New Perfume Review Aether Arts Perfume Gunsmoke & Roses- In A Western Town

One of my favorite movie genres is the Western. One of the reasons I like Star Wars so much is George Lucas described it as “Wagon Train among the stars”. The recent “The Mandalorian” confirmed the Western milieu of that galaxy far, far, away. I enjoy Westerns because of the plots where righteous gunfighters find their resolution on the streets of the town in a gunfight. Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack for the spaghetti westerns he scored with Clint Eastwood as the star is one of those things I play when I feel the need for inner strength. It was why when independent perfumer Amber Jobin told me her new release, Aether Arts Perfume Gunsmoke & Roses, was a Wild West perfume I was hooked.

Amber Jobin

The description on the website calls it a masculine floral. It is that. Except while I was wearing it, I was reminded of one of my favorite modern Westerns; 1995’s “The Quick and the Dead”. In that story Sharon Stone plays “The Lady” who comes to town to enter a single elimination gunfighting tournament. As with all these movies she is in town to settle scores along the way. Which she does in a smoky haze of dynamite and bullets. As much as Gunsmoke & Roses is meant to be a masculine floral it also reminded me strongly of The Lady who combined being a woman with some tough as nails gunfighting skills.

I enjoy some odd real smells. One of them is the scent of gun oil. I’ve been around family members and friends who own guns. The smell of the gun cabinet is not gunpowder and brass; it is the sheen of gun oil on every piece of metal. It has a rich slightly sweet smell. Ms. Jobin finds that right from the start. Its as if The Lady is taking care of her pistol after the first round of the tournament. There is the precise faint gunpowder accord Ms. Jobin adds in here. This is subtle and it reminded me strongly of the way a weapon smells after it has been put away after use. The promised roses come next. These are not your typical opulent rose, hence the masculine floral descriptor. It is a rose with a gin-soaked bite via juniper. As The Lady looks down at the rose in one hand and the bottle of gin in the other, another round of the tournament plays out on the street below. The smell of smoke rises to her window. Ms. Jobin uses choya ral, birch tar, and patchouli to capture the gunsmoke accord. The Lady does a slow clap for the victor; tossing the rose to him while toasting with the bottle of gin before she takes a swig.

Gunsmoke & Roses has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

Ms. Jobin has spent the last year or so in high-concept perfumes which appealed to me for their audacious attempts to reach for the frontiers of what independent perfumery could be. Gunsmoke & Roses hearkens back to a different frontier in more realistic terms. You might not want to smell like High Noon in Dodge City but I sure do.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Aether Arts Perfume.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Aether Arts Perfume Burner Perfume No. 10 Chrysalis- Taking Wing

Every September for the last six years I look forward to an envelope in the mail with a Colorado postmark. It means one of my favorite independent perfumers has renewed herself at the annual Burning Man festival. For Amber Jobin of Aether Arts Perfume this means a new Burner Perfume is here.

Amber Jobin

Ms. Jobin has always used perfume as her contribution to the spontaneous society which springs up on the playa every summer. It has been the source of some of her very best creations because these are fragrances which are born of passion and intellect. Ms. Jobin uses each year’s theme as the jumping off point for that year’s Burner Perfume. For 2019 the Burning Man theme was “Metamorphoses”.  The way Ms. Jobin chose to interpret that was to imagine the process which gives us a Monarch butterfly. Specifically the forming of the chrysalis as the caterpillar nears its change into winged beauty. That is where Aether Arts Perfume Burner Perfume No. 10 Chrysalis comes from.

Ms. Jobin was inspired by the color of the chrysalis of the Monarch butterfly which is a lacquered green. To translate that into a perfume she uses a set of fantastically different green notes before allowing the beginning of the transformation to be represented through the later development.

