Amber Jobin, the perfumer behind Aether Arts, isn’t exactly “new” to the perfume world. She apprenticed with DSH Perfumes before creating her own line. But, in the world of perfumes, Aether Arts is new. Being a perfume blogger, I try many new brands and perfumes and I love doing this. When Amber reached out to me to introduce her new line to me I was, of course, interested. I didn’t know anything about her other than she loved perfume and apprenticed with one of my favorite (if not, my favorite) indie perfumer. This alone was enough to persuade me to sample her perfumes. But, it wasn’t until No. 4 John Frum* that I realized that I may love this new line.
John Frum, is a figure-head associated with cargo cults originating in Vanuatu. The fact that Jobin even bothered to create a perfume inspired by something that has always fascinated me, well, makes me love the line. What other brands are using such inspiration? This is why I love indies. It ends up that it was a theme for Burning Man one year, but hey, it’s still a rather original idea.
John Frum is like realistic sulfuric, tropical fruits. It’s just like standing outside of a Vietnamese produce market. I’ve never experienced fruits in fragrance like this before. They’re so vivid yet I can’t tell you what they are. The vetiver in John Frum is frankly, skunky and reminds me of weed. It’s like minty, green and a hint of orange…and sometimes it comes across like Mary J to my nose – but with coolness and a humidity. John Frum is a tropical vetiver with sulfuric fruits that dries down to a more woodsy vetiver with tangled flowers and vines.
I admit that writing about No. 4 John Frum has been very difficult for me because it’s so difficult to describe using words, other than just summing it up as “tropical vetiver”. It’s like a “myth dream”, a manifestation, perhaps even a drug-induced dream.or vision. John Frum smells realistic and vaguely familiar; however, I’ve never smelled anything like this in perfumery before. But, I convince myself that I have using words and things that I’m familiar with, making John Frum “work” with the olfactory experiences that I’m vaguely familiar with. I also can completely smell No. 4 John Frum in my mind even when I’m not wearing it. Sometimes I smell it out of nowhere, like an olfactory hallucination. I can remember every detail about it but I still have difficulty conveying it in words.
Notes listed include kava kava, lime, coconut water, tropical fruits, mischief flower, jasmine, ylang-ylang, exotic woods and vetiver. Launched 2013. PERFUMER – Amber Jobin
Give John Frum a try if you like vetiver or unusual, fruity scents. Or if you like perfumes like House of Matriarch Forbidden, Aedes de Venustas EDP, Rich Hippie Maharishi and/or Keiko Mecheri Passiflora. John Frum is unisex.
It’s a perfume oil but projection and longevity are above average. I get 12+ hours of wear.
Also, John Frum was the winner of The Art and Olfaction Artisan Award. This means that the perfume won through a “blind-sniffing” by a panel of judges familiar with perfumes and the fragrance industry (such as Luca Turin).
John Frum is available at Aether Arts. Samples are available for purchase.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Tropical fruit vetiver. Like a a hallucinating vetiver. This is one of those perfumes that makes me love the indie perfume revolution.
*This is the 4th perfume in the Burner Series, a collection of perfumes created for Burning Man. One year cargo cults was a theme.
Want more reviews? Try…
Fragrantica – Dr. Marlen’s review