (hibiscus seeds or musk mallow) is combined, and balanced perfectly, with hyrax (or Africa stone) to create something altogether musky and deeply sexual while never smelling too aniamlic (or “pissy”).
“Where most fragrances (on the mass market) tend to end in woods, resins or vetiver; Hermes is, yet again, original in the addition of flouve (also called “buffalo” or vanilla grass) which keeps it “green” but adds a dry, rather sweet grassiness to the overall composition without ever getting too earthy or “dirty” smelling. Hermes is, indeed, one of a kind. He is, from start to finish, an enigma…yet strangely familiar. He is precocious, beguiling and each successive wear reveals more of his charms and subtle magic to me. Hermes is NOT for those who would rather smell like spices, woods and musk; but for those who crave something a bit different, something unique and something strong…but not oppressive. He is now running a close second to my beloved Heracles.
“Hermes first concentration was a bit lighter than this one; I vastly prefer this heavier one. My mother, on the other hand, likes the lighter one and is not all that fond of this one. To each their own…I always say. What strikes me most about this particular version of Hermes is that it is actually much more in your face in the beginning, with an uncannily thick concentration of citruses, and then it matures and mellows as its softer (but nowhere near weaker) side appears. In the final drydown, it is essentially the same scent it always was just more earthy, almost dark, while keeping its strength and youthful exuberance but reigning them in a bit. He is now more “laid back”, but just as strong and every bit as beautiful as he was at first.
“Some words that came to mind as I tested Hermes: WOW!, weird, green, enthralling…and most of all–unique! Hermes was Adam’s contribution to the Natural Perfumer’s Guild 2011 project: Brave New Scents. It is indeed brave in its use of little known aromatics, new in how it is blended and balanced (I have NEVER smelled anything like this one) and man…WHAT A SCENT! Some may not care for it, and some may find it artful yet not all that appealing. Me? I think I am in love…”