One of my favorite independent perfumers is Irina Adam of Phoenix Botanicals. When I have the opportunity to meet her in person there is a studious quiet intensity to her when she speaks about her perfumes. Like most indie perfumers their personality also makes the trip to the fragrances they make. What Ms. Adam has done so adeptly in her career, so far, is to create olfactory visions which draw the rest of us into them along with her. Her latest release is Peach Tree Garden where she puts us in the middle of a peach orchard in the height of summer.
When we moved from Massachusetts to Maryland we moved into an area of the state called the Agricultural Preserve. In this area it is zoned to encourage local farming. One of the farms is a peach orchard. It seems Ms. Adam and I share the same enjoyment of the orchard when it is at the height of maturity. The summer sun high in the sky. Trees with blossoms among ripening fruit. The rotting fruit on the ground. In real life this is a heady smell of beauty and decay with more of the former on display. Ms. Adam designs Peach Tree Garden with the same idea of capturing that peach orchard. The really intelligent part is she grafts that on to a chypre base. It is that which really elevates Peach Tree Garden into something memorable.
Ms. Adam opens with a fascinating duet of yuzu and saffron. This combines into that sunny accord deepened with a hint of the spicy flesh of the fruit. The heart is that mixture of blossom and fruit I mentioned above. Ms. Adam uses osmanthus as the stand-in for the blossoms as the peach arises with intensity. The osmanthus’ apricot like quality is a perfect simulacrum for the peach blossom. The accord of decaying fruit is composed of oud, labdanum, and ambrette. It is that slightly decadent smell of the sweet turned rotten. It never rises to the level of taking things over, it is a gentle reminder that all beauty decays. The final phase is that chypre accord of oakmoss and vetiver. It adds a contrasting gentle bite to all that has come before.
Peach Tree Garden has 6-8 hour longevity and below average sillage. Both typical for 100% natural perfumes.
As I’ve worn Peach Tree Garden in these waning days of winter I have enjoyed its ability to allow me to dream of summer days in the peach orchard. Ms. Adam has added another impressive perfume to her collection.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample I was given as a gift.