New Perfume Review Maison Crivelli Papyrus Moleculaire- The Texture of Powder

I am not opposed to powdery fragrances. They do have a line they can cross. I prefer them in smaller quantities. Once it wanders into the area where I can almost see the cloud that I am smelling that is too far for me. This is purely a matter of taste. There are women in my life that carry off the latter style beautifully. I just have a problem spending a few hours with it. Which is why when one in the style I like comes along I smile. Maison Crivelli Papyrus Moleculaire is one of those.

Thibaud Crivelli

At the end of 2018 creative director Thibaud Crivelli released a collection of perfume in which he wanted to focus on textural accords. Over the first six releases he has largely succeeded. The perfumes all have a moment, or two, where the scent has a tactile feeling. In Papyrus Moleculaire this aesthetic becomes further refined.

Leslie Girard

M. Crivelli encountered the titular note as papyrus powder in an encounter with cigarillo smoking women. It made him want to turn this version of papyrus into a perfume. He turned to perfumer Leslie Girard. Mme Girard took the inspiration and combined it with other powdery ingredients. It results in a compelling piece of perfumery.

Papyrus when it is usually used has a watery woody green scent profile. Mme Girard in thinking of it as a powder focuses on the woodiness. It forms a kind of sawdust-like effect. In the early going coriander and elemi coax what remains of the green out from the papyrus. In the heart is where the powdery texture is achieved as carrot seed, amyris, and iris fold themselves in. Now the sawdust takes on a more floral powderiness. The papyrus does not lend itself to being overstated. Mme Girard feathers in her heart notes to give the powder a different feel altogether. This is where I feel the textural shift the brand speaks about. It finishes with softly sweet facets of tonka and resinous frankincense.

Papyrus Moleculaire has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

I am rapidly becoming quite fond of this brand. It is not often that the aesthetic stated is achieved. In addition as M. Crivelli oversees each new release he is seemingly becoming more assured in how he wants it to be achieved. Papyrus Moleculaire succeeds because of it.

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

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Loewe Paula’s Ibiza- A Different Beach

A few weeks ago I reviewed Loewe Solo Mercurio. I was curious to see the impact of a new creative team upon the brand. At the time I mentioned it was going to take a few releases to see if the promise I perceived in that first effort would be borne out. My second opportunity has arrived with Loewe Paula’s Ibiza.

Nuria Cruelles Borrull

Loewe has always worked with an in-house perfumer. Ever since the calendar changed to years which begin with 2 it had been Emilio Valeros. There was a contiguous aesthetic through the nearly two decades of his fragrances. At the end of 2019 Nuria Cruelles Borrull took over the job. Solo Mercurio was her first release. I saw a perfumer who seemed to enjoy working in dualities. Forming accords of two ingredients looking for harmony or contrast. For Paula’s Ibiza it seems that has expanded as the accords seem to be trios this time around.

Jonathan Anderson

The name comes from a now-closed famous fashion store on the resort island of Ibiza called Paula’s. It was where you went to get your island style before you turned yourself over to the rhythm of the island. Creative director Jonathan Anderson and Sra. Cruelles Borrull spent summers of their youth on the island. It was important to them to get the smell along with the ambience right.

Sra Crulles Borrull moves away from the typical beach fragrance tropes of Calone, ozonic notes, and sand. This portrait of Ibiza is much more interesting for its variety. The top accord consists of galbanum and coconut water with just a pinch of mandarin. If you’re used to beachy perfumes being citrus and fresh air, this trends differently. The galbanum is given some sparkle through the manadarin. It is still a sharply green effect given a watery sheen via the coconut water. Using this ingredient instead of coconut adds in a bit of the muskiness of the copal with a less sweet version of coconut. With the galbanum it forms a unique holiday accord. The heart accord is a very desiccated sandalwood with lily and frangipani growing upon it. As if a large piece of driftwood had been beached long enough for the flowers to grow through the gaps. The scent of the ocean comes through a synthetic version of ambergris and patchouli with a small amount of vanilla. The ambergris gives the sense of the ocean as the patchouli provides the scent of the island. Vanilla adds in the sweet fun of being on vacation.

