One of the things I enjoy knowing is when a flower can’t be extracted into an essential oil. What that means is a creative team must create their own reality. When you have a scent from the real-life bloom it is easier to simulate that. What if the flower you want to emulate has no scent? What does a creative team decide? Shay & Blue Tallulah’s Camellia offers an answer to that.
From its founding in 2012 there has only been one creative team at Shay & Blue. Owner and creative director Dom de Vetta and perfumer Julie Masse. This is the twenty-fourth perfume they have made together. I think this kind of long-term association is to the advantage of an independent brand. Knowing where they have been allows them to decide where to go. It also lets them translate a flower that is purely visual into fragrance.
Camellia is a late season flowering shrub. It puts out deeply colored silky soft flowers. My grandmother had a few scattered among her gardenias. When she told me it had no scent, I stuck my nose inside a bloom to confirm it. What Mr. de Vetta and Ms. Masse do is use the balance they have made an attribute of the brand to create their own abstract of camellia.
What do they think represents the scent to go with the vision? The floral accord is primarily a combination of the spring-fresh qualities of lily and bluebell. Both have a gentle green facet. They both also have a chilliness to them which seems appropriate for a flower which is around in the colder months. This gentle accord is given a bit of depth through gardenia. A suite of light woods and some teas are what interact with the camellia accord over the life of the fragrance on my skin.
Tallulah’s Camellia has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
To answer the question I posed at the start. According to this perfume camellia smells fresh which I can endorse. It fits my memory of them. Tallulah’s Camellia is the oddest of spring florals because it is an abstraction of the concept. A good one.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.