New Perfume Review Maison Christian Dior Holy Peony- Sifting Through the Wreckage

I would not say 2018 will go down as a creative apex for the fragrance side of Christian Dior. My thoughts on the travesty of Joy by Dior are well-known. The brand’s insistence on releasing new perfumes which smell nothing like the old perfume while retaining the name; another peeve. In the past I’ve overlooked these because of the La Collection Privee. That was where the soul of Dior fragrance lived. If in-house perfumer Francois Demachy was making that collection with the creativity that was apparent, I didn’t care what was going on at the mall. Then they had to complete their wrecking ball of 2018 and ruin that.

In the middle of 2018 they replaced La Collection Privee with a new collection folding some of those into the Maison Christian Dior collection. This was twelve new releases plus the holdovers from La Collection Privee. It was overall a mess. Proving even a talented perfumer like M. Demachy does not have an endless well of creativity. There were some bright lights but compared to the earlier collection they seemed less substantial in a every meaning of that word.

Francois Demachy

In the past as my desk starts to become covered in upcoming floral spring releases, I would look for a sample of the new La Collection Privee to lift my spirits. I stared at the sample of this year’s Maison Christian Dior Holy Peony with apprehension; equal parts hope and dismay. The reality falls somewhere in the middle.

Like all the new Maison Christian Dior releases, heck all the recent Dior releases; M. Demachy has embraced the trend of transparency. In most of the cases in the Maison Christian Dior collection that produced insipid perfume. in the too rare cases where it did come together the result was slight without becoming complete. Holy Peony manages to find a better finish to a transparent fruity floral.

Holy Peony is a mix of berries combined with apricot rose. It comes together in a familiar fruity floral accord. What sets it apart is a suite of synthetic woods and musks are used to expand that accord. The base notes provide a warmth while attenuating the fruity floral-ness by inflation. Using those synthetic base notes are what make Holy Peony a better than average spring floral.

Holy Peony has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.

These past few months have felt like I am sifting through the wreckage of a once great maison de parfum. That there are still some things worth the effort stand for something.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Christian Dior.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review DSH Perfumes Oudh Noir- Outside the Firelight

In “Game of Thrones” one of the characters says “the night is dark and full of terrors”. It is why humanity used fire to keep it at bay during the time when the sun has set. Anyone who has spent time outdoors in a wild setting around a campfire knows the sound of creatures stirring just outside the circle of light. On a trip to Montana a moose decided to remind us there were creatures beyond our firelight by hightailing it through camp. There was another night where there was a musky feral smell which drew near but didn’t reveal itself. When there are perfumes which have a significant raw animalic aspect I am often reminded of that. When I tried DSH Perfumes Oudh Noir I found a fragrance which was the entirety of that experience.

Independent perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz has begun a new sub-collection called “Heirloom Elixirs”. They are meant to be limited editions. Oudh Noir was #2 released simultaneously with #3 Aoud Blanc representing an “Oud in Chairoscuro” duo. Not sure what it says about me, but I was attracted to the darkness over the light. Part of what appealed to me was this sense of standing in a circle of firelight while the wild things circled.

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

Oudh Noir opens with oud representing the woodsmoke. The surrounding trees are portrayed by sandalwood and cedar. That is the smoky circle of light. A haze of tobacco is as if I am muttering a Native American chant to keep me safe while tossing tobacco into the flames. Then the scent of the earth being moved by something large comes forth in patchouli. A swirl of spices accompanies the earthiness. The scent of the beast, perhaps? Then a feral animalic accord circles the light. This is a snarling pacing bit of musk and fur. It tiptoes right up to the edge of being rank. A leathery quality emerges to prevent that. Oudh Noir remains at this point for hours. It isn’t until the dawn appears over the horizon that the beast retreats only leaving the embers of the fire.

DSH Perfumes Oudh noir has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.

It is rare for any perfumer to let the skanky animalic notes have the lead in a perfume. I think it probably only appeals to a certain kind of perfume lover. Oudh Noir is one which allows me to wonder what is outside the firelight with pleasure.

