One of my favorite movie genres is the Western. One of the reasons I like Star Wars so much is George Lucas described it as “Wagon Train among the stars”. The recent “The Mandalorian” confirmed the Western milieu of that galaxy far, far, away. I enjoy Westerns because of the plots where righteous gunfighters find their resolution on the streets of the town in a gunfight. Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack for the spaghetti westerns he scored with Clint Eastwood as the star is one of those things I play when I feel the need for inner strength. It was why when independent perfumer Amber Jobin told me her new release, Aether Arts Perfume Gunsmoke & Roses, was a Wild West perfume I was hooked.
The description on the website calls it a masculine floral. It is that. Except while I was wearing it, I was reminded of one of my favorite modern Westerns; 1995’s “The Quick and the Dead”. In that story Sharon Stone plays “The Lady” who comes to town to enter a single elimination gunfighting tournament. As with all these movies she is in town to settle scores along the way. Which she does in a smoky haze of dynamite and bullets. As much as Gunsmoke & Roses is meant to be a masculine floral it also reminded me strongly of The Lady who combined being a woman with some tough as nails gunfighting skills.
I enjoy some odd real smells. One of them is the scent of gun oil. I’ve been around family members and friends who own guns. The smell of the gun cabinet is not gunpowder and brass; it is the sheen of gun oil on every piece of metal. It has a rich slightly sweet smell. Ms. Jobin finds that right from the start. Its as if The Lady is taking care of her pistol after the first round of the tournament. There is the precise faint gunpowder accord Ms. Jobin adds in here. This is subtle and it reminded me strongly of the way a weapon smells after it has been put away after use. The promised roses come next. These are not your typical opulent rose, hence the masculine floral descriptor. It is a rose with a gin-soaked bite via juniper. As The Lady looks down at the rose in one hand and the bottle of gin in the other, another round of the tournament plays out on the street below. The smell of smoke rises to her window. Ms. Jobin uses choya ral, birch tar, and patchouli to capture the gunsmoke accord. The Lady does a slow clap for the victor; tossing the rose to him while toasting with the bottle of gin before she takes a swig.
Gunsmoke & Roses has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
Ms. Jobin has spent the last year or so in high-concept perfumes which appealed to me for their audacious attempts to reach for the frontiers of what independent perfumery could be. Gunsmoke & Roses hearkens back to a different frontier in more realistic terms. You might not want to smell like High Noon in Dodge City but I sure do.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Aether Arts Perfume.