When I say green opening it would be normal to think of the grassy notes or the leafier ones, perhaps grapefruit. This is where I enjoy independent perfumers, they think green but in the case of Ms. Jobin she goes on a tangent. Her green top accord consists of tomato leaf, aldehydes, rhubarb, and green coffee. The sulfurous quality of rhubarb with the oiliness of the green coffee harmonizes with the acerbic tomato leaf and the aldehydes to create a vivid green accord which captures the color of that chrysalis. The stirring of the creature within is represented by a transitory floral green as violet and clover form the heart. This is a softer green than the top accord with violet signaling a change. The base is a brilliant accord of musks capturing the butterfly inside with a subtle animalic effect.

Chrysalis has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage because it is at extrait strength.

Chrysalis is another brilliant perfume from an independent perfumer who allows her imagination to take wing with the Monarch butterflies who inspired her.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Aether Arts Perfume.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Aether Arts Perfume Exobotany Series- Across the Universe

Of the many things I cherish about the independent perfume community; the option to follow your creative urging wherever it leads is near the top. When it really comes together for me is when those perfumers color outside of the lines. Making perfume which is adventurous and intelligent. The Aether Arts Perfume Exobotany Series is a continuation of the recent work, in that vein, by perfumer Amber Jobin.

Amber Jobin

It seems to me that Ms. Jobin’s imagination was nudged in a new direction when she composed 2017’s Touchstone. That was meant to represent a smartphone. A year later she followed up with The AI Series which explored the nature of artificial intelligence over three remarkable perfumes. For the Exobotany Series we are traveling to three planets where Ms. Jobin imagines what they would smell like. Each planetscape provides a new scented horizon to explore.

Garden on a Far Planet– In this iteration we arrive in the tropical zone of the planet. There is a burgeoning green quality. Ms. Jobin captures the sweeter nature of dense greenery along with the expected vegetal beats. Underneath it all is a rocky mineral-like accord representing the surface of this new world. The interplay between the rockiness and the greenness is captivating.

Specimen 3– Our landing craft finds a slope covered in flowers to set down upon. As we step outside the craft the metallic tang of our craft settles into the floral riot in front of us. Ms. Jobin has found a malleable metallic accord over those perfumes I mentioned earlier. It is on display again here with it providing a chilly metal container for the florals.

Specimen 9– That metallic accord returns here. It acts as a vein of metal through a stony escarpment. We stand on a thick layer of topsoil which has some lichens and flowers growing. Ms. Jobin uses patchouli to form an intergalactic soil which the metallic accord runs through. Rose and moss provide the contrast of plant life in hues of red and green.

All three perfumes are further evidence of the active mind Ms. Jobin is bringing to her perfume making. You might read the descriptions above and think these seem too experimental. As I wore these, I learned that they are all very wearable wonderful extraterrestrial accents. If you want to know why independent perfumery so vital go across the universe with the Exobotany Series.

Disclosure: This review is based on samples provided by Aether Arts Perfume.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Aether Arts Perfume Burner Perfume No. 9A, 9B, & 9C: The AI Series- Intelligent Perfumery

All independent perfumers carry their own unique inspiration into their fragrances. Amber Jobin’s inspiration is renewed every year when she attends the Burning Man festival. As her part of the community she has a stand called “The Olfactorium” where she dispenses a perfume designed for each year’s theme called Burner Perfume. I came to know her through Burner Perfume No. 2 A Roll in the Grass. She has been one of the most wondrously imaginative perfumers because of this. That was on full display in last year’s Touchstone where she made a perfume out of our smartphone. This year’s overall theme at Burning Man was “I, Robot”. This led to not one but three Burner perfumes for her Aether Arts Perfume brand which she calls “The AI Series”.

Amber Jobin at The Olfactorium

In her accompanying notes Ms. Jobin mentions she has been fascinated by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and was waiting for an opportunity to interpret it as a perfume. As I smelled each of her three perfumes, they felt like the evolution of our smartphones which means to me they are the next generation of what Ms. Jobin began in Touchstone.

Burner Perfume No. 9A Machine Intelligence– This is meant to capture the processes which happen within the shell. It is made up of three accords. First comes a metallic accord combined with the smell of electricity as it flows through circuits. On top of this Ms. Jobin creates an expansive aether accord. It has a peek-a-boo effect as it seems to dart in and out of the metal and electricity. This is the most fragile perfume Ms. Jobin has ever made. It is appropriate as it captures something as ephemeral as a thought coming together.  

