I sat down with Hiram Green fifteen months ago when he was visiting New York City. After we had spent an hour talking about his style of perfume making I walked away very impressed. Mr. Green is one of those quiet thinkers with Marianas Trench-like depths under that stillness. If there is any commonality to the best independent perfumers it a desire to use their ingredients to the fullest. What this means for Mr. Green is he uses a very minimal number of raw materials. By working with all-natural ingredients it allows for those to bring the nuance to the primary scent effect. In his latest release Dilettante he has reached a pinnacle of this style of perfumery.
I wish I understood the name because a perfume as assured as this carries a name I consider an insult. Dilettantes are those who flock to the latest cultural event in a big city learning just enough to have a shallow conversation. Moving on to the next shiny object while likely forgetting everything they just acquired. I will leave it to Mr. Green to explain his thoughts behind it at some point. There is nothing in Dilettante which exhibits callow obsequiousness. Quite the opposite Dilettante displays a knowledge of natural oils and how they can interact which is anything but simplistic.
Dilettante has three key ingredients orange blossom, neroli and petitgrain. Mr. Green has assembled them in a way which shuffles them around a bit from where I expected to find them. It is the orange blossom which makes a first impression. What it reminds me of straightaway is that it is an indolic white flower just as much as gardenia or tuberose. Dilettante purrs with those indoles in the early moments. The neroli is also used in such a way that it also reminds me that it can be an intensely green ingredient. In Dilettante that green is amplified such that it cradles the orange blossom within. This is all figuratively topped off with petitgrain adding in its characteristic bite. Once this all comes together it lingers for hours and hours with presence. Only very late on as these essential oils are drying down to their longest lasting components do I get a slightly patchouli-like effect. It is not listed as an ingredient so I am guessing it comes from an accord of some of the minor molecules within the oils used.
Dilettante has 14-16 hour longevity and average sillage. These levels are extraordinary for an all-natural perfume. Mr. Green has done this time and again with all of his releases so it is no outlier.
I have had Dilettante for a few weeks and it is one of those perfumes which is mesmerizing from beginning to end. It is among the best perfumes of this year. Despite his name of this beautiful perfume Mr. Green is no dilettante just a quiet studious artist of scent. Dilettante is a masterclass in his expertise.
Disclosure; this review was based on a sample provided by Hiram Green.