Smell of the Day: Peach Blossom

Peach blossom

Peach blossom

Smell of The Day is about noticing and appreciating the smells around me. Just one smell. It might be a perfume, a fragrant flower, the odour of something cooking, an unpleasant smell. All smells are equal. All smells are interesting. All smells affect us. Smell of The Day posts will feature one smell that made an impact on me that day.

Smell of the Day: Peach Blossom

It’s late winter, and this year it’s been the kind of long, cold winter that I hope will end soon. Today I went for a walk in the cold, rugged up so much that I could barely move in multiple layers and my knee-length down coat. With wind chill the temperature was a brisk 2º celsius. I know that some parts of the world get much colder, but for a girl raised in sunny South Australia, 2 degrees is a shock to the system. The walk was challenging and cold, yet uplifting and energising. To reward myself at the end of it, I grabbed the secateurs and cut myself three stems of newly opened blossom from the old peach tree.

Peach blossom

Peach blossom

Blossom is so beautiful – leafless stems dotted with clumps of flowers, both in bloom and still in bud – it creates a kind of instant, effortless Ikebana in the vase. I couldn’t resist placing them on top of my piano with my Japanese kokeshi dolls. Blossom reminds me of Japan, of the Hanami cherry blossom festivals held there in spring, and of Ukiyo-e woodblock prints.

Peach blossom

Peach blossom and kokeshis

Peach blossom smells like honey. It’s sweet, almost in a sickly way. The smell is strong and as I sniff the blossom deeply my nose intuitively pulls back, feeling drunk with the pleasure of this overwhelming and narcotic scent, and perhaps anticipating a sneeze. The smell reminds me of sugar syrup bubbling on the stove, waiting to be made into tooth-breaking toffee. If I sniff a little less deeply, I detect a scent a little like that of sweet hay, grassy and dry. Peach blossom reminds me that the bees will soon arrive and harvest the precious, deliriously sweet pollen from this very tree. It makes me happy and reminds me that winter will soon be over. Peach blossom is the promise of spring in a vase.

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Off Topic: Musings about Birthdays, the Cycle of Life and Loss

Dad & Me

Dad & Me

It’s my birthday tomorrow. But apart from it being my birthday month, July is also full of other anniversaries significant to me and my loved ones. These anniversaries and memories trigger complex and seemingly contradictory emotions: a coming together and co-existence of happiness, sadness, loss, pleasure and reflection. I’ve struggled with reconciling these feelings in recent years, but today, while mowing the lawn with our back-breaking push mower in the fresh cold winter air, I felt a shift within, a moment of calm and acceptance. As you get older, life becomes very different, experiences are repeated and layered, contradictions have to be able to co-exist in order to be integrated into ourselves, if we are to get on with life at all.

Today, the eve of my birthday, is also the sixth anniversary of my father-in-law’s death: an event that was unexpected, shocking and intensely sad. My partner’s sister’s birthday is July 27. Six years ago, her father was buried on that day. My own father, who died less than nine months after my father-in-law, is keenly missed on my birthday, as are my grandparents and my Nanna. I miss their cards, phone calls and presents, but not because I miss getting “stuff”. It’s because I miss them. Those things are absent because they are absent.

1stbirthday2

My first birthday

And yet countering all this, new life emerges, as it always does. My partner has another sister, and she is pregnant with her second child. Her first child was born on July 17 two years ago; a few days ago we celebrated her birthday. Life persists, the cycle of life (and death) keeps repeating itself. July used to be significant for me in different ways: much simpler, happier ways. Birthdays meant parties, simple, child-like joy and receiving focused attention from parents and family. July was also the birth month of numerous cousins and school friends, many born the same month as me. It was a joyous time and I loved it.

1stbirthday

My first birthday

Birthdays are different for me now, and I’m OK with that. It’s part of getting older, it’s part of experiencing life and loss and integrating all of those complexities, about creating a new self that accommodates sadness and loss, as well as happiness and pleasure. Tomorrow I will experience another birthday, and I will focus on simple pleasures and appreciating life in the moment.

Sweet Bags and Fragrant Samplers: Exquisite Threads @ NGV International

My obsessions are plentiful and run deep. I’m not only potty about perfume and serious about smell, but I’m mad about music and tantalised by textiles too. So, last week I spent a couple of hours at the National Gallery of Victoria’s — now finished — exhibition Exquisite Threads: English Embroidery 1600s-1900s. Expecting my mind to focus very much on the textiles and fabulous hand-worked embroidery in this exhibition, I was soon surprised to discover several references to scent and fragrance, and decided to take some snaps of the relevant pieces to share with you.

