Regular readers of my The Sunday Magazine column know I enjoy a skewed kind of Holiday fare at the Home Office in Poodlesville. If there is a movie which captures my Christmas perspective, it is 1993’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” by director Tim Burton. The short synopsis is the denizens of Halloweentown take over in Christmastown. What should become obvious is they put their own spin on traditional Christmas tropes. It is that part of the movie which delights me on each viewing. There is a place for the straightforward traditional activities in any holiday, but I am always drawn to the odd spin imparted to those pleasures. Blackbird Anemone is an incredibly odd delight for those who enjoy their perfumes a bit askew.
The entire Blackbird collection from Nicole Miller has always marched to its own contrapuntal beat. If there was ever a perfumer I would compare to the visual perspective of Tim Burton it would be Ms. Miller. This has always produced perfumes from a unique perspective which exist to push at the edges of what smelling good means.
Anemone takes one of the traditional ingredients of the Holidays, plum, and gives it a non-holiday treatment which I can’t get enough of. Ms. Miller takes the well-known fragrance ingredient and skewers it with spikes of contrasting effects over a flat champagne accord providing its own kind of unusual Holiday vibe.
Anemone starts with that plum bobbing on the surface of a watery lotus. It is like looking at a lily pond and finding a plum underneath the green. Then this is where the whole thing turns into an odd Holiday party as the watery effect is replaced by a flat champagne accord. There is a stray teeny bit of effervescence underneath a stale wine which is where the plum happily floats. The champagne accord has sour and sweet pieces. Ms. Miller teases out both sides with honey and tobacco picking up the sweet while amber and styrax grab the sour by the hand. Everywhere I smell there is something which feels part of the Season but twisted around. The whole effect is of a Christmas party as only the creatures of Halloweentown could put on.
Anemone has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
There is no current brand taking as many successful risks as Blackbird. It is a refreshing way to bring a little Halloweentown to the staid village of Perfumetown. Anemone is at its best in the Holiday weather. I wore it to our local tree lighting ceremony last week. As we sang along with the carolers, Anemone smelled like The Night Plum Before Christmas.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Blackbird.