There are a lot of times when I am trying a new perfume, I say to myself I want more. This usually applies to my favorite ingredients. I am also aware that the imaginary request would just throw the balance off. It doesn’t make the voice go away even if I apply logic to it. I recently discovered three new perfumes which serve me up all I want of jasmine, fig, and immortelle.
Libertine Fragrance was started by independent perfumer Joshua Smith. On his website he went into the creative process with this as his guiding principle, “perfume without pretense”. From the moment I received my sample set I was struck by the way he designs with a palpable vigor. His perfumes are the answer to my plea for more. I will spend the next two days covering six of the eight perfumes Mr. Smith has made. I start with Libertine Sex & Jasmine, Libertine Eros Fig, and Libertine Gilded.
When I say I want more as it applies to jasmine I’m talking about indoles. They have been synthetically engineered out of most perfumes which feature it. My delight in Sex & Jasmine is they are here in a way that they live up to the name.
It opens with that jasmine exuding the sensuality all indole laden forms of the bloom possess. Mr. Smith adds in a gorgeous patchouli as the partner. This slides sinuously through the jasmine finding the right places to elicit a response. It rises in intensity until it releases itself onto a base of sandalwood and vanilla. Figuratively falling onto the sweet woody foundation they provide. A hint of ambergris adds the briny scent of the sheen of sweat at the end.
Sex & Jasmine has 12-14 hour longevity and above average sillage.
When I want more from a fig perfume, I am asking for the fruit to be included. Fig leaf is a staple ingredient of Mediterranean style fragrances. The pulpy fruit is left out of the equation. In Eros Fig Mr. Smith adds it back in.
It begins on a very Mediterranean top accord as citrus, fig leaf, and spice create a familiarity. It changes as the dried sweetness of the fig paired with the green of blackcurrant bud forms a decadent accord. The Mediterranean opening finds a new gear with the depth of the heart notes. The botanical musk of ambrette seeds swirl through this adding a hint of clean sweat. It leads to a viscous honey base note which coats the fig in flows of warmth.
Eros Fig has 14-16 hour longevity and average sillage.
When I want more from immortelle, I just want a perfume which doesn’t try to hide the maple syrup quality of it. In Gilded Mr. Smith surrounds it with ingredients which are meant to amplify it.
Right from the start the combination of dried brush and maple syrup indicative of immortelle rises. In the early moments green cardamom and cinnamon provide some energy keeping it lighter. Orange blossom coaxes the sweet side back to the fore for opopanax and a brown sugar accord to elevate it to new heights. A bit of soothing light woods adds the finish.
Gilded has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
I’ll conclude this set of reviews with Smoked Bloom, Troubled Spirits, and Sweet Grass, tomorrow.
Disclosure: This review is based on samples provided by Libertine Fragrance.