Disclosure: this review is based on a sample provided by DSH Perfumes

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Talc de IUNX- The Giacobetti Continuum

The best perfumers use their past to define the present. No one has been more adept at this than perfumer Olivia Giacobetti. Throughout her career you can draw lines from previous perfumes straight through to the newest release. There is a name for this. When objects are placed side-by-side and there are small differences to each subsequent item yet when you reach the terminus it is quite distinctly different than the beginning. This is called a continuum. Mme Giacobetti has seemingly designed her perfumes to be the next data point on her personal version of this. Talc de IUNX extends it.

Mme Giacobetti is one of the most important perfumers of the last fifty years. Unlike her contemporaries she has delighted in doing things her own way. Currently that means the only place she makes perfume is for her own brand, IUNX. Which is sold in only one place; the IUNX boutique in Paris. This is typical of Mme Giacobetti who would rather blaze the trail than tread after others. Her body of work speaks for itself as her signature transparent style has now become commonplace. She has been around long enough to see what was once perceived as a flaw become the trend.

Olivia Giacobetti

When I say Talc de IUNX is part of an evolution in Mme Giacobetti’s perfumes in this case I am referring to the iris-centric perfumes. I would say this line begins with 1996’s L’Artisan Parfumeur Drole de Rose to 1999’s Hermes Hiris to three of the perfumes she did for the all-natural brand Honore des Pres; Bonte’s Bloom, Sexy Angelic, and We Love NY: I Love Les Carottes in 2010.

Iris is an ingredient of duality as it embodies powder and root. The latter, which is the source of the perfume material, can be used to provide a shimmering effect which the powdery nature dusts. In Talc de IUNX the name should give you a hint which part of the duality Mme Giacobetti is most interested in.

Mme Giacobetti begins with the iris out front. It is listed as “white orris powder” on the website. What I perceive is an iris which is slightly powderier while still retaining that silvery effect of the root. To ensure that the powder remains ascendant over the root Mme Giacobetti uses rice absolute. This warms the overall iris effect while also enhancing the powderiness. Rice powder and iris powder are kissing cousins on the cosmetic table; in Talc de IUNX they mesh in a more intimate union. Layered underneath this is white cedarwood essential oil. This does not ground the perfume but adds a gentle lift to the iris. What does tenuously ground things is ambrette seeds. Ambrette seeds are a source of natural musk. They provide a gentle scent of skin. With all the powder, along with the name, it is difficult not to think “infant’s skin”. That is not entirely off-base but the ambrette is more like a gentle caress of human touch. It makes Talc de IUNX feel like a kiss of benediction.

Talc de IUNX has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

I haven’t gone more than a few hours since I received my sample without thinking about Talc de IUNX. When I add this to The Giacobetti Continnuum of iris perfumes it feels like a culmination of all she has done in the past.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Maison Margiela Replica Under the Lemon Trees- The Perfect Lemon

In the South Florida neighborhood I grew up in there was a small citrus grove. Run by Mr. Meeks he realized in the neighborhood kids he had a labor force when he needed to harvest. Our parents encouraged it because it kept us busy and outside. I would say my love of citrus came from climbing ladders while filling a crate with ripe fruit. It is also one of the reasons I am so fond of citrus fragrances. It does give them a higher bar to clear to catch my admiration. Most citrus perfumes will go for an abstraction. There are a few which will attempt a photorealistic re-creation. For those to receive my approbation they have an even higher degree of difficulty to clear; Maison Margiela Replica Under the Lemon Trees does.

Maison Margiela began the Replica collection in 2012 it has overall been one of the more coherent selection of fragrance on the market. They each choose a place and a year allowing the perfumer the opportunity to interpret with a lot of freedom. It is one of the reasons for the success of the collection. Which is why I am so frustrated to not be able to tell you the perfumer behind Under the Lemon Trees. This is a fantastic piece of perfume construction which deserves to have the artist behind it named. I am sure I will eventually find out and I’ll update when I do.

The Replica collection has quite a few of the photorealistic type of perfumes within it. I don’t think any of them have done it as well as Under the Lemon Trees. Intelligent choices throughout coalesce into a perfect composition which does what it says on the label.