Fragrant Samplers

I found not one, but two samplers referring to the scent of flowers at Exquisite Threads. A sampler is a piece of embroidery that is used to both practice and demonstrate skill in sewing various stitches to form letters, text, numbers and images. Samplers often include letters of the alphabet and strings of numbers, decorative borders, and verses, poems or religious quotations. They are usually signed with the name of the person who completed the sampler, and the date. European samplers of the style seen here were regularly produced — and used as educational and moral tools for young women and girls — from the start of the 16th Century to the early 20th Century.

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) says the following about samplers:

“For young middle-class women, embroidery was a matter of learning, discipline and moral instruction; skills honed through the making of samplers.” (Quoted from the Exquisite Threads artwork labels pdf)

Sampler by Sarah Burch, Aged 7, 1778.

Sampler by Sarah Burch, 1778. Collection: National Gallery of Victoria.

Sampler by Sarah Burch, silk thread on linen, 1778. Collection: National Gallery of Victoria.

Sampler by Sarah Burch 1778

Sampler by Sarah Burch, detail.

 On Youth

Fragrant the Rose is but it fades in time the Violet sweet,
but quickly past the Prime, white Lilies hang their heads,
and soon decay, and whiter Snow in Minutes melt away
Such and so withering are our early Joys, which time or
Sickness, speedily destroys.

This little verse only has a tenuous connection to fragrance, nevertheless, it is interesting how both smell and flowers are central to its examination of lost youth, and how decaying flowers are used as a metaphor for this loss. It is also interesting that its maker, Sarah Burch, is pondering such themes at the tender age of seven. Regardless, I’m jealous of her needlework skills and cannot imagine a contemporary seven-year-old making anything remotely as impressive as this!

Sampler by Mary Dale, 1813.

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Sampler by Mary Dale, silk thread on linen, 1813. Collection: National Gallery of Victoria.

Sampler2_text

Sampler by Mary Dale, detail.

The flowry spring at thy command
Perfumes the air and Paints the land
The summer rays with vigour shine
To raise the corn and cheer the vine
Seasons and months and weeks and
Days demand successive songs of
Praise and be the grateful homage Paid
With morning light and evening shade

Once again, we have a simple poem about nature, including a mention of the perfume of flowers in the spring time. What I love about both of these verses is that people speak of nature as if it’s an important part of life, and that they notice the fragrance of flowers. It makes one realise that nature was much more revered and less cut off from day-to-day life in pre-industrial England than it is now.

Sweet Bag / Purse, Early 17th Century

This exquisitely hand-embroidered purse, or “sweet bag” dates from the early 17th Century and is made from linen, silk (thread), gilt-metal (thread), and seed pearls.
"Sweet bag", early 17th Century. Collection: National Gallery of Victoria.

“Sweet bag”, early 17th Century. Collection: National Gallery of Victoria.

“What on earth is a sweet bag”, I hear you ask? The NGV’s exhibition label describes it as follows:

“This small square purse is typical of bags of the period, sometimes described as ‘sweet bags’ because they held sweet powders to scent clothes and linen.” (Quoted from the Exquisite Threads artwork labels pdf)

The wonderful website Historical Needlework Resources has the following to say about sweet bags:

“‘Sweete Bags’ were produced during the Elizabethan period of English history. They were often given as gifts themselves or they were used as container for gifts, such as gold coins. They are some of the best known examples of Elizabethan embroidery, due to the large number which have survived to the present day. It is likely that they have survived in such numbers because the beauty of the items has made them desirable since they were first made.”

It is thought that such bags were filled with sweet-smelling substances, including spices, flowers, scented powders and herbs, in order to cover up the unpleasant odours which were rife during this era of poor hygiene and sanitation.


I had such a wonderful time at the NGV’s Exquisite Threads exhibition. Two of my passions, textiles and fragrance, were indulged at once, so how could I not be happy? I hope you’ve found today’s post interesting and that you’ve enjoyed seeing my photos of these beautifully crafted items and learning a little about the history behind them.

As I said, this exhibition finished last week, but if you’re interested in finding out more, or have a penchant for embroidery, you can buy the exhibition catalogue from the NGV website.

