The smell of pine is one of my favorite comfort scents. It evokes Christmas trees and walks through stands of sentinel pines reaching to the sky. There is something uplifting about standing amidst them and breathing deep. Perfumers have always worked to make memorable versions of pine fragrances. Over the past year the ones which have stood out have come from small independent perfume brands where they are using uniquely sourced raw materials to realize a specific vision. The latest to do this is eSENSielle In the Woods.
eSENSielle is headed by Heike Jeannette Hegmann who also acts as creative director. Fr. Hegmann collaborated with perfumer Clement Salva for In the Woods. She wanted In the Woods not to be just a pine centered perfume she instead wanted top, heart, and base to all have a specific evergreen character. Working with M. Salva they chose three specific sources of coniferous raw materials to use for each phase of the perfume’s development. It is not only these materials but the choices M. Salva makes to enhance each focal point as In the Woods evolves on my skin.
Heike Jeannette Hegmann
The focal point for the early moments is Canadian Hemlock. Nearly every time I try a perfume with a significant hemlock note in it I wonder why it is not used more. In this case M. Salva uses galbanum to provide depth to the natural green quality this hemlock possesses. Juniper and pink pepper allow for some of the rough edges to stay that way. The early moments carry a roughhewn rustic quality that really works for me. The heart is Siberian Pine from the taiga. M. Salva again uses a set of complementary notes to coax the most out of the pine. By using the lighter green floralcy of geranium along with black pepper it calls up the smell of the forest floor covered in pine needles. The truly smart choice here is to include a bit of mint. When you smell a fresh cut pine tree there is a camphor-like smell which rises from the wood. By using mint M. Salva makes that connection. The final ingredient in the base is Fir Balsam harvested in New England. This material is so good M. Salva wisely leaves it on its own with only a very transparent use of labdanum and cedar to provide a baseline.
In the Woods has 10-12 hour longevity and above average sillage.
While I was wearing In the Woods I felt like I was on my own journey from Canada to Siberia to New England. Each phase of development has a distinct presence before the next appears. This is a well done first effort for Fr. Hegmann. I would be willing to follow her wherever she wants to take her next scented journey.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample I purchased.
Photos taken from Beauty-Mekka.de