The lemon source is an accord of petitgrain, which comes from bitter orange, and lime. This is realized as the sweetness of the petitgrain provides the right balance to the tart of the lime. The first time I sprayed this on a strip it was like picking a yellow ripe lime off Mr. Meeks’ tree. There is a cool breeze of cardamom which flows through the early moments. The perfumer clearly wants to capture the green leaves of the trees. The choice is unconventional as they achieve it through green tea and mate tea with coriander. The bitterness of mate tea mixed with the less confrontational green tea comes together to form the scent of those sharp green leaves. The smart perfume making continues in the base as a set of white musks soften a green cedar to the right density to capture the trunk of the tree. Once it all comes together it is exactly like sitting under a lemon tree.

Under the Lemon Trees has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

We’re still a few months way from when Under the Lemon Trees is really going to be at its best. That it still made me feel the sun on my face in an orchard grove in the middle of winter tells you how good it is.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Maison Margiela.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Ermenegildo Zegna Essenze Madras Cardamom- Out of the Woods

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It is easy to commend the perfume brands which develop their aesthetic and stick to it. Those are the minority. The majority are made up of brands which never find their identity. This means a perfume with that name on the bottle comes to stand for nothing. Then there comes a moment when it seems like things start to coalesce from the chaos. It’s still a little early to be sure but Ermengilido Zegna Essenze Madras Cardamom might be a further signal this brand is finding its character.

Trudi Loren

Ermengilido Zegna got into the fragrance game in 2003. They were a trend follower in those early days looking for their own version of the popular styles of the time. After a few years of doing this Estee Lauder assigned one of their best creative directors Trudi Loren to revitalize the brand. It was better but still frustratingly unfocused. There were individual releases which were good without creating a Zegna style of fragrance. There was one collection which showed something approaching a unified perspective; the Essenze Collection.

Marie Salamagne (photo: Jerome Bonnet)

Launched in 2012 there were sporadic releases which all showed a similar style in highlighting a keynote without becoming soliflore-like. I’m not sure what the reasoning is but Ermengilido Zegna has decided to bring back five of the original Essenze releases along with one new one. That is Madras Cardamom.

Perfumer Marie Salamagne creates a sweet Oriental featuring cardamom which is where the perfume starts. The cardamom is a strong presence. So strong it took me some time to notice the other ingredient in the top accord. That ingredient was a cleverly placed coffee note. Don’t come to Madras Cardamom looking for a rich coffee presence. What Mme Salamagne does with it is to use it as a focusing element of the citrus parts of cardamom. Like pulling a thread I was enjoying the cardamom and started focusing on the citrus character only to find a roasted nuttiness at the end of that thread. It is very subtle which continues into the heart as cedar takes the lead with vetiver playing the same behind the scenes role. This is a green cedar which matches the cardamom. It is very clean. Mme Salamagne uses vanilla to sweeten the final stages.

Madras Cardamom has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.

The work by Ms. Loren, over the last two years especially, maybe portends Ermengilido Zegna has finally found its way out of the woods. If that’s so Madras Cardamom might be remembered for being the fragrance which signaled that.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Ermengilido Zegna.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Chanel Chance Eau Tendre Eau de Parfum- Crowd-Pleasing 101

There are very few brands which reach a significant size without finding a way to balance innovation and popularity. That is especially true for the ones which pride themselves on being the leading edge. If done well a smart brand will follow behind the more lauded creativity with something which is meant to please the masses. I doubt there are many who have done it better than the fragrance side of Chanel.

Throughout the 1980’s and 90’s into the 2000’s perfumers Francois Demachy and Jacques Polge re-wrote the concepts of masstige perfume making. By 2002 they would release Chance Eau de Toilette. As Chanel has done brilliantly over the years, they wanted to make a fragrance which would appeal to a younger demographic. Anecdotally they succeeded as Chance was easily the most commonly worn perfume on my travels. I smelled it everywhere. That continues until today. Chance is a monument on how to make a crowd-pleasing perfume.

Olivier Polge

Now seventeen years later Jacques Polge’s son Olivier Polge has succeeded him as in-house perfumer. It is his turn to make a crowd-pleasing perfume for the latest young demographic. Olivier Polge would approach this in an interesting way by making a more concentrated version of a flanker of Chance that his father and M. Demachy composed. It shows its past as there are previous ingredients which hew to the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” school. Olivier Polge also finds a way to make his own prominent contribution on top of that foundation which is the “if it ain’t broke give it a new coat of paint” school. If that sounds like damnation with faint praise you would be mistaken. Chanel Chance Eau Tendre Eau de Parfum is praiseworthy for the perfume in the bottle.