Paula’s Ibiza has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

I am impressed again at the way Sra. Cruelles Borrull is willing to work away from the common fragrance genres. She is showing an admirable degree of independence which bodes well for the future of the fragrance side of Loewe. Paula’s Ibiza is here to take you on an island trip without leaving home.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample supplied by Loewe.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review The Different Company Al Sahra- Shifting Sands

I’ve spent a lot of time in the American southwest hiking in the desert. It remains one of my favorite places to have experienced. Over the years my impression of the desert as a place lacking life was changed to one of the most dynamic places I have spent time. When you come to the desert with that mindset it rewards you with some of the subtlest pleasures of nature if you look for them. The Different Company Al Sahra is inspired by the most famous desert.

Emilie Bevierre-Coppermann

Al Sahra is the local name for the Sahara Desert. I’ve never visited, and it might be fallacious to extrapolate that all deserts smell alike. When I tried Al Sahra it was the desert which greeted me. Perfumer Emilie Coppermann forms a perfume of shifting finely-drawn accords.

Luc Gabriel

Creative director Luc Gabriel turned to Mme Coppermann for the ninth time. They have formed one of those creative director-perfumer collaborations which has created some memorable perfumes. Al Sahra is among the best of their concoctions. They wanted to make a perfume style they dubbed “mineral Oriental”. While I was waiting for my sample to arrive, the perfume that phrase promised in the press release piqued my interest. It is because perfumers have been given a set of new materials with which to form these mineralic scents. Mme Coppermann is one of the more innovative which further heightened my expectations. What is in the bottle is a creation which moves as the sands do on the desert. Allowing the wind to bring you the scent of things in the distance. Making you find the life that is on the sea of sand.

Mme Coppermann opens with an accord of sun heated sand. She uses some of those mineral ingredients as well as violet and salt. It is the salt which takes the mineralic accord from dried earth to flowing sand. The ingredients used for mineralic effects tend to be concentrated like hard-packed earth. This top accord has the flow of sand carrying a languorous kinetic aspect. Then a transparent lily rises gaining strength as you notice it growing. A fantastic sizzle of cinnamon reminds you the sun is still high in the sky. It all cools down as night falls. The woods bleached by the sun are represented by sandalwood. Incense and labdanum give a resinous tint to the evening. Patchouli assists the transformation from mineralic to earthy. As you lift your eyes to the sky the evening zephyr blows across it all.

Al Sahra has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

Al Sahra fits with the series of colognes Mme Coppermann produced in her first The Different Company releases. This isn’t as heavy as Oriental might make you believe. It should be a great choice in the summer months. Al Sahra found the beauty of the desert within its shifting sands.

Disclosure: this review is based on a sample supplied by The Different Company.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Zoologist Sloth- Rainforest Sleepytime

I was having a teleconference with an Italian perfume journalist. He asked me who I thought was doing the best creative direction in independent perfumery. I think there are two names which come right to the top of mind. One of them is Victor Wong of Zoologist. I have lauded Mr. Wong extensively but I will add this onto the pyramid. The biggest reason I think this, is he has remained true to his vision of creating different perfumes. The collection runs the gamut from crowd-pleasers to challenging. He has seemingly never compromised the creativity for commercial considerations. He has also managed to coax some of the best work from some of the best independent perfumers. It seems as if his reputation for this now has perfumers approaching him.

Victor Wong

When Mr. Wong was in London for the 2018 Art and Olfaction Awards one of his fellow finalists approached him about a collaboration. The perfumer was Prin Lomros. They had corresponded previously when Mr. Lomros had described perfumes he had imagined paired to a specific animal. They decided now was the time to collaborate leading to Zoologist Sloth.

Prin Lomros

They decided they wanted to create a slowly unfurling perfume to mimic their totem animal. To achieve this they imagined their sloth hanging high in the trees safe from the predators below pillowed on a mossy branch. It forms a sleepy green perfume.

Mr. Lomros combines chamomile, lavender, marigold, and violet leaf. This is a cleverly different way of making a vegetal green accord. Chamomile and lavender have herbal facets which Mr. Lomros uses the violet leaf to accentuate and blend. The marigold has an astringent floral quality which provides a connection to the jasmine in the heart. This is what creates the tropical humidity of the rainforest. A very precise amount of cumin represents the sloth among the leaves and flowers. Beeswax adds in its gentle slowly oozing animalic character in sloth-like movement. The fecund scent of the forest comes in the base accord via tonka, myrrh, and oakmoss. Mr. Lomros uses enough of the oakmoss to notice. This is a classic velvety oakmoss effect. It feels just like the perfect place to lay a sloth’s head for a nap.

