There are so many things I wish I knew that I found out later. One of those things is the knowledge that independent perfumers Sarah Horowitz-Thran and Dawn Spencer Hurwitz began their careers in a small DIY perfume shop on Newbury St. in Boston called Essence from 1989-1994. I blissfully walked past the shop not knowing two of the perfumers I would come to appreciate were steps away. Each of them was laying the foundation for their futures. In Ms. Horowitz-Thran’s case it was the formation of a nascent aesthetic encapsulated in her early perfume, 1999’s Perfect Veil. It is one of the best evocations of clean skin fresh from a shower. It was my introduction to her style of perfumery. I would eventually collect all the different “Perfect” perfumes. Each of them showed a perfumer defining the way she saw fragrance. They continue to be one of the best examples of an artist’s vision expressed through scent.
She has continued to evolve and the idea of “Perfect” has been left behind for new aesthetics to emerge. She remains one of the best independent perfumers we have. When I received an e-mail from the owner of American Perfumer, Dave Kern notifying me that a Holiday limited release with Ms. Horowitz-Thran was on its way. I was excited. These limited editions have seen Mr. Kern work with an impressive roster of the best of the best in the independent perfume world. It was only a matter of time before this creative collaboration would happen. It has led to Sarah Horowitz-Thran for American Perfumer Tapestry.
One of the emerging themes of this collection is Mr. Kern asks his perfumers to bottle a memory. This is a common inspiration, yet in these cases there is a difference. That comes because these are small batch limited editions allowing them a wide-open palette to create from. For Tapestry she chooses to look homeward to Holiday family gatherings. This perfume weaves a story of the love at the center of this Season.
The first threads set in place are the seasonal scents of cinnamon and clove, they are the weave. The weft is a fascinatingly crisp green apple providing lift to the spices preventing them from becoming too heavy. The cross of ingredients continues as pine needles and jasmine add the next row. The terpenic nature of the pine strums the indoles in the heart of the jasmine. It produces a Holiday-like pine swag hung on the walls effect. The fireplace is represented with the smokiness of cade. Ms. Horowitz-Thran splices it through as a subtle presence with amber representing the glowing coals in the grate. The final piece is what sews it together as tobacco and vanilla spiral through all of it tying off the knots of this tapestry.
Tapestry has 14-16 hour longevity and average sillage.
I thought Ms. Horowitz-Thran had moved past her early collection. As I was wearing Tapestry the last few days it is so emblematic of a cozy family gathering that maybe it is the latest of her early perfumes. Call it Perfect Moment.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by American Perfumer.
Editor’s Note 1: This is a limited edition of 50 bottles that will go on sale Saturday December 18, 2021 via lottery. To be entered send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org by Midnight on Friday December 17, 2021.
Editor’s Note 2: If you have any interest in those early days of Ms. Horowitz-Thran and Ms. Hurwitz back in Boston. Mr. Kern did a podcast with them. It can be found here on Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/american-perfumer/id1439938731 or under the American Perfumer podcast series wherever you download your podcasts.