Burner Perfume No. 9B Android– This is Ms. Jobin’s idea of what we will rely on when AI advances so that the artificial is not able to be discerned visually. She thinks we will be able to use our nose. Android is what she thinks these beings will smell like. First it is the power source accord from 9A, but she has added something musky to it to make it a richer version. It is matched with the smell of the plastics and resins made to look like skin along with a very synthetic accord meant to represent the fluids running through the interior of the robot.

Burner Perfume No. 9C Synthetic Sex– This perfume is the idea of what AI might mean to our most personal interaction, sex. As we become more isolated in our AI cocoons, do we lose the humanity over the physical contact. To do this Ms. Jobin tweaks that metallic power source accord by making this one a bit spikier along with a processed air accord she calls “virtual space”. It reminded me of the smell of entering a room where the air is filtered to death. It is chilly, impersonal, and isolating. The only warmth is that electrical accord. It ends with the release of orgasm under these circumstances leaving a funky musky accord lying inside a hermetically sealed room.

Over the past year and a half Ms. Jobin has really been influenced by her artistic impulses. The perfumes since the release of Touchstone show an artist at work. The AI Series is another in that line of creativity proving there is nothing artificial about Ms. Jobin’s intelligent perfumery.

Disclosure: this review is based on samples provided by Aether Arts Perfume.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Aether Arts Perfume Daydream in Blue- Fulfilled Desire

On my recent visit to Boulder, Colorado I finally had the opportunity to spend some time with independent perfumer Amber Jobin. We have corresponded digitally over many years. This was the first time we were in the same place where we could relax. One of the things about independent perfumery is that through an artist’s perfumes you can get a picture of who they are. Ms. Jobin exceeded what I expected to find.

Ms. Jobin has come to perfumery through the crucible of the yearly Burning Man event. She has attended for several years and began offering custom fragrance blends as part of her contribution to the temporary society the event represents. She also creates a distinct “Burner” perfume each year based on the theme of the given year. It was through these early fragrances I became aware of her. As a student of Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, and now a colleague in her Essense Studio, Ms. Jobin was uncommonly polished in her early work. If there is a common aesthetic that ties her perfumes together it is curious intelligence; which might be redundant. Ms. Jobin has been able to distill the abstract into perfume. At its base it is what all perfumers are doing. It is just Ms. Jobin does it with a little more verve. Of her most recent releases Aether Arts Perfume Daydream in Blue displays this.

(l. to r.) Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, Me, Amber Jobin

The perfume was inspired by the song “Daydream in Blue” by the band I Monster. Ms. Jobin realized it was a song about daydreaming while in a field of wildflowers, but this reverie is a sexual one. It is unrequited because the dreamer’s partner is only present in the imagination. Ms. Jobin imagines the dreamer having an actual partner for whom that desire can be acted upon amongst the literal birds and bees doing their work pollinating things. She says in her press release, “I loved the idea of a pretty experience wrapped around a deeply erotic one.” This is exactly that.

The early moments of Daydream in Blue set the stage with a gentle floral accord matched with some of the grassy ingredients. It is a sun dappled meadow. Through an incredibly constructed accord Ms. Jobin captures the entire experience of making love outside. Her main accord is comprised of deer musk, civet, and costus. It is the balance she achieves with that last note that brings the whole thing together. Costus is a tricky note to get right. For Ms. Jobin she actually wanted to capture a fully realized erotic moment which means the smell of semen on sun warmed skin. I can hear some readers thinking that doesn’t sound great. Ms. Jobin has an ability to find beauty out of what I described. It especially comes home when the florals and grassy notes reappear around that animalic accord as nature returns after passion.

Daydream in Blue has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.