American Independents Week Perfume Reviews – Part Three: Frida by En Voyage Perfumes

Saturday the Fourth of July was American Independence Day. It struck me as fitting that several new fragrances by American independent perfumers were released recently and sent to me for review, all in time to celebrate Independence Day. So much of what’s interesting and innovative in perfume these days is coming out of the American indie perfume scene, and as the Fourth of July has recently passed, I thought I’d devote a week (or so) to reviewing three new releases by American indie perfumers. Today’s review is of the brand new Frida from En Voyage Perfumes, created by perfumer Shelley Waddington and launched only a week ago. In Part Two of this post, I reviewed Enticing from Anya’s Garden, and in Part One I reviewed Aftelier Perfumes’ new solid fragrance, Bergamoss.

Frida Kahlo, self-portrait

Frida Kahlo – Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940).

Frida – inspired by the iconic Mexican painter Frida Kahlo – is a brand new fragrance from En Voyage Perfumes. It was launched on Kahlo’s birthday, July 6th. As a fan of Frida Kahlo, I was thrilled when I discovered Shelley’s latest creation was inspired by this wonderful feminist artist who had such an interesting private life and remains to this day a cultural icon in Mexico and around the world.

Frida the Person

Frida Kahlo - The Broken Column (1944)

Frida Kahlo – The Broken Column (1944)

What follows is an extremely curtailed, superficial summary of who Frida Kahlo, the woman and the artist, was. To find out more about Frida, I can highly recommend reading The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait (Carlos Fuentes). There is no better way to learn about an artist than by viewing their art and reading what they’ve written about themselves.

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) endured a life of intense physical pain from illness and injury, including childhood polio and a bus accident in her late teens. She was also famous for her relationships, including a tempestuous yet close and long-lived bond — featuring two marriages and one divorce — with renowned painter Diego Rivera, and an affair with Leon Trotsky. Her paintings incorporate elements of folk art and surrealism, and she explored her illness, pain and relationships through many of her works, which rely heavily on symbolism and often take the form of self-portraits. Frida was also known for her flamboyant dress-sense based on traditional Mexican apparel, as well as her heavy brows and elaborate, traditional hairstyles.

Frida Kahlo - Frida and Diego Rivera (1931)

Frida Kahlo – Frida and Diego Rivera (1931)

A Love Letter from Frida Kahlo to Diego Rivera

I’ve included one of Frida’s love letters to her husband Diego Rivera below as it helps give some insight into her character and the nature of their relationship.

“Diego:

Nothing compares to your hands, nothing like the green-gold of your eyes. My body is filled with you for days and days. you are the mirror of the night. the violent flash of lightning. the dampness of the earth. The hollow of your armpits is my shelter. my fingers touch your blood. All my joy is to feel life spring from your flower-fountain that mine keeps to fill all the paths of my nerves which are yours.” (From The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait (Carlos Fuentes), and quoted at BrainPickings.org)

Love letter from Frida Kahlo to Diego Rivera

A love letter from Frida Kahlo to Diego Rivera

Frida the Perfume

Frida by En Voyage Perfumes

Frida by En Voyage Perfumes (photo courtesy of En Voyage Perfumes)

Shelley Waddington says of Frida on the En Voyage website:

“This perfume celebrates the life of Frida Kahlo; the woman and artist, her suffering, her Mexican heritage and her love of nature.

Frida was feminine, fearless and a revolutionary; she cross dressed, smoked cigars, and has been a part of pop culture for over 50 years. A world-travelled sophisticate who had love affairs with both men and women, Frida remained happiest at Casa Azul, her traditional family home.

Tuberose, a flower that the Aztecs called the Boneflower, is an important note in this perfume as an homage to Frida’s brutal calamities and artistic transformation. Other notes include the hibiscus that she wore in her hair as well as the tropical blossoms and plants of Frida’s garden. The fragrance also devotes close attention to other details of Frida’s life, such as the heat of her native Mexico City, the smells of her cigarettes and her heavy hair.”

Perfumer Shelley Waddington from En Voyage creates such rich, interesting, complex, multi-layered creations, and Frida is no exception. For some background on Shelley’s work as a perfumer and to find out how she conceives of her perfumes creatively, check out the interview that I published with Shelley a couple of months back. To read my recent survey of three En Voyage perfumes, click here.

