Monday, September 20, 2010
MICHAEL STORER REVIEWS: GENVIEVE
Michael Storer is a curmudgeonly but talented indie perfumer based in LA. A few months back I got a complete set of his samples, lined up on a card that includes notes, descriptions, and prices for a full bottle. As I make my way through them, I'll be reviewing them here. I've sampled the first one a few times now, enough to know that it's a little different each time I try it, but that it does have some stable characteristics.
At the moment Genvieve comes out of the sample vial it is sharp and floral, with a bitter top note that reminds me of galbanum and new plastic shower curtain. Within a minute or two it settles into a gorgeous fruity medley, a little like a strawberry-rhubarb dessert, but with a rough edge to it. Fruity-floral though it is, it’s a big, rich concoction for grown-ups, with all sorts of interactions going on to give it depth and keep it interesting. At some point the rose appears, subtly at first, then more powerfully, turning it from a fruity-floral into a “dirty rose” fragrance in which animalic notes are apparent, mostly a high quality, not too indolic civet. This is the point at which I start really getting enthusiastic about it. The first time I tried it, there was a half hour or so when I smelled a beautiful cedar-like note, but it was not as prominent the other times I wore it. I’m pretty sure it was from the perfume and not something random in my house. In any case the cedar is an exquisite but fleeting note that may or may not appear in between the rosy part and the drydown. In the end, Genvieve stabilizes as a comforting golden scent that reminds me of a clean, furry, warm mammal topped with caramel. The drydown lasts and lasts, persisting on clothing for a couple of days. Thankfully, this fragrance isn’t as stodgy as the perfumer’s description would have us believe. It seems to me a good candidate for a love-it-or-hate-it reaction. My own bottom line: I love it!