M. Polge approaches this Eau de Parfum counterpart to the earlier version by simple variations at every stage. It starts when he adds the herbal quality of baie rose to the signature top accord of Chance; grapefruit and quince. That herbal-ness finds the tarter qualities inherent in both fruits. What surprises is M. Polge also lightens up the top accord. If you’re going to make things tart you don’t want them to slap you in the face. The biggest change is the removal of iris and hyacinth as the partners for the heart jasmine with rose. This is that lighter debutante rose which gives some gentility to the more prominent jasmine. There is still a powdery effect from the rose but much more attenuated than in the original. The warm base accord of white musks and amber carries over with M. Polge choosing to add a hint of vanilla along with patchouli to provide sweetness and earthiness around that core accord.

Chance Eau Tendre Eau de Parfum has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

By releasing Chance Eau Tender Eau de Parfum just in time for Valentine’s Day and spring I expect that Chanel will have another best-selling crowd-pleaser. I should expect nothing less from the brand which could teach the class on crowd-pleasing 101.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I received from Sephora.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review St. Clair Scents Casablanca- Finding Her Groove

The path to independent perfumery has multiple paths to producing a perfume. One of the more unique journeys is Diane St. Clair’s. Ms. St. Clair is an elite provider of butter who has her aptly named Animal Farm in Orwell, Vermont. Her butter has been featured at some of the most exclusive restaurants in the US. She decided to add perfume making to her portfolio.

The unique part of the story is she received teaching and feedback over an online connection with DreamAir perfumer Eliza Douglas. After learning the basics of making perfume she began on her own fragrance line. Ms. Douglas acted as her evaluator throughout the process providing valuable real-time feedback.

Diane St. Clair (Photo: Caleb Kenna via sevendaysvt.com )

Back in the spring of last year Ms. St. Clair sent her debut collection out to the perfume community. What I experienced was a young perfumer who was gaining her feet. If there was something that I commonly felt; it was that I wanted Ms. St. Clair to go further. To take what was there and push it in a direction. There were so many signs of intelligent perfume design I was looking forward to what came next. What has come next is St. Clair Scents Casablanca.

The perfume is not inspired by the classic movie but the desire to be someplace warm while the snow falls in a Vermont winter. To Ms. St. Clair this means a lush floral heart reminiscent of a garden in full bloom. If I wanted Ms. St. Clair to go all in, Casablanca gives it to me.  

A warm citrus pairing of grapefruit and mandarin form a diffuse sunny accord. A sticky green blackcurrant bud prepares the way for the florals. Ms. St. Clair uses the white flower triad of orange blossom, jasmine, and tuberose. These are not the cleaned-up indole-free versions. This is a “Girls Trip” of rambunctious florals ready to flaunt those indoles. One of the things I noticed in Ms. St. Clair’s earlier releases is her ability in adding the right interstitial ingredient to pull together her accords. In Casablanca it is an oily ylang-ylang which chaperones the rowdy floral ladies. If the ylang-ylang was missing this just would have been an accord of loud flowers. By adding in the right piece to the puzzle it rounds out the edges smoothing the indolic heart into a memorable accord. The base accord is where Ms. St. Clair takes the snarling indoles and allows them to find some new beasts to cavort with in musks, civet, and Africa stone. As with the ylang-ylang in the heart, oakmoss is the linchpin in the base pulling the whole perfume together into a satisfying experience.

Casablanca has 24-hr. longevity and average sillage.

There were many times on the days I wore Casablanca I felt like I was wearing a classic perfume of sixty years ago. Despite saying that Ms. St. Clair is not mimicking those perfumes. She is creating her own style. I’m not sure what comes next but of the first four releases it is Casablanca I would like to see the next releases emulate. It seems to me like Ms. St. Clair might have found her perfume groove.

Disclosure: This review is based on samples provided by St. Clair Scents.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Chatillon Lux Lamplight Penance- Memories of Exploration

When I tell people I write about perfume to say I get odd responses is an understatement. When I give my inevitable explanation on why I think perfume is a subject worth writing about there is one thing which rings true. I will respond by asking them, “is there a smell which reminds you of a place, time or person?” Almost every time I get an affirmative answer. I ask them to describe it. Then I tell them they’ve just described the outline for a perfume. What sets independent perfumery apart is someone is inspired to take that kind of thinking and turn it into something that goes in a bottle. The past as seen through the haze of memory is where Chatillon Lux Lamplight Penance begins.