Sloth has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.

Within the spectrum of Zoologist perfumes Sloth is in the middle between crowd-pleaser and challenging. Although it has bits of both at different times. It speaks to all the things I think is great about Mr. Wong’s creative direction. It doesn’t smell like anything else in the collection. Mr. Lomros has made one of his best perfumes. Even when its sleepytime in the rainforest Sloth makes you take notice.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample supplied by Zoologist.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Zoologist Bat (2020)- A Different Species

Every perfume brand will have a breakout moment if they are good. In 2016 that moment happened for Victor Wong with the release of Zoologist Bat. To that point he was building a presence slowly and confidently. Bat would be the inflection point of attention. Mr. Wong would be lauded for his creative direction. Bat became the way many people discovered the brand. Then a disagreement with the perfumer had Mr. Wong facing a difficult decision. Do I just discontinue the perfume? Or do I try again? To his credit he has chosen to try again with Zoologist Bat (2020).

Victor Wong

He met Thailand-based perfumer Prin Lomros a few years ago. Mr. Lomros approached him about making a perfume for Zoologist. He even had some perfume sketches for Mr. Wong to try. That has led to the release of Zoologist Sloth. When Mr. Wong made the decision to re-make Bat he asked Mr. Lomros to take the wheel.

Prin Lomros

The original perfumer, Dr. Ellen Covey, based the perfume on research she had done as part of her scholarly work studying bats. She wanted to capture the cave they lived in. The success speaks for itself. Mr. Lomros was asked to make a few slight changes a fruit here, a resin there. Make it your own but try and stay close to the way the original smelled, Mr. Wong asked. Instead Mr. Lomros created a version of Bat that reflects his part of the world and the species of bats that live there.  This isn’t the same as the first Bat but it delivers different pleasures while staying true to the theme.

The keynote of the first version was geosmin; the perfume ingredient which smells like soil. Mr. Wong wanted that to be in the new version. Mr. Lomros takes his Bat to a different cave in a different part of the world.

Bat (2020) opens with an intensely fruity accord comprised mainly of guava while gaining depth through fig and passion fruit. This is a fruit forest of Asia where the fruit bats happily perch. The first hint of the bat comes though a full spectrum jasmine. The indoles let you know there is a furry animal within the florals and fruit. I enjoyed immensely the way the bat feels like it is trying to hide from detection but the animalic indoles give it away. Now is when the geosmin comes out as if it is the dirt of the forest floor. It has that tropical humidity to go with the soil. It is a fabulously different take. Along with the intense fruits and florals it comes together very well. The hidden bat takes wing and flees to its cave over the final stages as the stone and dirt become more pronounced. Olibanum, vetiver, and teakwood form the moss-covered walls of its lair.

Bat (2020) has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

Bat (2020) is nothing like the original Bat it is its own beast. I have to give credit to both Mr. Wong and Mr. Lomros for seeing this through. It would have been so easy to walk away. That they chose to release another equally compelling version into the wild deserves praise. I enjoy it as much as I did the original because of the differences.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Zoologist Perfumes.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review: Aesop Rozu- A Better Designed Rose

As much as I complain about the numerous spring rose releases I receive each year there is always one which stands out. This year that is Aesop Rozu.

Dr. Kate Forbes

I only discovered the Aesop line of perfumes a few years ago because I was a fan of their shaving products. The collection is small, Rozu is the fourth release, but particularly well-curated. Dr. Kate Forbes has been teaming with perfumer Barnabe Fillion for the previous two releases which continues here.

Barnabe Fillion

The inspiration for Rozu was the life of architect Charlotte Perriand. M. Fillion spent time with her family doing background research. He decided to feature the time Mme Perriand spent in Japan during 1940-41. It also intersects with a visit M. Fillion made to the Japanese town of Wabara where he visited the rose producing farm there. While there he would learn of the newest variety cultivated named after Mme Perriand. This is the rose used as the keynote in Rozu.

The reason I tend to be so dismissive of the spring rose releases is they all go for the same fresh scrubbed debutante aesthetic. Rozu goes for a modern design with a rose which carries a different scent profile. The Charlotte Wabara rose carries a richer fruitier scent profile. M. Fillion’s job is to highlight the differences while also designing the right frame.

