As mentioned in yesterday’s reviews Baruti is Greek for gunpowder. While the perfumes don’t smell like it, they do remind me of many of the properties of the volatile substance. The two perfumes I am reviewing today, Baruti Onder de Linde and Baruti Voyance remind me of bottle rockets. They rapidly ascend to a sharp explosion. Spyros Drosopoulos forms his fireworks around linden and vetiver, respectively.
Onder de Linde according to the website is inspired by Johannes Vermeer’s famous painting “Melkmeisje” which translates to The Milkmaid. When you read that you might be expecting something creamy gourmand-like. Onder de Linde is nothing like that. Dr. Drosopoulos forms an exuberant fruity floral that pops.
The first moments are the thrust of a juicy pear carrying the fragrance upward. When it reaches the right height the honeyed floral of linden blossom comes out. A lot of perfumers hold the concentration of this ingredient down because it might be thought cloying. Dr. Drosopoulos leans into it as he deepens the effect with orris and honey. This is a lush midsummer floral quality that is intoxicating. The base accord is sandalwood and vetiver which is where the sparkles of this bottle rocket return to earth.
Onder de Linde has 14-16 hour longevity and above average sillage.
Voyance is made up of tuberose, vetiver, and musk. If I asked you which of the ingredients was the payload of this perfume bottle rocket, I bet many would choose tuberose. Dr. Drosopoulos completely inverted my expectation as it is tuberose which provides the lift to an incendiary vetiver.
Voyance is the simplest of the current Baruti fragrances yet it still retains the depth because of Dr. Drosopoulos’ ability to coax so much out of his three keynotes. That starts with the tuberose which gets a few minutes to take the lead as it rises. As soon as the vetiver appears it steps to the background. I enjoy vetiver for its dual woody and green nature. In Voyance they are both accentuated in unique ways. The green thread within tuberose finds the grassy part of vetiver. The animalic musk captures the woody nature giving it some texture instead of being monolithic. Voyance sizzles for the entire time it is on my skin until it all fades away.
Voyance has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Taken together the four Baruti perfumes I have reviewed over these two days are emblematic of what independent perfumery stands for. Bold singular artistic statements full of power.
I am not done with this brand, but the remaining five perfumes require the chance for me to wear them in some cooler weather. I’ll return in a few weeks to complete the collection.
Disclosure: This review is based on samples supplied by Baruti.
I like to believe I am out on the edge of new perfume discovery. It is probably good to learn that I miss as many as I find. That lesson was learned anew when I reviewed Zoologist Koala by independent perfumer Spyros Drosopoulos. I had never tried the perfumes he made under his own brand. Many of my readers wrote to tell me how much they liked them. After receiving a sample set, I shared their enthusiasm. There are currently nine Baruti perfumes and I’m going to spend the next couple days with the ones which are best in the warm weather. Next month I’ll follow up with the ones which should be better in the fall. To start I chose Baruti Tindrer and Baruti Indigo.
Prior to receiving the perfumes I read through the press materials. There I learned Baruti means gunpowder in Greek. It is an apt description of this collection. Although it represents different forms of that material. The two perfumes today remind me of when I peeled open firecrackers to expose the gunpowder. I would make a long line on the sidewalk and light one end. Watching the sparkling crackling glow travel the length was the power of gunpowder given light. Tindrer and Indigo feel like this type of gunpowder to me.
Tindrer is a perfume of walking in the forest after a summer thunderstorm. Dr. Drosopoulos forms a humid hike through the tree canopy. It opens with a set of green notes; grassy oximes, lemon-tinted verbena, and buchu leaves. The final ingredient is what provides the damp vegetation effect to the other two. This is that scent of damp enclosed greenery. The heart is a beautiful overload of violet peeking out from between the trees. The violet is an ideal contrast to the green of the top accord. It takes a bit of the edge off while making its own presence felt. The trees as represented by fir balsam comes next along with a bit of wet soil accord. It leads to an opening in the forest coated in soft green moss. As pillowy as the opening is not.
Tindrer has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Indigo is that rare feat of perfumery; a summer weight amber. I only own a few in this category to which I will be adding this one in the future. The effort is to keep the heavier ingredients in a place where they aren’t weighty but are given some lift. Dr. Drosopoulos finds that balance. He opens with a fresh rose which is joined apace by a creamy sandalwood. All the fireworks take place in the base. By using the freshness of the rose he can layer in an edgy amber without it becoming too much. The keynote in the base accord is mastic. Its balsamic effect is lighter in nature which also allows for some lift. A high-quality silvery frankincense completes things. This is that slightly metallic resinous version. It snaps into place to form an amber which glowed in the summer sun.
Indigo has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
I’ll review Onder de Linde and Voyance tomorrow.
Disclosure: This review is based on samples provided by Baruti.