Shawn Maher

A new independent perfumer, Shawn Maher, has used his hometown of South Saint Louis City as his inspiration. Mr. Maher has particularly focused on the history of his part of the city. The name of his brand, Chatillon Lux, comes from Henri Chatillon. Mr. Chatillon was a trapper and guide during the early to mid-19th century. He was the guide who is featured in Francis Parkman’s 1849 book “The Oregon Trail”. What sparked Mr. Maher’s perfume is the finding, in 1967, of some of Mr. Chatillon’s belongings underneath some attic floorboards. What was found was a rifle wrapped in an oil painting of Mr. Chatillon and his first wife the Oglala Sioux, Bear Robe. In his “scent notes” on the brand website he says, “Lamplight Penance seeks to re-create Chatillon’s later years as he retired to a life of creature comforts……while, by the lamplight, secretly yearning for the trail along with his past life and past love, neither of which he could manage to forget.”

Painting of Henri Chatillon (l.) and wife Bear Robe found in 1967

His brief was Mr. Maher imagining Mr. Chatillon ascending to the attic with a glass of bourbon in one hand and an oil lamp in the other to look at the picture of he and his first wife; while his current spouse slept below. As he opened a window the scents of the garden below would mix with the memory of the trail.

Mr. Maher opens Lamplight Penance with the pastoral smells of that garden. He visited the grounds of the mansion and found berry bushes and peach trees among the daffodils. That is the top accord with peach playing a leading role. This is the fleshy kind of peach which is sweetened by the berries. The green acerbic quality of the daffodils provides a contrast. The heart is where Mr. Maher lights his oil lamp and pours a few fingers of bourbon. So many young perfumers rely on birch tar or cade to provide a smoke effect. I was impressed when Mr. Maher explained he chose not to use either of those. Instead he reached halfway around the world for a mixture of Himalayan cedar and the harvested resin of the Sal tree called “choya ral”. This captures the smokiness he wanted while also adding in a textural component for the bourbon to attach itself to. This is surrounded by the wood of the attic as he opens the cedar chest where his keepsakes are stored. A puff of leather comes along with the woods. As the choya ral, leather, and bourbon settle in to roam the trails of memory.

Lamplight Penance has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.

Mr. Maher has mined his local history to produce a perfume which captures the gentility of fond memories. There is a softness to Lamplight Penance that is not apparent if I tell you this is a bourbon, leather, and smoke perfume. I look forward to the next time Mr. Maher want to translate more of Mr. Chatillon’s life into perfume.

Disclosure: this review is based on a sample provided by Chantillon Lux.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Bortnikoff L’Heure Exquise- Distilling It Down

The last couple of years have seen the rise of a new style of independent perfumer; the distiller. It stands out because these are unique small-batch ingredients. As an analogy I think of some of the more esoteric craft beers which are brewed in limited quantity due to a special ingredient. These kinds of products provide a thrill for the aficionado because of the rarity and novelty. This holds particularly true for the distillers. These new materials capture the attention but there are some drawbacks.

As I really began to try some of these types or perfume late in 2017 and into 2018 it was the materials which drew me in. Exquisite attars and co-distillates were like finding undiscovered gems. As it has always been when I discover something new it was the tree which enthralled while I forgot to look for the forest. These styles of fragrance are stuffed to the gills with material after material; literally dozens of ingredients. They are not so much perfumes as exercises in sensory overload. Eighteen months after having experienced a few of these I am looking for more than just a wall of scent. I want something a bit more nuanced. I’m not sure if it was by design, or not, but Bortnikoff L’Heure Exquise offered me a moment or two of something sublime instead of scented sledgehammer.

Dmitry Bortnikoff

Dmitry Bortnikoff is the distiller behind his eponymous brand. On his website he says he is both architect and distiller. He learned the art of distillation while in Thailand. That experience has allowed Mr. Bortnikoff to source some exquisite oils. He released three perfumes early in 2018 all of them had beautiful facets to latch on to but they were overcrowded with distracting ingredients. It made it seem like I was hacking through a jungle of perfumed vines on a frustrating journey. One of the things I’ve found with the distillers is they also tend to improve as they release each of their waves of limited editions.

