The first alcoholic drink I ever had was during Christmas in the mid 1960’s. I had always seen the adults sipping this brilliant green syrup out of small glasses. My mother would hold it up to my nose to smell and there was this wonderfully thick minty-ness. I don’t remember exactly my age when my mom decided it would be all right to pour me a sip or two of crème de menthe in the same tiny glass the other adults had. I remember sitting at the end of the couch taking tiny little tastes trying to make it last. The Christmas tree was right next to me. I remember thinking the tree and the mint smelled nice together. I haven’t thought about that for probably fifty-plus years; until I received my sample of Dasein Winter Green.
Dasein is the perfume brand from independent perfumer Sam Rader. She first caught my attention during Christmas time 2014 with her first perfume Winter. Winter was a photorealistic Christmas tree perfume. Ms. Rader would follow up with the other three seasons all showing great attention to detail. When she took her brand to the AIX Scent Fair in Los Angeles she would meet fellow independent perfumer Josh Meyer of Imaginary Authors. They hit it off and collaborated on the sequel to Winter; Winter Nights in 2016. That perfume was also built around the Christmas tree accord Ms. Rader had built previously but now was altered to represent a Christmas tree around a bonfire. Winter Nights is one of my favorite perfumes which I always wear every Holiday season.
As an early holiday present I heard there was going to be a new Winter perfume continuing the collaborative creativity of Ms. Rader and Mr. Meyer. I was excited enough to contact both to find out a bit about how Winter Green came together.
Ms. Rader remembers the name came first, “We started brainstorming what direction we might want to go in for the green note. We tried mixing the WINTER juice with grass, with basil, with vetiver. We eventually found that mint plays nicely with my already very conifer heavy blend” Mr. Meyer had already been doing a lot of work with mint, “We talked a lot about new options for what would be fun to work with and the idea of mint was strong on my mind from Saint Julep… after working on it for so long, and spending so much time with a lot of the mint materials, I was excited about making a different kind of mint.” Both wanted to make a mint perfume which stood apart.
Their working relationship involves sending mods back and forth via mail. Mr. Meyer believes it took twice as long to come together as Winter Nights did using the same process, “We sent a lot of perfumes back and forth, Sam even sent me an incredible candle for inspiration, then it was fragrant sketches back and forth, and then when we got close, we hovered around a few different formulations based on different accords in varying concentrations. Simply dialing in the right balance that we were both really excited about. “That balance was all centered on the mint as Ms. Rader recounts, “We used several different mint oils to achieve the accord. I wanted it to be very mint forward, but at the same time not too camphorous, more of a heart note. We supported the mint with some round florals and other magic molecules that helped marry the mint to the pine and spruce….we both knew we wanted a mint with tenacity that would last far into the dry down….We had to work some magic but I think we finally got there!”
Winter Green opens with the evergreen accord Ms. Rader has perfected matched with the mint. The early version of the mint is that very herbal version. It causes the mint to rise out of the needles of the pine. It does so on sparkles of citrus provided by the tartness of pomelo with the floral herbal aspect of baie rose. The mint turns thicker at the same time as the evergreen accord becomes stronger. A gorgeous breeze of jasmine wends its way between the mint and fir. It all snaps together on a matrix of beeswax as it adds sweetness to both tree and herb without becoming treacly. The whole perfume is so well-balanced.
Winter Green has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
These two creative minds need to work together more often. My final question to both was what took you three years to work together again? The answer from both is understandable; their lives are busy. As Mr. Meyer says, “We're just both so busy and both of the same mindset that all this perfume 'work' should be nothing but a ton of fun, so it's sincere joy working on a project together. “Ms. Rader needed that reminder, “I am grateful to Josh for continually infusing my company with new life. It was awesome to put my creative hat back on this year and receive tons of USPS packages for sniffing as we constructed this beautiful complex scent together.”
This is another fabulous perfume in the Dasein Winter collection. I have been wearing it these early days of the Season and it complements my mood ideally. From a perfectly selfish standpoint I would love seeing what these two creative minds could do with any of the other three Dasein seasons. While I’m waiting, I’ll be sitting by the Christmas tree sipping crème de menthe luxuriating in Dasein Winter Green.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample I purchased.