There is a great amount of collaboration within the independent perfume community. A lot of it is happening on the West Coat of the US. One of the nodes of creativity is up in the Pacific Northwest. It often takes me a while to find some of the smaller brands. One which I was motivated to track down were the perfumes done for the Portland, Oregon based store The Sum. The reason I wanted to try these was because of perfumer Josh Meyer.
Mr. Meyer is responsible for one of the best independent perfume brands, Imaginary Authors. Working with The Sum he was asked to work towards small-batch ethically resourced compositions. There is a bead of sterling silver in each bottle for its “healing and balancing” qualities. When Mr. Meyer is working on his own brand he sometimes lavishly uses some of the synthetic area of his palette. His work for The Sum has seemingly taken that part out of play. This results in some of the softest perfumes Mr. Meyer has made. When it came to the first three releases I felt like there was also something missing, besides the power, from each. The Black was focused on oud but it needed a contrasting note. In The White Mr. Meyer’s deft touch with smoke is a little less precise which doesn’t allow the iris enough presence. The Red came closest with what felt like a base accord of amber, saffron, and sandalwood. I was wondering if Mr. Meyer would deliver something else for the brand after these first three. Just after the New Year I received my bottle of The Mauve. This time it all comes together.
Most of the time the press copy seems so far off the mark but in the case of The Muave it is described as, “The first serene light peeking through a fog”. As I’ve already mentioned these are Mr. Meyer’s most subtle compositions to date. The Mauve is like looking out over a field of lavender dampened by the fog as the sun lurks behind the foggy veil.
To create the humidity of the fog Mr. Meyer employs tea leaves to provide rich leafiness paired with dewiness. This is then further elaborated upon with the lavender which provides a typical herbal tinted floralcy characteristic of the ingredient. It finishes with a sturdy woody base of oak.
The Mauve has 6-8 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
With the Mauve Mr. Meyer shows he can talk through fragrance in sotto voce. I hope he continues to collaborate with The Sum because I think in a perfumer of his talents there is something very good that can come of this. The Mauve is evidence that even better could be coming.
Disclosure: This review is based on a bottle I purchased.