Rozu opens with the Charlotte Wabara rose right there. M. Fillion pairs it with an icy green frost of shiso leaf. It is like finding an interesting bloom with the last hints of the overnight frost. Baie rose coaxes out the fruity facets. A gorgeous slightly smoky guaiac finds the black tea grace note within this unique rose. The green of the shiso is recapitulated through an equally sharp vetiver. It all comes to rest on a sandalwood focused base accord given warmth through myrrh and patchouli.

Rozu has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

Because this is not the typical fresh rose of so many spring releases it is wearable by either gender. I think this will be a hit among male rose perfume lovers. I like it because it proves a better designed rose can rule the spring.

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

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Maher Olfactive Crystal Moon- Under the Pale Moonlight

1

The joy of writing about perfume is I never know when I will find a new voice. A little over a year ago I was sent a perfume by independent perfumer Shawn Maher. Over the ensuing months I have come to believe he is one of the best young perfumers we have. There is a dedication to formulating his compositions that is admirable. You can enjoy his perfumes because they smell great. If you are a perfume geek, he will give you a peek behind the curtain with his extensive blog posts about his perfumes. He offers you his fragrances to enjoy at the level you choose. His brand has been Chatillon Lux since the beginning but that is about to change. On April 28th, his birthday, a new brand Maher Olfactive will debut.

Shawn Maher

Maher Olfactive is the place where Mr. Maher will work in smaller batches with more precious materials. When he told me about this at the beginning of March I was quite enthused. Coming on the heels of his limited edition for American Perfumer, Madame Chouteau, this sounded like an extension of that. To further sharpen my expectations he told me the first new release was going to feature osmanthus. Long-time readers will know my affection for that. I began heading to the mailbox hoping the sample would be there. When Maher Olfactive Crystal Moon arrived, I was given a new perspective on a favorite note.

As always Mr. Maher has published an extensive Scent Notes column which you can find here. His inspiration came from the story of Princess Chang’e who was banished to a crystal palace on the moon. Her companion was gardener Wu Gang who had the never-ending task of trimming back the osmanthus tree next to the palace to keep it from overgrowing it. Mr. Maher uses that inspiration to form a perfume where the osmanthus is impaled on a shaft of moonlight.

Osmanthus is a two-sided ingredient one side is apricot-like the other is leathery. It is just this which causes my affection for it. In the hands of my favorite perfumers I enjoy seeing which part they amplify. In the case of Crystal Moon it is the apricot side which rises.

To achieve this Mr. Maher uses a set of fruity complements. From the early moments the apricot nature of osmanthus is given a more expansive presence through these ingredients. While I always mention the apricot, osmanthus is also a flower. Mr. Maher reminds us of that with a lavender oil made only of the flowers. jonquil adds more flower power. It makes for a rounding effect even while the apricot stays on top. Now the moonlight glows by creating an expansive amber accord the keynote of which is a patchouli synthetic derivative called Clearwood. It forms an accord of diffuse luminescence which adds an appealing opacity overlaying the osmanthus. The base is a clever accord of hinoki, galbanum, juniper, and tincture of Yirgacheffe coffee. This provides an incense-like effect as if a brazier is burning in the crystal palace as we keep up our battle with the burgeoning osmanthus tree. It is a lovely reminder of the inspiration for the perfume.

Crystal Moon has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.

Crystal Moon will take its place next to two earlier Chatillon Lux releases, Nefertiti, and Santal Auster, as the founding collection of Maher Olfactive. All three display Mr. Maher’s precocious talent. None better than the osmanthus under the pale moonlight of Crystal Moon.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample supplied by Maher Olfactive.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Bogue Profumo OOOH- Ten Years Later

One of the greatest things about the vision Michelyn Camen had for CaFleureBon ten years ago was the idea that perfume could also be multimedia. When I worked with her in the early days, she always pushed the boundaries of a what a blog about perfume could be. She believed there was more than just the juice. Her blog was going to cover the people who make and love perfume, shining a spotlight on them. One of the perfumes she creatively directed for the anniversary, Bogue Profumo OOOH, reverses the process with a perfume which represents that credo.