My Experience of Frida

On first application Frida is very dry and savoury, and even a tad bitter. I feel like I’m in a hot climate and I smell dry, dusty earth and a strong tobacco with hints of a savoury vanilla* and green bell peppers*. Very quickly the top notes settle and start wafting around my body to produce the startlingly realistic effect of being in a fertile greenhouse, or a lush, tropical garden, complete with water-drenched leaves. Subtly sweet fruity notes emerge, the most dominant being a realistic, wet-smelling watermelon which, along with the tropical flowers and plants, creates a summery sensation.

Tuberose is central to this fragrance, and I find this particular tuberose quite indolic, and not very sweet or cloying, as it often can be in perfumery. The tuberose note forms a family with the heady, similarly indolic and tropical white floral notes of ylang ylang, gardenia and jasmine. All of this indole (along with myrrh) seems to create a medicinal note in the fragrance, which for me alludes to Frida Kahlo’s illnesses and injuries. I can’t help but think of the smell of adhesive bandages, hospitals and plaster casts when I detect this note. Oakmoss adds a slightly bitter undertone to the composition of Frida, and there is also a sweet and subtle woody base note that emerges after an hour or so, and which reminds me a little of En Voyage’s own New York Man.

There are two interesting Mexican notes in Frida: cactus flower and copal. According to Wikipedia, copal is

a name given to tree resin that is particularly identified with the aromatic resins used by the cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica as ceremonially burned incense and [for] other purposes... Copal is still used by a number of indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America as an incense, during sweat lodge [and other] ceremonies…” (sourced from Wikipedia)

Frida is a strong scent, and while it’s pleasant to smell it directly from the skin, I find it more enjoyable to apply it and to let it waft around the body as I go about my day. This also helps create the illusion that one is literally surrounded by a lush and watery tropical garden. Frida radiates enormously at first, but dies down to a softer, slightly sweeter version of itself after a couple of hours. It lasts on the skin for at least 8 hours, although it is a skin scent on me after about 3-4 hours.

My overall impression of Frida is that it is a tropical, vegetal and floral fragrance, a realistic garden scent to rival Jean-Claude Ellena’s Les Jardins (Garden) series for Hermès. In fact, I find Frida more complex, multi-faceted and realistic than any of the fragrances from the Les Jardins series, and it has much better sillage and lasting power too. If you like Les Jardins, give Frida a try.

This fragrance is a true unisex scent. It’s neither too sweet nor savoury, neither stereotypically masculine or feminine, which matches Frida Kahlo’s character perfectly. Kahlo was one to play with and subvert gender stereotypes: she enjoyed dressing in masculine clothing at times and having relationships with both women and men, while also embracing an ultra-feminine, traditional Mexican style of dressing.

Frida can be purchased from the En Voyage website, and stockists in the US (see the En Voyage website for details). A 0.8g sample is $6 USD, a 0.5oz (15ml) bottle is $75 USD and a 1oz (30ml) bottle is $95 USD.

For a complete list of notes and to read more about Frida, visit the En Voyage website. I’ve avoided listing all the notes here as I think it’s important to convey an impression of the scent and its character, and to talk about the dominant notes, rather than a list of the ingredients.

Warmest thanks to Shelley Waddington of En Voyage Perfumes, who kindly sent me a sample of Frida to review.


*A note about the smell of green bell peppers (known as capsicums here in Australia). One of the notes listed for Frida is green pepper. Due to this difference in nomenclature — Americans call capsicums peppers or bell peppers — I assumed (incorrectly) that green capsicum had been used in Frida. I had a brief discussion with perfumer Shelley Waddington yesterday and she confirmed that it is in fact green peppercorn that can be found in Frida. However, she also told me that she had worked with incorporating the smell of capsicums/bell-peppers/chillis in the scent, even though these ingredients aren’t actually present, through perfumer “tricks”. Well it worked, because my nose really does smell capsicum! Vanilla is not listed in the notes for Frida either, but I do get wafts of a vanilla note very much like that found in L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Vanille Absolutement when I first apply Frida. It’s a dry, dusty, savoury vanilla, a little like vanilla essence.

American Independents Week Perfume Reviews – Part Two: Enticing from Anya’s Garden

Last Saturday was American Independence Day. It struck me as fitting that several new fragrances by American independent perfumers were released recently and sent to me for review, all in time for Independence Day! So much of what’s interesting and innovative in perfume these days is coming out of the American indie perfume scene, and as the Fourth of July has just passed, I thought I’d devote this week to reviewing three new releases by American indie perfumers. Today’s review is of Anya’s Garden’s new fragrance Enticing. Last Saturday I reviewed Aftelier Perfumes’ new solid fragrance, Bergamoss, and later this week I hope to review the brand new Frida from En Voyage Perfumes.

