Colognoisseur Holiday Perfume Buyer’s Guide 2019 Part 2- Support Your Local Perfumery

One of my favorite initiatives for Holiday shopping was begun in 2010. The brainchild of the American Express company it was meant to turn the day after Black Friday into something local; Small Business Saturday. It is meant to encourage shoppers’ attention to the small shops in their local area and to spend the day shopping there.

For perfume lovers these are the stores which give shelf space to the most creative independent brands. Almost always owned by people who also adore perfume. These are the ambassadors who show people there is more to perfume than the mainstream. For this year’s buyer’s guide I am going to focus on some stores which produced their own perfumes. Along with some other independent brands which have produced notable new releases this year.

The Creative Director as Store Owner

For a column like this I am going to start locally with Arielle Shoshana Sunday. Owner of the shop Arielle Shoshana in Arlington, VA Arielle Weinberg oversees her second collaboration with perfumer Cecile Hua. This time they make a one-of-a-kind gourmand around a pairing of matcha tea and the Mexican drink horchata.

Dave Kern has been releasing limited editions under the name of his perfumery American Perfumer in Louisville, KY. He won an Art & Olfaction Award for last year’s collaboration with perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz; Colorado. These are limited editions which have generally sold out. This year’s version with perfumer Hans Hendley, Bloodline, was gone in a day. Mr. Hendley has other perfume which is more available. Hans Hendley Bourbon captures the sweetness of whiskey encased in woods. It is an ideal Holiday season style of fragrance.

I only recently tried the perfumes overseen by owner Nir Guy of the store Perfumology in King of Prussia, PA. This year’s release Perfumology L’Ima continues his work with perfumer Justin Frederico. A fantastic mixture of the smell of the summer garden. Tomato leaf, citrus, florals, and warm amber capture the milieu.

Other Great Indie Perfume of 2019

You should be able to find these perfumes at smaller boutiques all of which usually have online sales.

Bogue Douleur! takes you from metallic rose to strawberry cotton candy.

Dasein Winter Green is a Holiday mixture of mint and Christmas tree.

Hiram Green Lustre is an all-natural rose soliflore of uncommon quality.

Maison Violet Un Air d’Apogee is a tobaccoed floral which captures the retro nouveau aesthetic.

Marc-Antoine Barrois Ganymede is an amazing lightweight leather.

Masque Milano Kintsugi reconstructs the broken chypre into a new modern form.

Monsillage Route du Quai is a unique take on the aquatic which captures the flow of a large freshwater river.

Providence Perfume Co. Drunk on the Moon is a slightly boozy tuberose from one of the best indie perfumers.

Roberto Greco Oeilleres is a throwback style of perfume which uses an overdose of chamomile to make an artistic thesis.

Rogue Perfumery Chypre-Siam is an old-school chypre as filtered through a Thai restaurant.

Rubini Tambour Sacre captures the rhythms of the Horn of Africa in golden tones.

Ryan Richmond Rich Mess is anything but a mess; it is a mesmerizing kinetic blend.

Get out and shop this Saturday and every other shopping day. It is the support of local perfume lovers which keep these stores going.

Disclosure: All the perfumes mentioned provided samples from the brand.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Dasein Winter Green- Creme de Menthe Christmas Tree

The first alcoholic drink I ever had was during Christmas in the mid 1960’s. I had always seen the adults sipping this brilliant green syrup out of small glasses. My mother would hold it up to my nose to smell and there was this wonderfully thick minty-ness. I don’t remember exactly my age when my mom decided it would be all right to pour me a sip or two of crème de menthe in the same tiny glass the other adults had. I remember sitting at the end of the couch taking tiny little tastes trying to make it last. The Christmas tree was right next to me. I remember thinking the tree and the mint smelled nice together. I haven’t thought about that for probably fifty-plus years; until I received my sample of Dasein Winter Green.

Sam Rader

Dasein is the perfume brand from independent perfumer Sam Rader. She first caught my attention during Christmas time 2014 with her first perfume Winter. Winter was a photorealistic Christmas tree perfume. Ms. Rader would follow up with the other three seasons all showing great attention to detail. When she took her brand to the AIX Scent Fair in Los Angeles she would meet fellow independent perfumer Josh Meyer of Imaginary Authors. They hit it off and collaborated on the sequel to Winter; Winter Nights in 2016. That perfume was also built around the Christmas tree accord Ms. Rader had built previously but now was altered to represent a Christmas tree around a bonfire. Winter Nights is one of my favorite perfumes which I always wear every Holiday season.

Josh Meyer

As an early holiday present I heard there was going to be a new Winter perfume continuing the collaborative creativity of Ms. Rader and Mr. Meyer. I was excited enough to contact both to find out a bit about how Winter Green came together.

Ms. Rader remembers the name came first, “We started brainstorming what direction we might want to go in for the green note. We tried mixing the WINTER juice with grass, with basil, with vetiver. We eventually found that mint plays nicely with my already very conifer heavy blend” Mr. Meyer had already been doing a lot of work with mint, “We talked a lot about new options for what would be fun to work with and the idea of mint was strong on my mind from Saint Julep… after working on it for so long, and spending so much time with a lot of the mint materials, I was excited about making a different kind of mint.” Both wanted to make a mint perfume which stood apart.

Their working relationship involves sending mods back and forth via mail. Mr. Meyer believes it took twice as long to come together as Winter Nights did using the same process, “We sent a lot of perfumes back and forth, Sam even sent me an incredible candle for inspiration, then it was fragrant sketches back and forth, and then when we got close, we hovered around a few different formulations based on different accords in varying concentrations. Simply dialing in the right balance that we were both really excited about. “That balance was all centered on the mint as Ms. Rader recounts, “We used several different mint oils to achieve the accord. I wanted it to be very mint forward, but at the same time not too camphorous, more of a heart note. We supported the mint with some round florals and other magic molecules that helped marry the mint to the pine and spruce….we both knew we wanted a mint with tenacity that would last far into the dry down….We had to work some magic but I think we finally got there!”

Winter Green opens with the evergreen accord Ms. Rader has perfected matched with the mint. The early version of the mint is that very herbal version. It causes the mint to rise out of the needles of the pine. It does so on sparkles of citrus provided by the tartness of pomelo with the floral herbal aspect of baie rose. The mint turns thicker at the same time as the evergreen accord becomes stronger. A gorgeous breeze of jasmine wends its way between the mint and fir. It all snaps together on a matrix of beeswax as it adds sweetness to both tree and herb without becoming treacly. The whole perfume is so well-balanced.

Winter Green has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.

These two creative minds need to work together more often. My final question to both was what took you three years to work together again? The answer from both is understandable; their lives are busy. As Mr. Meyer says, “We're just both so busy and both of the same mindset that all this perfume 'work' should be nothing but a ton of fun, so it's sincere joy working on a project together. “Ms. Rader needed that reminder, “I am grateful to Josh for continually infusing my company with new life.  It was awesome to put my creative hat back on this year and receive tons of USPS packages for sniffing as we constructed this beautiful complex scent together.”

This is another fabulous perfume in the Dasein Winter collection. I have been wearing it these early days of the Season and it complements my mood ideally. From a perfectly selfish standpoint I would love seeing what these two creative minds could do with any of the other three Dasein seasons. While I’m waiting, I’ll be sitting by the Christmas tree sipping crème de menthe luxuriating in Dasein Winter Green.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample I purchased. 

Mark Behnke