Michelyn Camen

Ms. Camen assembled a team of perfume communicators who use different mediums. She was the writer and the Editor-in-Chief/ Creative Director. She asked photographer Alex C. Musgrave aka The Silver Fox for an inspiration piece. The perfumer to interpret that was Antonio Gardoni of Bogue Profumo. Lastly artist Massimo Alfaioli would create a piece based on the finished perfume. The full story can be found on CaFleureBon at this link.

Photo by Alex C. Musgrave

The photo above, by Mr. Musgrave, is what Sig. Gardoni used as his focal point. The image of blurred roses would lead him into an idea of dust. He wanted to create a fragrance of “multiple layers of dust, levels of powders that hide and shows reflection of smells.” What he would do is take a multitude of materials to create these levels of powders. Throughout there is a sense of memories past.

Antonio Gardoni

It opens with a distinctive rose scented powder. It has that blurry effect of the inspiration piece. There are other florals vying for ascendancy. Yet the rose holds the center for a while. Then it gives way to a subsequent layer of mimosa. This the idea of the floral puffballs caught on a stiff breeze. He forms an opaque honey accord for it to drift through. Now comes the herbal part which is Sig. Gardoni’s trademark. A set of vetivers form the basis for the crushed dry herbal accord to get caught up in. The last layer of dust is that of resins. Incense has always captured a sense of age within perfumery. Sig. Gardoni folds in a set of resins to form the final pinch of magic dust.

OOOH has 14-16 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

OOOH feels like the natural extension of last year’s 0.7738 which was completely improvisational. In that perfume Sig. Gardoni kept adding ingredients until he felt he was finished. It taught him how to wrangle a plethora of ingredients into something compelling. OOOH is that technique given intent. To create the most complex yet transparent perfume I have tried. It is a marvelous coming together of creativity.

This could only have happened through the creative insight of Ms. Camen. She chose to represent all that her blog has offered perfume lovers, for ten years and counting, in a perfume as unique as her “scented salon”.

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

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review 4160 Tuesdays Dark Queen- The Snake Inside

One of the many interests Michelyn Camen and I share is the genre of fiction called urban fantasy. When we needed to take a break from talking about CaFleureBon things we would spend some time sharing our favorites. One series she made me aware of is written by author Faith Hunter featuring Jane Yellowrock. Jane is a Cherokee vampire hunter who hides the secret that she is a skin walker. That is a supernatural who can shift into any creature. What I enjoy about Ms. Hunter’s mythos is for Jane to turn she requires the bones of the creature she will turn into. By aligning her powers with the DNA within, she shifts. Her Cherokee ancestors called finding the DNA “the inner snake”. Throughout the series Jane shifts into many animals all by finding that coiled strand of genetic material.

Michelyn Camen

Ms. Camen commissioned four perfumes to celebrate the 10th anniversary of CaFleureBon. Of all the ones I read about there was one which interested me most, 4160 Tuesdays Dark Queen. Because it was based on Ms. Camen asking perfumer Sarah McCartney to use Jane Yellowrock as the titular dark queen which she becomes later in the series. In the CaFleureBon post announcing the perfume Ms. McCartney writes about how making a perfume focused on animalics was different for her. This is where creative direction for an independent perfumer can be so valuable. Ms. Camen knew what she wanted in a skin walker animalic. By nudging Ms. McCartney into a different style of perfume composition than she is used to, she had to find her own “inner snake”.  Dark Queen allows for her to shift into a different style while staying wholly true to who she has always been as a perfumer.

Sarah McCartney

The setting for most of the novels is New Orleans which meant this was a perfume which had to capture humid bayou nights. That is when the vampires, werewolves, witches, and skin walkers play their games. As you walk the Vieux Carre you sense the creatures around you. Your own change begins as you search for the “inner snake” of the beast within. To wear Dark Queen is to be right there.

Ms. McCartney first sets the New Orleans milieu. If you have ever spent time in the city there is a weight to the air. It amplifies the indigenous scents. Ms. McCartney evokes that as the smell of a fruity cocktail in the hand of a tourist is contrasted by the smell of the old stone of the street. Incense swirls from someplace, or someone, unseen. There is something out there you sense it. Inside you react, the beast within warns of danger. A sense of fur begins to slide through your skin. Ms. McCartney forms a brilliant accord of styrax, leather, a pinch of oud, and musks to signal this. This is where Dark Queen grabs me every time I wear it. Ms. Camen and Ms. McCartney bring the literary source into olfactory life. It’s alive! The sense of transformation into something which growls is complete. The remainder of Dark Queen stalks through an ambery woody resinous base accord. Another predator prowls the bayou.

