The prevalence of weighted blankets has taken off. The idea is the feeling of light pressure underneath a soft blanket is comforting. It is the weight itself which adds the security. There is something to the hypothesis that heavier is more soothing. The same holds true for perfume. When you think to yourself which perfumes provide a cozy feeling they are centered around the heavier perfume notes. The latest from independent perfumer Shawn Maher, Maher Olfactive Treachery, explores this.
I think for the first time the name has nothing to do with his St. Louis home. In his Scent Notes column he says the name came from the painting by Rene Magritte; “Treachery of Images”. That piece is the depiction of a pipe with the phrase “this is not a pipe”. Mr. Maher wanted to name this perfume that, but it had already been used by another perfume. He ended up going back to the name and just using Treachery. I don’t think the name does it justice. In his column about Treachery he says, “I wanted something comforting” That is a better introduction to the perfume in the bottle.
He starts with two of the most classic perfume ingredients known for being comfortable, vanilla and tobacco. He uses a rich tobacco absolute which captures you in its narcotic embrace as vanilla absolute soothes your brow. Whenever I cook with vanilla, I am struck by the boozy scent of it. Mr. Maher amplifies that with a barrel-aged whisky accord to pick that up. He then changes the tobacco from the dried leaf in the barn to a fruit-flavored version from the tobacconist. An infusion of berries creates a pouch of decadence. This gets pushed even further in that direction with a cocoa powder to dust the entire thing. This is the slightly bitter analog to Dutch Process Cocoa used to bake with. At this point you are enveloped in pipe tobacco, vanilla, a glass of whiskey, and a bar of chocolate. My kind of comfort. There are some woods later on, but they mainly provide framing.
Treachery has 24-hour longevity and above average sillage.
Treachery belongs to my “wall of scent” category. It doesn’t so much develop as erect a structure which holds together for hours. This is one of those perfumes that will stay with you for more than a day. It is a good thing that being surrounded by Treachery is the same as being under a weighted blanket, happy comfort.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Maher Olfactive.