Anya McCoy's lovely package containing Anya's Garden samples.

Anya McCoy’s lovely package containing Anya’s Garden samples.

I’ve not had the pleasure of smelling any of natural perfumer Anya McCoy’s fragrances before, so receiving her parcel was a real treat. Not only did she include a sample of Enticing, her latest fragrance, for review, but also several other samples that I hope to explore and discuss in the future.

Tuberose

The tuberose flower

Anya’s Garden’s Enticing is exploration of the power of the narcotic, seductive tuberose flower. In a fascinating blog post that provides insight into Anya’s research and her creative concepts behind the fragrance, she writes:

My goal was to recognize the sexiness of the flower and to enhance the buttery, lactonic, deep, dark aspects of it. I wanted to make a skin caressing, long-lasting perfume that holds tuberose close to you, and one that has a silky effect when breathed in. Clary sage is another plant recognized for its power to affect your senses merely by breathing in the essence, both in the garden, and from the distiller’s essential oil. It’s perceived in the opening top note, along with a trace of cardamom, to tease the nose into not quite recognizing the lush floral headiness of tuberose, and then they recede, and the full blown power of tuberose, bold and soft, smooth and velvety, takes over – like it has always done.

Enticing by Anya's Garden. Photo courtesy of Anya McCoy. Source: http://anyasgarden.com/blog/enticing-perfume-from-anyas-garden-giveaway/

Publicity shot for Enticing by Anya’s Garden. Photo courtesy of Anya McCoy.

Enticing is categorised as a floral musk, and while it certainly contains large quantities of tuberose and natural musk, I find it hard to place it in this category. To me, floral musks are usually much softer and lighter, while Enticing is a weighty and intense creature. Enticing is a very dark, rich fragrance. It is equally sweet and medicinal in character, with some really interesting fatty, rounded notes, and a great big dose of dirty patchouli.

The tuberose used in Enticing is heady and sweet, but I don’t detect the usual indole that often announces tuberose’s presence in a fragrance. The treatment of tuberose here reminds me a little of its use in Histoires de Parfums’ fragrance Tubereuse 3, where it is blended with immortelle and rich tobacco and is similarly non-indolic, yet is sweet and heady, and sits dead-centre in the composition, as if a spotlight is being shone on it.

A musk tincture from Siberia is used in Enticing and it smells vintage, ultra-animalic, sexy and skanky. Butter CO2 (not an ingredient I’ve come across before) rounds the fragrance out and warms it up, and is quite apparent for the first hour or two of wear. As Anya wrote in her blog (see above), she wanted to enhance the “buttery, lactonic, deep, dark” elements of the tuberose, and the creamy butter works wonderfully in this regard. The butter note also compliments the waxy aspects of the beeswax used in Enticing, the sweetness of which compliments the syrupy tuberose.

Other earthier, darker ingredients add depth to these starring notes, including a yeasty mushroom, opoponax and patchouli. I can just detect the subtle “zing” of cardamom too.

Enticing by Anya's Garden. Photo courtesy of Anya McCoy. Source: http://anyasgarden.com/blog/enticing-perfume-from-anyas-garden-giveaway/

Enticing by Anya’s Garden. Photo courtesy of Anya McCoy.

Enticing is a sexy, strong and dark fragrance. It combines some outspoken and interesting notes in a unique way. I recommend it for anyone who enjoys unusual fragrances on the richer, darker side of the spectrum. Enticing sits reasonably close to the skin, radiating about 2 feet, though as I only have a sample and wanted to get multiple wears out of it, I was quite sparing in my application. I can imagine if I wore this on 4-5 pulse points at once, it would pack more punch. Enticing lasts about 4-5 hours on my skin.

You can read more about Enticing at Anya’s Garden’s blog and on the website. Enticing can be purchased in the Anya’s Garden online store. A 4ml bottle of pure perfume is $100 USD and 15ml of Eau de Parfum is $150 USD. A 0.3ml pure perfume sample is $11 USD.