4160 Tuesdays Dark Queen has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

In the announcement of Dark Queen Ms. McCartney writes, “it’s a fragrance that made me dig down into areas that I didn’t want to explore. I developed it reluctantly, but I’m so glad I did.” This only happens through the creative direction of Ms. Camen. I am hopeful that now that Ms. McCartney has discovered her “inner snake” for animalic styles of perfume she might choose to shift again in the future. Dark Queen is everything I could have desired from a perfume based on one of my favorite urban fantasy heroines.

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

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review DSH Perfumes BIWA- A Legacy of Love and Passion for Perfume

In ten years of CaFleureBon Editor-in-Chief Michelyn Camen has had an uncanny ability to find perfume lovers who want to communicate that via the written word. The colleagues I had for the first four years when I was Managing Editor through to the current roster of singular voices bringing Ms. Camen’s vision of “scented salon” to life. Different voices creating a site which celebrates the diversity of perspective about perfume.

Robert Herrmann

One of those writers she brought into her salon was Robert Herrmann. Mr. Herrmann started writing for the blog in 2016. Every writer expresses themselves differently. One of the things about Mr. Herrmann’s columns was his sense of joy. Some perfumes he wrote about reminded him of places and people from his past. He elegantly wove that into his description. I never met Mr. Herrmann but his was the kind of writing which allowed me to come to know him.

Tragically his voice would be stilled in October of 2019; succumbing to a long-term health battle. His words will live on, but Mr. Herrmann had another idea. He wanted to creatively direct a perfume to live on after him. He called Ms. Camen in the last weeks of his life. In his final days he had a specific formula along with a specified perfumer he wanted to achieve it. He would leave all of it in Ms. Camen’s capable hands.

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

Ms. Camen is a determined artist on any given day. When given a task for a friend like Mr. Herrmann she is exactly the person to see it through. It helped immensely that the perfumer Mr. Herrmann wanted to compose his perfume was Dawn Spencer Hurwitz. Ms. Hurwitz is one of many things I cherish from my days of working at CaFleureBon. She has been a friend to Ms. Camen for years. The same was true for Mr. Herrmann. When she learned of this request, she was honored to take it up. The more complete story can be found in this article at CaFleureBon.

This is the genius of Ms. Camen’s vision. She created a community where this kind of request wasn’t a bridge too far. It was the natural extension of those who share love and passion for perfume. DSH Perfumes BIWA is the result of that.

BIWA refers to a lake in Japan where a variety of freshwater pearls are harvested. Mr. Herrmann wanted to evoke the rarity and pearlescence of these tiny jewels into fragrance. Ms. Hurwitz is one of my favorite perfumers, but it is when she is given an Asian theme, like BIWA, where her work reaches a new level. This continues that. Following the instructions given by Mr. Herrmann under the eye of Ms. Camen, Ms. Hurwitz would deliver.

Mr. Hermann was a lover of aldehydes in perfume. It is no surprise that he wanted those to be where BIWA begins. The shading he had asked for was a bit of mint. This is the herbal version of mint given a more vegetal quality. It makes the mist of aldehydes glow like the reflection of the vegetation off the early morning fog rising off the lake. Ms. Hurwitz is one of the very few perfumers who has perfected a rice accord. It appears here as if it is the breakfast of one of the pearl harvesters as they stand on the shoreline. Jasmine and vanilla scent the steam off the rice with differing vectors of sweetness. Breakfast finished, our harvester looks through the hinoki and evergreens on the shore. The first breeze of the day brings the transparent scent of the woods while removing the mist from off the lake.

BIWA has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

The best things in perfume seem to work when all concerned are on the same page. BIWA is a classic extension of the other Asian inspired perfumes by Ms. Hurwitz. There is a serenity to most all of them. It speaks to place in my perfumed center where I am most calm. Mr. Herrmann seemed to know instinctually that BIWA was right in her wheelhouse. This is a gorgeous paean to beauty of purpose filled with heart and soul.

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

Mark Behnke

Editor’s Note: All proceeds from BIWA will be donated to Mr. Herrmann’s husband to defray the significant medical costs incurred. It can be found at Indigo Perfumery or DSH Perfumes.