This past week has been ridiculously busy, but I went into some of my old stashes and pulled out a few perfumes that aren’t trendy, as far as I know, and that are made by brands that seem to occupy a space somewhere at the intersection of the candle-soap-and-lotion market, the mass-distributed fragrance market, and the funky artisan market. As always, one of them is a giveaway, with the winner to be determined in a random drawing.
Voluspa Cocoa Tamarind (release date and perfumer unknown)
This is strong and sweet, but with a distinct sour bite from the tamarind. It’s a mix of white florals, chocolate and, of course, the tamarind. I think the florals include a wet-papery tuberose as well as the listed gardenia, or maybe that’s just the way the gardenia was composed. It has quite a bit of sillage, but is not overpowering. I like it even though t's probably made with the very cheapest of materials. I think I’m just a sucker for tuberose in all its forms. There’s something really unique about this scent that I enjoy. It reminds me of tamarind syrup and dried fruits, among other things, so I guess it could be called a floral gourmand. The sillage is pleasant but huge, so it needs to be dosed with extreme caution.
Ebba Miss Ebba (release date and perfumer unknown)
This perfume oil has apparently been long discontinued because I can’t even find a picture of it; all I can find is Miss Marisa and its flankers. Miss Ebba is strongly fruity, a little sour at first, with peachy sillage. It was a pleasant surprise to find that it doesn’t reek of a candle shop, but instead is a very pleasant perfume. Yes, I can smell the oil itself, but it’s not off-putting. As it develops it becomes more floral while maintaining the fruity notes. At this point the fruit become more of a sour fig, as if waxy, milky, dried fig had been used to flavor a sour candy. It’s an interesting fragrance that rises above the usual craftsy perfume-oil genre. If this perfume had had a decent name and “story”, it would probably have become popular as a niche offering. As it is, I suspect that the brand suffers from the image of a little old lady somewhere in the Deep South making perfume in her kitchen and naming it for all of her little old Daughters of the Confederacy kaffeeklatsch friends. In fact, it’s as good as many of the niche fig perfumes out there, better than some. Very wearable, long-lasting, and pleasant.
Sage Peridot (release date unknown, perfumer presumably Sage Machado)
At first this perfume oil seems very weak, but then I keep smelling a lovely, transparent, slightly gourmand, powdery-musky sillage. It hovers somewhere around threshold, but when it’s there it’s pleasant, cheerful, and a little candy-like. I wish it were more constant in intensity, but it’s nice anyway. I think this is my favorite of the Sage line (most of which I have not been impressed with), not only because it doesn’t smell like a functional fragrance oil for candles, but because it’s sort of sexy in a super-subtle way. Longevity is not great, a couple of hours.
Hampton Sun Privet Bloom (2008, perfumer unknown)
When I first started reading the online perfume forums years ago, I saw everyone raving about Privet Bloom and thought I had to try it. I have had a small rollerball sitting around for a long time, and finally got around to sampling it. I was disappointed to find that it’s really not my thing at all. I’m not crazy about the scent of privet flowers to begin with, but this isn’t even privet. I suppose that if you’re suggestible you could somehow imagine that it smells like privet – after all both are floral in some way – but to me it’s a loud lily-of-the-valley and mixed polleny-floral scent that’s so strong it irritates my nose for at least the first hour even from a tiny roller-dab. As might be expected, it has quite a bit of sillage. It’s linear, continuing in the same floral mode for the duration, which is many hours. This one is the giveaway.
Leave a comment about your favorite odd-brand perfume and be entered in the drawing for Hampton Sun Privet Bloom.
[odd duck photo from Wikimedia, others from Fragrantica]