When I received the second set of three releases over the Holidays I tried Oud Maximus first and encountered what I didn’t care for in the first three. Things improved when I tried Vetiver Nocturne. There the precious distillate of rus khus was given some room to breathe. This time the trip through the congestion was worth it. When I got to L’Heure Exquise I found a fragrance where Mr. Bornikoff found a genre of perfume where the bombast is an asset.

L’Heure Exquise is a weighty floral gourmand which starts softly as cardamom and neroli add a gentle spiced citrus breeze. A high cacao content chocolate appears carrying a bitter bite. Mr. Bortnikoff chooses clove as its companion. For a moment L’Heure Exquise breathes in as the citrus, spices, and cocoa form the most authentic accord Mr. Bortnikoff has produced. What comes next is a lovely transition involving camphor and cypriol as they provide some staging for the floral notes of jasmine and champaca to float on a flow of myrrh. This is where things begin to verge on the congestion I have previously found distracting. Just as I begin to think that; the base accord of oud, balsam, and styrax manage to cut through all of that bringing back the cocoa to interact with the woods.

L’Heure Exquise has 24-hour longevity and average sillage.

There is a part of me that wishes a half-dozen of my favorite creative perfumers could go spend six months with Mr. Bortnikoff. Returning with three or four of his distillations and see what kind of perfume they could make. I think that is as likely as finding unicorns on my front lawn tonight.

What is not so rare is Mr. Bortnikoff will continue to distill beautiful raw materials and every once in a while, it will find the right balance as in L’Heure Exquise.

Disclosure: this review is based on samples I purchased.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Beauty Pie Brazilian Lime, Fig Leaves, & Tea- Leaves of Desire

I get a lot of e-mail informing me of the latest new trend in selling beauty products online. I get enough that I can’t imagine what a real make-up blogger receives. Most of them are easily ignored by me because perfume is not part of the offerings. One I received at the end of the year caught my attention because they did offer perfume. Even then I still would have passed until they mentioned the name of the perfumer they were using. That got me interested enough to obtain a sample set of the first three perfumes. One of those three stood out for its quality; Beauty Pie Brazilian Lime, Fig Leaves, & Tea.

Beauty Pie is a new way to sell beauty products by asking people to pay a monthly membership which gets them deep discounts on the products they buy. As an example, on the perfume side you can buy any of the Beauty Pie perfumes without a membership for $125. If you join with a three-month minimum, at various levels, you can buy one of the bottles of perfume for about $21. I don’t have a great handle on the economics of it all and I may have oversimplified it.

Frank Voelkl

What caught my attention on the perfume side is they asked perfumer Frank Voelkl to produce the three perfumes. They allowed him to go in whatever direction he wanted to. What has resulted is three perfumes which all felt like a step up from typical department store fragrance. Red Apple, White Peony & Cashmere Wood is an expansive fresh fruity floral. Petals, Heliotrope, & Ambrette is a fun musky white flower style of fragrance. The third is Brazilian Lime, Fig Leaves, & Tea.

What helps set this apart is Mr. Voelkl uses a Brazilian orange to form the sweeter Brazilian lime accord. If you’ve ever had an authentic caiparinha cocktail you know what a Brazilian lime smells like as the lime gets crushed in the making of the drink. The first moments of this reminded me of sitting by the beach in Bahia with a caipirinha in my hand. Mr. Voelkl then allows a tendril of green ivy to wind around the citrus. It connects to the creamy feel of the fig leaves waiting in the heart. Mr. Voelkl throws leaves of black tea into the mix. It adds depth while still maintaining the leafiness of the ivy and the fig. within all this there are threads of violet to be found. This is the part which connected with me. This is a fantastically realized accord. It ends on a soft woody base of cashmere woods.

Brazilian Lime, Fig Leaves, & Tea has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.

I’m not the desired customer for Beauty Pie to be sure. If they are going to give other perfumers the leeway they afforded Mr. Voelkl, or just ask him for more, I might join just for the perfume. Brazilian Lime, Fig Leaves & Tea has me figuring out if its worth it to join for one perfume.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample set I purchased.

Mark Behnke