This is what sets independent perfumery apart. The ability for a perfumer to take on a subject like this. I giggle to myself when I imagine one of those people spritzing perfume trying to describe this as they hand a strip to a mallgoer. This is perfume for those of us who see it as an art form as well as something to make us smell pleasant. Daydream in Blue succeeds on both of those levels. I adore much of what Ms. Jobin has created over the years but this one has also exceeded my expectations fulfilling desires of all sorts.

Disclosure: this review is based on a sample provided by Aether Arts Perfume.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Aether Arts Perfume Touchstone- Shields Up!

I have used public transportation on my commute to work for twenty-five years. From the beginning to avoid contact with those I was traveling with I threw up my metaphorical shields. In the early days that consisted of a book to hold in front of my face and headphones attached to my Walkman. I can’t see you or hear you; I am traveling through space alone. If the train was sufficiently crowded that only part of my protection could be put in place I felt exposed. It still exists in its current evolution as headphones to music on my cellphone and book or game on my iPad. In truth, this is a modern talisman meant to ward off the perceived unwanted influences outside my control. I wouldn’t have thought about that except perfumer Amber Jobin has turned it into perfume; Aether Arts Perfume Touchstone.

Amber Jobin

Ms. Jobin is one of the perfumer participating in the CaFleureBon Project Talisman. (For more on that follow this link). All the other perfumers participating looked to the past for the known items meant to ward off bad spirits. Ms. Jobin looked right in front of her and realized our cellphones are the same thing. In her words, “The cellphone has become the talisman of our age. A kind of metaphorical worry stone or touchstone if you will, we can’t keep our hands off of it.” It is this kind of thinking which makes these projects as enjoyable as they are for me. Michelyn Camen, the Editor-in-Chief at CaFleureBon, asked for “eau de protection” Ms. Jobin translates that into “cellphone perfume”.

Michelyn Camen EIC of CaFleureBon and I at the 2017 Perfumed Plume Awards

Where Ms. Jobin turned for inspiration were the materials, glass and metal; followed by the signal itself sent out over the air. This results in a perfume of dualities as the ethereal and the corporeal form the two sides of Touchstone.

Ms. Jobin employs a set of aldehydes to provide both qualities in the early moments. Aldehydes can have a metallic glint married to an ozonic quality. The use of them in the early moments sets up the signals emanating from the metallic cellphone case. Then a mineralic accord around a geosmin-like note provides a clean stony façade. Each bottle of Touchstone has a small quartz crystal which is mean to be the vibrating heart of our technology. The mineralic aspect of the accord supplies that for this perfume. It would be easy to say this grounds the fragrance but in reality it releases it. It opens up the aldehydes’ expansiveness and provides solidity to the metallic aspects.

Touchstone has 8-10 hour longevity and wears very close to the skin as it is at extrait strength.

While I was wearing Touchstone on my way to work I felt like I had an extra set of shields in place. It really was an “eau de protection”. Touchstone is exactly what something like Project Talisman is meant to do; allow fragrance to open our eyes.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Aether Arts Perfume.

To read Robert Herrmann’s review of Touchstone on CaFleureBon follow this link.

To read my review of En Voyage Perfumes Figa the first Project Talisman I reviewed follow this link.

Mark Behnke  

New Perfume Review Aether Arts Perfume Reefer Madness- Midnight Movies

Before there were hundreds of cable television channels and the internet to amuse you late at night there were midnight movies. Back in the 1970’s on Friday and Saturday nights the local movie theatres showed a set of specific movies at midnight. None of these were current movies. They always fell into a category of very broad humor, adult animation, concert films, and one very strange public service announcement called Reefer Madness. All of these had the common thread of being even better if you were in an enhanced state of mind. Reefer Madness was particularly funny because the 1936, 68-minute film about the dangers of marijuana was so ridiculous it had become a comedy by the mid 1970’s. The tragic story of drug use gone bad was an overheated morality play. With that as background I had a big smile on my face when I received the fourth entry in Cannabis Series by independent perfumer Amber Jobin for her Aether Arts Perfume brand called Reefer Madness.

