I have a friend who has a woodworking hobby. He enjoys working with woods most people have never heard of. I know when I visit, I get an education on a wood new to me. The scent of that workshop is magical. My friend works on small wooden creations using rare materials. All of that came to mind when I tried Hans Hendley for American Perfumer Bloodline.
American Perfumer Shop
Bloodline is the third special edition from Dave Kern’s shop American Perfumer. Mr. Kern is asking different American perfumers to create one-of-a-kind fragrances. Bloodline comes from Brooklyn-based Hans Hendley. Mr. Hendley has been selling perfume since 2014. His is a line I do not have extensive experience with. There was a set of four releases in 2015 which I had samples of but never reviewed. My favorite of those was Bourbon. Just from that one example there are some definite connections to Bloodline.
Mr. Hendley does what always thrills me from the independent perfume community; he works with small batches of exquisite ingredients for Bloodline. The pulsing heart of Bloodline is a red cedar oil his father distilled from their home in Texas. That might not thrill you, cedar is a common perfume ingredient. This is not that. This oil comes from the Eastern Red Cedar which is closely related to the juniper tree this gives it an unusual scent profile. What Mr. Hendley does is to take his family derived gem of an oil and surround it with his own tinctures and unique distillates. It turns Bloodline into a testament to American vitality in perfume.
Right from the beginning the red cedar holds prominence. It acts as a sentinel standing tall at the central axis of Bloodline. To enhance those juniper characteristics Mr. Hendley uses a tincture of white pine fatwood along with an artisanal distillation of pinyon pine needles. This creates a densely faceted woody accord. To tease out the inherent sweetness of the wood Mr. Hendley turns to another tincture of his own of vanilla bean combined with tobacco. This provides a deeply narcotic foundation to everything. It delves deep in the earth as patchouli and oakmoss provide the final touch.
Bloodline has 14-16 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
Bloodline is one of the best perfumes of the year. It seems to be a clear labor of passion for Mr. Hendley in paying homage to where he came from. To take a piece of his Texas home into his Brooklyn atelier to produce Bloodline; is there anything more American Perfumer than that?
Disclosure: this review was based on a sample provided by American Perfumer.