It usually takes somewhere between four and six releases for me to get a real handle on what an independent perfume brand is all about. By that time if there is an aesthetic forming it should have revealed itself. The perfumer begins to find their footing a little more firmly. It is like watching a maturation process of the artistic endeavor. The latest example of an indie perfumer who has grown her brand rapidly is Samantha Rader of Dasein.
Ms. Rader has been making fragrances based on the seasons starting with 2013’s Winter, followed by Spring a year later and Summer earlier in 2015. Which leaves the recent arrival of Autumn. Ms. Rader seems to enjoy designing perfumes which carry a provocative, perhaps challenging, nature front and center. Winter was formed around a specific pine oil she sourced. Spring was an exquisite turned earth accord. Summer was the most risk-taking as she featured cilantro. Autumn is a fiery cinnamon bark at the center of things.
Cinnamon is one of those notes which when used in most perfumes is as part of a mélange of spices to add a bit of heat. More often, if it is featured, it is kept on a very short leash so as not to remind one of Red Hots candy. One thing I am pretty sure of now after four releases Ms. Rader does not own a leash of any kind when she has an ingredient she wants to feature. She takes cinnamon bark and embraces the confectionary character. Her challenge is to find other partners to make sure this doesn’t descend into sugary banality. It doesn’t.
Just like all the previous releases the focal point is in place from the first second to the final moments. In the case of Autumn it is cinnamon bark. It is also cinnamon bark in such a concentration as to feel completely like a box of Red Hots you just opened. The note list says there is coffee here but I never detect it not even for a fleeting moment. If it is here Ms. Rader must be using it to modulate the cinnamon but not as a specific note. After a decent amount of time she does reveal that incense and leather are what she wants to find an equilibrium with the cinnamon bark. There is a bit of a rough spot as these three very distinct notes struggle to find that balance. Once it happens it is a fabulous heart accord. The animalic of the leather and the resins of the incense are a foundation for the cinnamon bark to ride on top of. When they find their synchronicity it roars with power. Ms. Rader wants even a little more and so for the last two ingredients she adds a mixture of ambergris and oud. The oud attaches to the leather making it more primal in nature. The ambergris achieves a wonderfully briny transformation of the incense. As these two ingredients take hold the foundation of Autumn finds a whole new gear over the final stretch.
Autumn has 8-10 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
Autumn brings the first cycle of Ms. Rader’s independent perfume to a close. It shows a young perfumer who will embrace that which others shy away from. It makes me even more eager to see what her next set of inspirations will be. For the short term I am going to enjoy wearing something Red Hot when the weather turns cooler.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Twisted Lily.