I finish my examination of Scent Trunk with two inspired by wine and terroir.
January 2020 by Miss Layla
When it comes to wine, I have enjoyed the expansion of it from the traditional centers of France, Italy, and the US. The same is true of perfume. As more independent perfumers bring their own parts of the world to life. One of the new centers of wine is New Zealand. They have undergone a steep learning curve producing some spectacular wines. Miss Layla a foodie turned perfumer has thought about the reason for that. She concludes it is the region itself, known as terroir. She further mentions it is because compared to other vinicultural areas its relative youth means it is still evolving. In January 2020 she wanted to make a perfume which captures a terroir in flux.
The keynote for January 2020 is truffle. It is a natural for someone who came from the culinary world to gravitate towards this. As she points out in the press notes it is not an easy ingredient to work with. There is a narrow band where it can be used. She finds the sweet spot enough to realize her vision.
The earthy slightly acrid truffle appears at the start. Blackcurrant bud is paired with it. This is a meeting of two querulous ingredients as the truffle and blackcurrant bud have a lively give and take. Moss provides a velvet carpet for them to circle each other upon. A hint of alcoholic wine comes through cognac and black olive. As a few herbs appear this is reminiscent of the nose of a New Zealand Pinot Noir. It goes very woody over the latter stages with oak given some support with leather and ambergris. January 2020 has 14-16 hour longevity and average sillage.
February 2020 by Spyros Drosopoulos
Dr. Drosopoulos takes his wine inspiration from perhaps the most famous of all, Champagne. There is a sense of opulence that goes with the wine used to celebrate special occasions. Dr. Drosopoulos decides to explore the Chateau where it is made.
His keynote is black currant. It is immediately consumed in a bubbly champagne accord. There is a nose-tickling quality to the best versions of this wine. Dr. Drosopoulos creates an accord which fizzes over a deeper fruitiness from the black currant. I have often had raspberries added to a flute of champagne and this early part reminded me of that. The perfume takes a turn to the introspective as he evokes the paper incense of Papier Ambre along with a wisp of smoke which curls off the smoldering parchment. It ends on a note of perfume opulence as orris, patchouli, and pine form the scent of a cozy study with a flute of champagne on one corner of the desk and a censer of Papier Ambre on the other. February 2020 has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Closing Thoughts on Scent Trunk
I thoroughly enjoyed all six samples I was sent. It reinforces my belief that independent perfumers are the best choice for a monthly service. When given a truly blank canvas to create upon these perfumers all stepped up to their own vision. It is why this does seem like a perfumer’s paradise where creativity is ascendant.
Disclosure: This review is based upon samples sent to me by Scent Trunk.
I have always enjoyed anthologies and compilation albums. I am usually drawn in by an author or musician only to discover something entirely new. Some extra books and music to download. It hasn’t really happened to me in perfume until I received my sample of Zoologist Koala.
When I received the press release in advance of my sample of Koala from Creative director-owner Victor Wong I realized I was going to be experiencing a perfumer new to me. After I got to know more about perfumer Spyros Drosopoulos I felt like I should have known of him before this. He came to perfume from a career as a neuroscientist. Even though I have no interest in making perfume when a fellow scientist does, I am usually interested. Dr. Drosopoulos has founded his own line Baruti. As has become routine for Mr. Wong he finds the most interesting perfumers to produce stellar work for him.
One of the other hallmarks of Mr. Wong’s creative direction is he tends to take what we know about the animal on the label. In the case of Koala they take the mental image of one languidly chewing eucalyptus leaves turning it in a delightful direction.
Dr. Drosopoulos opens with that expected ingredient by placing it inside a sticky honey matrix. You might look at that and think of a home remedy for the sniffles of honeyed tea and Vicks Vap-o-Rub. This is not as simple as that. The eucalyptus has a more vegetal presence the honey captures in that slightly animalic embrace which is sweetened through the addition of mimosa. This is a soft soothing top accord. Over the heart a set of spices insert themselves into that. I was expecting them to add more zing, but they add even more softness. It is a remarkably snuggly perfume for much of the early development. It switches into the base as vetiver, oakmoss, and sandalwood evoke the wood and leaves of the tree our fuzzy narrator is perched in.
Koala has 14-16 hour longevity and average sillage.
You might look at that ingredient list and think this is a cold weather scent. I wore it on two hot and humid days, and it was delightfully cooling through the mentholated effect of the eucalyptus. I think there won’t be much of my sample left by the time there is frost on the pumpkin. Mr. Wong has been on quite a creative trajectory over the last two years. He has a vision and an audience he wants to share it with. He has regularly produced perfumes which are among the best of the perfumer he hires. I can’t say where Koala falls in Dr. Drosopoulos’ career because it is my first exposure. It is like those anthologies and compilations I mentioned I can’t wait to climb this new tree for myself.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Zoologist.