Ms. Jobin is based in Boulder, Colorado and I imagine with marijuana being legalized in the state it has opened up her ability to consider it as a versatile perfume ingredient. Reefer Madness carries the sub-title “A Narcotic Floral”. Ms. Jobin goes for a big overheated floral. It is an appropriate companion to the movie with which it shares its name.

amber jobin

Amber Jobin

Ms. Jobin decides to collect a bouquet of indolic florals with which to contrast the natural funkiness of the cannabis flower. Early on honeysuckle opens Reefer Madness on a syrupy sweet chord. Gardenia and jasmine come next and these are full versions of both with the skanky indoles front and center. This provides an excellent platform for the cannabis flower to insert itself into. As I wore Reefer Madness there was this interesting transformation as the cannabis flower rose in presence. Cannabis flower has that dirty smell to it and it would seemingly rise out of the indoles. There is also a considerable sticky green character which also came out. Reefer Madness holds here and it is where it lives up to its sub-title as it draws you into its hypnotic spell. The final bit is some authentic castoreum adding real animalic to the indoles and cannabis.

Reefer Madness has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

Thankfully Reefer Madness the fragrance doesn’t end in tragedy as the movie does. Ms. Jobin executes her desired goial of creating something narcotic out of a set of intense floral components. Her use of the cannabis flower amongst the other well-known florals works. I do have to admit I called up Reefer Madness on my streaming service late in the day when I was wearing this. In the end the perfume made me smile as much as the movie did.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Aether Arts Perfume.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Reviews Aether Arts Perfume Burner Perfume No. 1 Black Rock City & Burner Perfume No. 6 Reflection- Flammable Inspiration

There are literally thousands who attend the yearly Burning Man festival. A great many of those thousands come away inspired by the temporary community erected on the playa in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. To my knowledge out of that cauldron of creativity only one perfumer has used it as inspiration. That is one of the rising stars of independent perfumery Amber Jobin.

amber jobin

Amber Jobin

Ms. Jobin established her Aether Arts Perfume in 2013 and in that debut set of releases was the perfume Burner Perfume No. 2 A Roll in the Grass. Every year Ms. Jobin attends Burning Man she composes a perfume to go with her. Ever the keen observer I was wondering what had happened to Burner Perfume No. 1. Ms. Jobin finally answered my question.

Amber Jobin Burning Man 2015

Amber Jobin at Burning Man 2015 in The Olfactorium composing custom perfumes

She had composed a Burner Perfume No. 1 Black Rock City in 2010 but it had only been shared at the festival. She is now bringing it back so that those of us who were not there can also share in it. At the same time Burner Perfume No. 6 Reflection is also being released which is from this year’s edition. The two are meant to be companions as Black Rock City captures the smell of the playa at rest while Reflection captures it after a thunderstorm has added pools of water to the desert milieu. I also found it interesting as a bit of a marker to how Ms. Jobin has grown as a perfumer over the past five years.

aether arts black rock city

Black Rock City is best described as a rugged perfume similar to the terrain it is evoking. The desert is an unforgiving place but the beauty inherent in that is wondrous. Ms. Jobin captures that roughhewn allure. Black Rock City is a very simple construction centered on the desert flora of sage and mesquite. She mixes the leaves and flowers of sage with the blossoms and bark of mesquite with a bit of cedar for structure thrown in. This is sage and smoky woodiness. It is a linear fragrance with no real development. It shows the beginnings of what Ms. Jobin will develop into.

Reflection is that potential made real. Reflection has a very kinetic development also starting with sage. This time the sage is borne on the wind in front of an oncoming thunderstorm. Ms. Jobin takes the sage and sets it on top of a stiff breeze of ozonic notes and aquatic accords. This is that precise moment before the sky breaks. The rest of Reflection is what is left behind as the storm has passed. The desert flowers open up drinking greedily. Ms. Jobin uses yucca, cactus flowers, and sage flowers to represent this over the still lingering aquatic accord. The florals float above the massive puddles on the desert floor. As the sun comes back to reclaim the moisture the original desert smells reclaim their place as mesquite and cedar signal a return to the baseline. Reflection is a fantastic piece of perfumery as it moves from restrained power into a fragile floral to rest upon that desert ruggedness. Ms. Jobin captures all of that.

