No one who reads this site will be surprised to hear I have a huge iTunes playlist of my favorite summer songs. If is use the play count as a metric to determine my favorite summer songs coming in at #2 would be 1983’s “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves. Even when I don’t have the headphones in the song plays in my head as I take the dogs for an afternoon walk. There is something summery about it that just feels right. Independent perfumer Shawn Maher has given me a perfume to accompany this in Maher Olfactive Sun Dazed.
What is inspiring about Sun Soaked is it has sunshine to spare. If it had just stayed with the accord which represents this it would have been great. What has made Mr. Maher such an interesting artist to me is he always finds a depth to even the lightest subjects he undertakes. In this case he adds an earthy gravity which holds it all together. As I do whenever I review Mr. Maher’s creations if you’re interested in the nuts and bolts of designing perfume you should begin by reading his “Scent Notes” blog on this.
If I ever do play a word association game with scent the smell of neroli and citrus would make me say “sunshine”. Perfumers have used these to create a brilliant accord almost from the beginning of modern perfumery. What Mr. Maher does is to take neroli and pair it with bitter orange. Then instead of getting lost in sunbeams he consciously grounds it through an ingredient which I would associate with “fertile earth”, narcissus.
The neroli opens things and the bitter orange joins it right away. This is a classic pairing. The quality of the specific ingredients used adds wonderful grace notes. One of the things Mr. Maher lets us see in his blog is how precise use of complementary notes can take something shopworn and give it new life. He uses a suite of smart choices to delineate every drop of light in the keynotes. From the moment I spray it on it is high noon even if it is morning.
The effect of the narcissus is amazing. At first it is that earthiness I enjoy about it so much. It exerts a pull on the top accord without dulling it. Then just the right amount of blackcurrant bud coaxes the floral part of narcissus to the foreground. This finds harmony with the neroli in beautiful ways. It finishes with an amber accord built around some of the more animalic musks and some Iso E Super. It is dry as a patch of summer ground.
Sun Dazed has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Every time I look at my sample of Sun Dazed Katrina sings to me “and don’t it feel good?” Yes, yes it does.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Maher Olfactive.