The last few years has seen a change in the style of perfume. It has come from a hypothesis that the younger fragrance consumer wants a lighter experience. It has ushered in an era of transparent perfumes. Because of that lightness it has been difficult to not become insubstantial in both effect and design. When it doesn’t work it is as disposable as a used tissue. The one place where this trend has been enduringly interesting is when it turns towards a floral gourmand. By adding a lightly floral veil over an aroma of an edible these have been consistently good. It is a new genre where it isn’t competing with an existing standard setter that all of them get compared to. As an observer of perfume I’ve been waiting for one I think can set that standard. I think I’ve found it in A Lab on Fire Freckled and Beautiful.
My esteem for A Lab on Fire and creative director Carlos Kusubayashi is boundless. He has created a brand which celebrates the creativity of the perfumer hired. It has frequently inspired some of the best work by the perfumer because of the latitude provided. No focus group is going to rein in creativity here. For Freckled and Beautiful perfumer David Apel adds to that legacy.
The name of this is meant to capture the playful energy of children. This does not mean this is a perfume to be worn by a child. This is a seriously complete fragrance which should appeal to those who love fragrance of any age. Mr. Apel takes a set of sunny florals and marries them to a gorgeous flaky pastry accord.
Those florals are neroli and orange blossom. They come out early with the neroli giving ground to the orange blossom which takes over. This is a soft floral given opacity with substance because of the neroli. It keeps it from becoming too ephemeral. What comes next is that scent of the fall when pies are cooling. Mr. Apel creates a buttery flaky pastry accord. This is as I described as if it was coming from across the kitchen. It isn’t in your face, it is enticingly distant. According to the press release it seems as if Mr. Apel used some salicylates to form this which is why the orange blossom finds an ideal place to blend with the pastry accord. There is a fruitiness to some salicylates which reach out to the orange blossom. As they come together this forms the best floral gourmand accord I’ve experienced. Sandalwood with its inherent creaminess and vanilla provide the butcher block table for this fragrant treat to rest upon.
Freckled and Beautiful has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.
The orange blossom pastry heart of this is a perfume design marvel. It holds together without an ingredient out of place. This stands up as one of the great accords of perfumery I’ve tried. If you’re wondering whether there is a great perfume to be found in the transparent floral gourmand style seek out Freckled and Beautiful to find the current standard setter.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I was provided by A Lab on Fire.