Both Black Rock City and Reflection are perfume oils and as such wear very close to the skin with little appreciable sillage.

Ms. Jobin suggested wearing Reflection layered over Black Rock City. When I did that it further confirmed my impression that Black Rock City is more of a perfume base upon which to build a perfume. When layered it provides a real oomph to the final phase of Reflection as the desert returns with a flourish instead of the more gradual transition in Reflection by itself. Reflection is by far the better of the two perfumes. It is the result of five more years’ experience. It is also the result of a young perfumer coming into her own as if she herself is on fire.

Disclosure; this review was based on samples provided by Aether Arts Perfume.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Reviews Aether Arts Perfume Magic Mushroom and Love for 3 Oranges- Chocolate & Prokofiev

While the three new releases from Amber Jobin’s Aether Arts Perfume were my first new perfumes of 2015 I can’t say I didn’t know they were on their way. Ms. Jobin like so many of her compatriots in the independent perfume world shares her thoughts on how her new designs are coming along online. Ms. Jobin’s posts give us a peek into her creative process and I always like taking my first sniff knowing a bit about how the perfume came to be. The two I am reviewing here Magic Mushroom and Love for 3 Oranges were Ms. Jobin’s forays into gourmand and eau de cologne territory.  

aether arts chocolate mushrooms

Magic Mushroom seems like it should be a natural companion to the other new 2015 perfume Holy Hemp! Instead Ms. Jobin was after another mood altering substance to build this mushroom, chocolate. She takes cocoa absolute which, instead of adding the slightly dusty quality of cocoa, it forms a more viscous base of melted chocolate. Floating on that metaphorical pool are freshly harvested mushrooms with the earth still clinging to them. On the days I wore this I kept imagining the weirdest chocolate fountain with mushrooms floating in the bowl at the bottom. Ms. Jobin describes Magic Mushroom as an earthy gourmand and, especially in the first part of the development, it is exactly what this perfume delivers. She leavens the rich opening with a bouquet of jasmine and orris. It adds a bit of high harmonics to a perfume which has been all bass to this point. Coffee and tobacco absolute return Magic Mushroom to the lower register and transform it into something trending more sweet as the chocolate has the upper hand over the final phase. Magic mushroom has 8-10 hour longevity and slight sillage due to being extrait strength.

love-for-three-oranges-prokofiev-1385054246-view-1

Love for 3 Oranges was inspired by Prokofiev’s opera of the same name. The opera was staged to be a cross between Commedia dell’arte and Surrealism. Needless to say it flew over most audiences' heads when first performed in the 1920’s. As Surrealism rose in prominence so too did the opera and it has become one of the staples of the opera company repertory. Ms. Jobin heard about the staging in 1988 which provided the audience with Scratch n’ Sniff cards to go along with the action on stage. One of those dots was the scent of oranges which was matched to fairy princesses emerging from giant oranges as if they were cocoons. Mixed into all of this were memories of Ms. Jobin’s memories of her grandmother’s orange trees at her home in Florida. You will be unsurprised to know the Florida boy in me was particularly interested in that.

