There is something about the onset of fall which makes me turn to weightier perfumes. The cooler temperatures and ever-shorter days have something to do with it. With the end of September here; the fragrances of the summer are being rotated back until their time rolls around again. The process is always bittersweet as there are many perfume styles which only thrive in the heat. I miss my airy transparent orange blossom colognes. Which made it a nice coincidence when I received my samples of the new Eric Buterbaugh Florals Floral Oud Collection one of them was tailor-made to solve my issue.
The Floral Oud Collection is a set of three perfumes creatively directed by Eric Buterbaugh around combining a flower named on the box with oud. Floral Oud-Rose, composed by Honorine Blanc, is a rich combination of two roses and Laotian oud. This is a deeply luxurious version of a common combination. A much less common combination is displayed in Floral Oud- Lily of the Valley. Perfumer Ilias Erminidis finds a fascinating overlap between the green of muguet and blackcurrant buds with the Laotian oud and ambrette seed musky oud accord. The one which transfixed me from the first moments was Floral Oud- Orange Flower.
Floral Oud-Orange Flower is composed by perfumer Dora Baghriche. Orange blossom is a not uncommon partner to oud. What Mr. Buterbaugh was going for with all three Floral Ouds was a more opulent version of these duets. In Floral Oud-Orange Flower it succeeds. If there is something Mr. Buterbaugh’s background as florist brings to some of the best in the entire brand is when you feel like the fragrance is being constructed in the same way his floral centerpieces are. Floral Oud-Orange Flower is a bouquet enclosed in an oud vase.
Mme Baghriche pulls out three specific flowers from her perfumer’s organ; champaca, frangipani, and the central orange blossom. As she begins to form the olfactory arrangement these florals present a potent accord. Patchouli, vetiver, labdanum, and oakmoss form an oud accord which gives a precisely tuned amount of lift to the florals. As this comes together vanilla drifts across it like a lagniappe.
Floral Oud-Orange Flower has 12-14 hour longevity and above average sillage.
There has been a culinary trend for making luxurious versions of common comfort food. While wearing Floral Oud-Orange Flower I was reminded of a crazy version of a grilled cheese made of aged cheddar, fresh-baked brioche, and truffle oil infused butter. There are simpler versions but once you’ve tried the gourmet version the more pedestrian styles seem lesser than. Floral Oud- Orange Flower is one of the best versions of this combination; done in an overtly gorgeous style.
Disclosure: This review was based ona press sample from Eric Buterbaugh Florals.
Those of you who know me have rarely seen me not wearing a hat. I have worn and loved hats most of my life. Which means when others aspire to other expensive purchases, like shoes, I want a hat. Whenever I am in Barney’s there are a brand of fedoras I just want. They are made by Venice Beach, California fashion designer Nick Fouquet. They are gorgeous amazingly made hats which have one consistent detail, a matchstick somewhere on the brim. It acts as Mr. Fouquet’s logo. There have been several milliners who have successfully collaborated on a fragrance. Mr. Fouquet decided to team up with Eric Buterbaugh to creatively direct Eric Buterbaugh Florals Nick’s Sunflower.
Nick Fouquet (l.) and Eric Buterbaugh (Photo: Eric Minh Swenson)
Mr. Buterbaugh really enjoys the creative process which he starts by going through proposals with different perfumers. Last year’s Kingston Osmanthus grew out of a discussion with perfumer Alberto Morillas when he spoke of his affection for osmanthus. This year Mr. Buterbaugh and Mr. Fouquet got more abstract as they began to imagine what a flower without a scent should smell like if it had one; sunflower. They asked the perfumers Mr. Buterbaugh has worked with in the past to give their impressions of what a sunflower should smell like. Perfumer Ilias Erminidis would be the one who convinced Mr. Fouquet and Mr. Buterbaugh he had the right vision for Nick’s Sunflower.
Nick Fouquet Sunflower Top Hat (Photo: Eric Minh Swenson)
We grow lots of sunflowers and have for years. I can attest to the lack of scent from the flower. The stalk has a strong green vegetal scent. Which I expected to be a part of Nick’s Sunflower. Except Mr. Erminidis wasn’t trying for realism he was more interested in interpreting the way the flower looks as fragrance. Which means Nick’s Sunflower is a perfume of sunlight on the corona surrounding a darker center without ever being too dark.
It is with the brilliant yellow petals where we start. Mr. Erminidis uses lime blossom, quince, lychee, and nectarine to create a sweet solar flare. Then to remind us this is a flower a delicate application of narcissus leads us into the next circle of muted yellow made up of disc florets. Mr. Erinidis interprets this as a diffuse floral of tiare and jasmine. The tiare is an excellent choice because it adds a summery freshness over the remains of the narcissus along with the jasmine. As we move into the cluster of seeds at the center osmanthus, muscenone, and ambrox form that accord. Ambrox provides the hint of the coating of the seeds while osmanthus adds its leather face; maybe the figurative matchstick? Muscenone is one of my favorite musks because it carries a suppleness to it which Mr. Erminidis uses here to soften the final phase.