Many thanks to the lovely Anya McCoy for sending me the sample of Enticing to review; it’s been a fascinating olfactory experience and I look forward to bringing you more posts about Anya’s Garden perfumes in the future.

American Independents Week Perfume Reviews – Part One: Aftelier Perfumes’ Bergamoss

Today is American Independence Day. I live in Australia and while this holiday has no significance here, it struck me as interesting that several new fragrances by American independent perfumers have been released recently and sent to me for review, all in time for Independence Day! So much of what’s interesting and innovative in perfume these days is coming out of the American indie perfume scene, and as the Fourth of July is upon us, I thought I’d devote the next week to reviewing three new releases by American perfumers. Today’s review is of Aftelier Perfumes’ new solid fragrance, Bergamoss. Over the coming week I will also review Anya’s Garden’s Enticing, and the brand new Frida from En Voyage Perfumes.

bergamossparcel

Mandy Aftel’s parcel containing Bergamoss. A gorgeous treasure waiting to be opened.

When opening a parcel from Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes, you are always in for a treat. Not only did I feel like I had won the “golden ticket” when this beautiful golden parcel arrived complete with whimsical sticker, but the tiny little purple-and-orange-patterned box inside, complete with handwritten note, made me feel spoilt, like this was a very special gift just for me. And what a gift Bergamoss is!

bergamossparcel2

bergamossparcel3As you can see, Aftelier Perfumes’ new solid perfume, a chypre, comes in the most fantastic shade of pale olive green. I’m easily suggestible to such things, but this fragrance really does smell like the colour. Bergamoss smells quite herbaceous and fresh, like plants and grasses, and showcases the fresh lightness of bergamot. But this greenness coexists with a syrupy-sweet orange, a smidge of a very natural peach note, and loads of oak moss.

Bergamoss is slightly bitter-sweet when it goes on. It reminds me a little of chinotto, that refreshing, sweet, yet bitter Italian soft drink, made from the juice of the fruit from the myrtle-leaved orange tree (Citrus myrtifolia). I suspect this bitter-sweet effect is created by the amalgam of sweet orange tempered by the bitter oakmoss. Like chinotto, this perfume also has a subtle effervescence, a fizz and a tang created by the citruses and green notes. Yet it is also rich and solid, grounded and anchored by the oakmoss, a subtle waft of earthy, warm nutmeg, and is rounded out by coumarin.

Bergamoss also includes a couple of very exciting ingredients that I’ve not had the pleasure of smelling before: flouve, a rarely used grass that smells of sweet hay, coumarin and green notes, and antique civet. Unless real civet lurks in one of my antique fragrances (I only own a few), I’m not sure ever I’ve smelt this either: synthetic civet is used much more often in perfumery these days. In any case, I’m not sure I can detect the civet (not as a fecal note, anyway) and to me, the flouve blends in to the general “greenness” of the fragrance, without being particularly distinct. However, as I’ve never smelt flouve in isolation, I’m not quite sure of the exact smell I’m trying to detect.

Bergamoss has a classical character and smells like a vintage fragrance of a bygone era. No doubt the antique civet and the other high-quality ingredients used in this all-natural solid perfume contribute to this impression, as well as Aftel’s adherence to a traditional chypre structure that pairs citruses with oakmoss. Even the name “Bergamoss” is a clever play on words with two of this chypre’s key ingredients: bergamot and moss.

Bergamoss is a solid perfume and as such does not beam and shout its presence to all and sundry. It does however radiate beautifully from my skin, especially when I sit and knit or type while wearing it on my wrists. The movement and the heat from my body gently warms the fragrance, creating a halo that sits 1-2 feet from the skin. It is an intimate fragrance, and if you want it to last longer than about 2 hours, you will need to reapply. Bergamoss is unisex and really does sit right in the middle of the gender spectrum: I genuinely think it would wear very well on either sex.

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Bergamoss in its sterling silver Aftelier Perfumes case. Photo sourced from aftelier.com

Bergamoss retails for $240 USD for 8ml of solid perfume in a sterling silver case, and is available direct from Aftelier’s website. You can also request that the perfume be poured into one of several unique, antique cases (including watch cases, snuff boxes and compacts), for a little extra.

You can read more about Bergamoss at the Aftelier website, and I strongly recommend reading Mandy Aftel’s own description of the fragrance at this link, as she describes the ingredients and the role each of them plays in this very elegant composition.

Warmest thanks to Mandy Aftel for providing the sample of Bergamoss for me to review.