amber jobin winning iao award

Amber Jobin accepting her 2014 Art & Olfaction Award

She has subtitled the fragrance “Flower, Fruit & Tree” to indicate she wanted to capture an orange tree where the orange blossoms and the fruit were all growing at the same time. By choosing to go with an eau de cologne architecture at extrait strength Ms. Jobin eschewed the surreal aspect and instead went for a “whole body” approach to capture that tree with all three phases in it which describe the three phases the perfume goes through on my skin. It opens with that lush juicy orange smell. The one I remember from my Florida childhood eating one while sitting on a limb in the tree. I also remember the smell of the tree when it was full of blossoms as that was the smell of Spring to me when living in a part of the world where it might always seem Spring. Ms. Jobin uses a high concentration of orange blossom and it really brings out the creamy quality of the raw material. Most often it is used as a light bit of floralcy. Ms. Jobin has to use a lot so it can co-exist with the orange from the top. Her success is that I would imagine myself in my tree at both times I described at the same time. Getting orange and orange blossom right is easy the smell of an orange tree is not so easy. It is woody but it also has a bit of an acrid edge to it and Ms. Jobin’s orange tree accord captures that. She blends some green notes with woody base notes. This would not have been a trivial task, I think. This is a simple perfume but it is not a simple to make perfume. Ms. Jobin shows her skill throughout in getting all of the players to create the effect she wanted. In the end for this Florida boy she has spectacularly captured any orange tree I have ever known. Love for 3 Oranges has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

Ms. Jobin continues to shine brightly as one of the best new independent perfuers we have and all three of her new perfumes have begun my 2015 on a high note.

Mark Behnke

Editor's Note: My review of the other 2015 release Holy Hemp! can be found here.

New Perfume Review Aether Arts Perfume Holy Hemp!- The Making of a Perfumer

The winner of first new perfumes received in 2015 were the three new perfumes by Amber Jobin for her Aether Arts Perfume label. It has been a winning year for Ms. Jobin as last year she won one of the inaugural Art & Olfaction Awards in the Artisan Category. There has been no perfumer who has started with quite this much momentum in years. Not only were these the first new perfumes I would start 2015 with they show the nearly fully formed artist Ms. Jobin has become in just two short years. I am going to review all three of the new perfumes today and tomorrow. I’m going to start with Holy Hemp! because it follows on her previous exploration of the use of the cannabis note in her other perfumes A Roll in the Grass & Burner Perfume No. 5-Incense Indica. It also is very illustrative of why Ms. Jobin has stood out among the newer independent perfumers.

Particularly for a lot of the new independent perfumers who send me samples that I don’t end up reviewing the main reason is they have combined a bunch of nice smelling ingredients into something that smells nice but has no soul. Ms. Jobin has spent time studying perfumery under the tutelage of Dawn Spencer Hurwitz. What that means is really understanding not just how to build a perfume around a specific note but how to shape that note to achieve a desired effect by altering the concentration and/or the accompanying notes. This process requires patience and a clear vision. Ms. Jobin seems to have both of these attributes.

amber jobin

Amber Jobin

Her first cannabis perfume A Roll in the Grass concentrated on the way cannabis smells when it is smoked the skanky smoky smell was front and center. Ms. Jobin paired it with a fresh cut grass accord as contrast and it made the name of the perfume a double entendre. In Incense Indica Ms. Jobin imagined the sticky concentrated smell of the buds as a substitute for frankincense or other resins. She allows the resinous quality to rise from out of the smoke and Incense Indica pivots beautifully about a third of the way through its development. Holy Hemp! is the smell of the entire plant as not only the leaves and the buds but also the stalks. There is a wonderful vegetal quality underpinning the rest of what is a very luminous green perfume.

Holy Hemp! opens on an herbal note of Holy Basil also called Tulsi. The Holy Basil adds that vegetal foundation I was speaking of. Ms. Jobin bleeds in just the right amount of galbanum to support that accord of green and growing things. She chooses to add Cananga which is a fruity floral oil obtained when the flowers which produce ylang-ylang oil are distilled. Cananga is a much more transparent version of ylang-ylang as it is both less floral and a bit fruitier. In Holy Hemp! it provides a focal point to find the fruity facets within cannabis. Once you’re led in that direction by the Cananga you almost can’t help but smell it. This all comes to an end with a balsamic base.

Holy Hemp! has 8-10 hour longevity and very little sillage because it is at extrait strength.

Holy Hemp! completes a trinity of cannabis perfumes by Ms. Jobin; but most importantly it shows a young independent perfumer working with an assured artistic aesthetic rare within this community.

Duisclsoure: This review was based on a sample provided by Aether Arts Perfumes.

Mark Behnke