New Perfume Review Arielle Shoshana- The High Dive of Passion Fruit

People like to talk about what they want to do. Far fewer actually do what they want to do. Over the past year I have had the opportunity to watch a colleague in writing move toward what she wanted to do.

Arielle Weinberg

I first met Arielle Weinberg in New York at a Sniffapalooza. It was great to put the real person behind the writer of the blog Scents of Self. Ms. Weinberg provided a different perspective on fragrance. Her blog was started while she was a student in college. Her enthusiasm for fragrance was evident in her words but even more so in person. She had one of those personalities which drew people into a conversation. After she graduated she decided to create a career in the business. To that end she spent some time in New York working in a few places learning the customer service side of the business.

Having grown up in the Washington D.C.-area she knew there was no dedicated niche fragrance store in the metro area. As she gained experience in New York her eye was on returning home and founding a store. Which she did in the Fall of 2015; Arielle Shoshana opened in the Mosaic District of Fairfax, VA. I had the opportunity on a few occasions to be in the store on a regular day and observed Ms. Weinberg use all of what she learned to carry a new consumer through the niche perfume world. A year and a half later the store has created a presence for niche perfume in the D.C. area.

Cecile Hua-Krakower

You might think all of that would be enough but Ms. Weinberg also had a creative impulse which needed to find an outlet. Shortly after the one-year anniversary Ms. Weinberg began to work with perfumer Cecile Hua-Krakower on a fragrance for the store which has now come to pass as Arielle Shoshana can now be found on the shelf in the store of the same name.

The core of Arielle Shoshana is passion fruit. In the press release Ms. Weinberg says, “The first time I saw a passion fruit opened, I screamed. It’s such a bizarre-looking fruit……I wanted the fragrance to capture the experience of that first passion fruit: the shock of the unexpected, closely followed by delight.” Mme Hua-Krakower turned out to be as fascinated as Ms. Weinberg. Together they would fashion the central passion fruit accord around which Arielle Shoshana is built.

Passion fruit has significant tartness along with a deep tropical fruitiness. Capturing that balance is where Arielle Shoshana starts. The tart is ascendant early before the sweet tropical character slowly nudges it aside. Helping in that is the imaginative use of saffron. Saffron usually has a dry spicy floral quality when on its own. In combination with the passion fruit it trends more to its floral side allowing the spice aspect to act as a grace note providing textural detail. The saffron and passion fruit is where Arielle Shoshanan lingers for hours only much later does sandalwood provide the base.

Arielle Shoshana has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage. I have likened taking a step into something you want to do like diving off of a high dive. What Ms. Weinberg has done is more akin to the cliff divers of Acapulco. Most admirably after successfully leaping off the cliff once in opening her store she has scaled the heights and done it again with Arielle Shoshana the fragrance. It is how passion, and passion fruit, can take you to the top.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Arielle Shoshana.

Mark Behnke

Editor's Note: This Saturday June 10, 2017  from 7-9 PM at Arielle Shoshana ( 2920 District Ave #145, Fairfax, VA 22031) there will be a debut party for the new perfume. If you live in the Washington D.C.-area come join the celebration.

Support Your Local Parfumerie

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Joni Mitchell sang the lyrics “Don’t it always seem to go/That you don’t know what you’ve got/ ‘Till it’s gone” in her song “Big Yellow Taxi”. I am constantly reminded of that when things change and I realize the thing which I’ve taken for granted is no longer there. One of those instances happened when I moved down to the Washington DC metro area four years ago. Having lived in Boston I had many small perfume shops which I frequented and supported with my purchases. When I got to DC I was dismayed to find there was only one shop and it promptly went out of business within a year of my arrival.

When I would speak to the owner of that store he was sure the reason he was failing was because of online perfume sales. I am not sure if I believe that was as big a factor as he thought it was. The rise of the online niche perfume shopping options has only gotten bigger over the last five years. When you live somewhere that going to a store and actually trying a new niche fragrance is not an option these online retailers are the only game in town. When I was in Boston I felt it was important to support those who were giving me the opportunity to reach out and try new things.

arielle shoshana logo

Which is why I am very excited that there will be a new niche perfume store opening in the DC area next weekend September 5, 2015. Arielle Weinberg who wrote the blog Scents of Self has taken a leap of faith in opening a small perfume store in The Mosaic district in Fairfax, VA. She is calling it Arielle Shoshana and I am very excited that she has brought back the small store perfume experience to my part of the world. I realized I am unusually excited about this because besides the products these stores carry they are also a place for other fragrance enthusiasts to meet for a day. There were many days in Boston where I would meet up with others to try a few new things. There are as many fragrance lovers in DC as there were in Boston and now we will have a place where we can meet.

This is also a plea for those of you who have a great local store to please remember to support them. Places like Indigo Perfumery in Cleveland, OH or Parfumerie Nasreen in Seattle, WA are often the only game in town for many niche brands. Otherwise you’ll be humming Joni Mitchell too.

I am planning on being there next Saturday to welcome my new local niche parfumerie with the hope that many more days will be spent inside communing with perfume and perfume lovers.

Mark Behnke