Nick’s Sunflower has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
Nick’s Sunflower is an ideal summertime floral perfume. It was at its best on an over 90-degree day I wore it on. It is definitely going to be something I wear throughout the upcoming summer. Mr. Fouquet and Mr. Buterbaugh collaborated successfully in bringing their vision of a sunflower to a perfume. My only question is where is the matchstick on the bottle?
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Eric Buterbaugh Florals.
I complain a lot about receiving these large collections. Truth be told as I am digging out samples and I get above five with more still in the envelope a slight irritation sets in. If there are one or two which grab me then things tend to work out. If I start with the ones that are less appealing even when I find the one or two I might have been more forgiving to; if they are last they get consigned to the “not going to review” bin. This was what happened a year ago when the initial sample set of Eric Buterbaugh Florals landed on my desk. Seven soliflore-like perfumes featuring a different floral. Eric Buterbaugh is floral designer to the stars in Los Angeles. He branched out in to fragrance in the back half of 2015. When I tried them I expected to like a couple of them but they all left me sort if cold. I wasn’t sure whether it was collection fatigue or something else. I recently received a sample of the latest addition to the line Kingston Osmanthus; this was one which I had no problem connecting with.
Mr. Buterbaugh was working with a strong roster of perfumers right from the start. Alberto Morillas designed two of the original set; Apollo Hyacinth and Fragile Violet. Kingston Osmanthus is his follow=up to those earlier releases. This fragrance grew out of a conversation between the two as Sr. Morillas explained his fascination with osmanthus. It made it a natural to become the eighth Eric Buterbaugh Florals fragrance.
Osmanthus is always a good choice as the focal point of a soliflore because of its inherent dual nature of apricot and leathery facets. What made me enjoy Sr. Morillas’ treatment of it is he uses that bifocal character as a way of filling in blanks in the top and base accords animating the osmanthus even more.
Sr. Morillas opens Kingston Osmanthus with a vivacious duet of violet leaves and jasmine. The indolic nature of the jasmine is dialed way down so the sharp violet leaf has an opportunity to rise to the same level. Now is when the osmanthus enters promoting its apricot forming a funky fruity floral top accord. Over time as the osmanthus develops a leatherier aspect Sr. Morillas uses sandalwood and orris to assist with that transition. Then he injects it into a patchouli fraction called Clearwood. Clearwood is a patchouli oil altered to remove the earthy components while also making it much less powerful. Because the leathery part is not overwhelming the Clearwood becomes an ideal partner. The final touch is a cocktail of musks to help the leather become more musky over the final stage.
Kingston Osmanthus has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
Sr. Morillas shows how a raw material like osmanthus can be used as a clever nucleus to stitch the top and base accords together. Kingston Osmanthus is another excellent osmanthus in a year of them.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Eric Buterbaugh Florals.
One of the things all perfume lovers enjoy is finding new settings in which to experience perfume. One of the most unique of these are the Scent Dinners hosted by Chandler Burr. Mr. Burr has traveled the globe hosting these one-of-a-kind experiences since 2007. What happens is he collaborates with a chef to create a meal which mirrors the perfumes being sniffed. They have been so popular that they are usually private affairs. On October 14, 2016 in Los Angeles, CA he is holding a Scent Dinner in conjunction with Eric Buterbaugh of EB Florals and Chef Michael Hung of Viviane Restaurant. This is the first US Scent Dinner open to the public in over three years.
For this particular edition Mr. Buterbaugh is using it as the premiere for his latest addition to the EB Florals collection called Kingston Osmanthus, by perfumer Alberto Morillas. All of the courses served by Chef Michael will be associated with other of the EB Florals fragrances. Before you receive the food course Mr. Burr introduces you to the raw materials within each fragrance; then the perfume. After that a food course follows using the raw ingredients you have been experiencing in edible form. It is an eye-opening experience as you get the chance to really interact with the basic building blocks of a perfume. It attunes you to those notes and as you try the perfume and eat the haute cuisine you will experience the impact of fragrance from a new viewpoint.
Mr. Buterbaugh is hosting the dinner in his gallery on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles where his fabulous floral designs will help set the stage for the evening. There are 25 seats available to the public for the price of $395. What that provides is a cocktail hour prior to the dinner where mixologist Ryan Wainwright will mix aromatic cocktails. A full 100mL bottle of the new EB Florals Kingston Osmanthus (which retails for $395 by itself) as an avant premiere gift. This all leads up to a five-course meal served by Chef Michael Hung inspired by EB Florals fragrances with Chandler Burr guiding you through an equally intricate menu of scent.
Chef Michael Hung
These Scent Dinners are singular experiences as each is different because of the chef and the perfume featured. If you have ever wanted to be part of one and can be in LA October 14 here is your opportunity. For more information and to reserve a seat you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org