From the first spritz out of this sample collection I knew I had a lot of work to do. Incredibly dense and complex perfumes with a rough edge and strong notes jumping off my skin with claws to grab my nose. I have been smiling all the way as these fragrances unfold and tell stories. Each one is like opening a book and reading a short story. They are open to interpretation and dialogue. This is the first part of my version of the Slumberhouse library.
Eki (limited series) opens with a vast, clean, slightly minty breath of mountain air. Everything smells aqua and white, like a snowed mountain top. Incredibly cool and airy but at the same strong and assertive. I smell white musk and delicate floral notes coupled with a sweet balsamic note and light, minty, herbal ones. It makes me think of fresh chewing gum in the same way Goti Black Essence did and this is a very good way. In the drydown I get a whiff of cigarette smoke.
Notes from Slumberhouse: Saccharine jasmine, magnolia, natural damascenone. Millions of miniature white flowers
Notes from my nose: mint, sugar, white flowers, chewing gum
Sana is quite easy to describe. Let’s pretend Serge Lutens Chene is the distant cousin that has always become the centre of attention in family reunions, although rarely present, with his rebellious attitude. Now imagine you discover that Chene has an older brother so wild that everybody chose not to even mention him to you. This is Sana! Full of dark notes, tar, bitter woods and sticky sweetness. As it progresses Sana loses the strong birch tar edge and mellows into a sweet leather perfume.
Notes from Slumberhouse: tagetes syrup, fir balsam, suede, magnolia, thorns, honey, red raspberry leaf absolute, sweet birch.
Notes from my nose: birch tar, oak, tagetes, honey, leather
Baque opens with a strange sweet-and-savoury gourmand accord. I get butterscotch, coffee, whiskey, immortelle. If you like Eau Noire you are going to like this but don’t expect a copy-cat. This is very different! As it progresses the loud and rather masculine opening calms down and the composition balances in what smells to me like dried apricots steeped in Jack Daniels: apricot, real vanilla, oak. Although I had a little trouble coming to terms with the sweetness of the opening the drydown is infinitely more balanced and it rewarded me. I notice that the deeper in the drydown, the fresher and more real the apricot note, to the point that I can even smell an unripe, green element.
Description from the author: apricot tobacco
Notes from my nose: butterscotch, coffee, immortelle, apricot, whiskey
Norne comes out of the bottle a bit raunchy… turpentine, pepper and a little bit of sweat, well maybe not just a little… This is definitely resinous, pine-y and woody. The dry and acerbic quality of this wood reminds me of the opening of Santal Noble but where Santal Noble remains calm and composed Norne goes deep into the forest and chops down a giant pine tree single-handed. Coming back from the woods it is a bit more mellow but it remains hardcore and unconventional. I can’t help thinking that this is a more fitting smell for a fragrance named “Tom of Finland“, sexual connotations and Nordic forests included.
Description form the author: winter forest
Notes from my nose: turpentine, pepper, sweat
Rume opens as a delicious. thick, spiced gingerbread. Clove, cinnamon, ginger, raisins, plums, rum are rich, moist, just as sweet as they should be. Comparisons with Serge Lutens Arabie are inevitable but Rume is less sweet, less edible more medicinal and woodier. As it dries down woods become more prominent. Think of it as the smell of a vat where spices and fruit have been left to macerate for years. Rume is what is the spirit of this process against the wood.
Description from the author: antique cedar chest
Notes from my nose: clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, rum, brown sugar, cedar
To be continued…
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