When I first moved to the NYC area, I ended up going perfume sniffing. It was like some twisted way of convincing myself that moving would be “worth it”. Even though I should have been doing things to make the apartment feel more like a home, I was out and about wearing two leather jackets on top of each other because I didn’t have a warm enough coat. I started at Christopher Street and ended up in Brooklyn (Twisted Lily). I spotted this line, Apoteker Tepe. I had never heard of it before. So, this meant that I had to immediately spray them on. I was surprised. They were refined, sophisticated with that certain “airy” quality that I’m attracted to¹. I asked whomever working there if they had any info on the brand. And all I got was an “Oh, somebody in Brooklyn“. And really that was sufficient enough for me…at the time.
These were good. I wanted to know more. Later at home, I looked the brand up. I couldn’t find anything. There was a site of the perfumes that gave no info on the perfumer, but the Brooklyn thing was on point. There were some sort of complicated backstories and pretty pictures. That was all I knew. Now to Anabasis.
Anabasis opens with a perfect cool, green shiso with a squeeze of lemon juice. What I love about shiso is that it’s like “chalky green”. It’s one of those notes that I wish was used more in perfumery. In Anabasis, shiso balances the sharp acidity of citrus while keeping the scent “fresh”. Anabasis starts to smell like a garden of mint surrounded by freshly cut grass. It’s cool, green and herbal. The heart is like an evergreen forest with frigid mountain air. The dry down is like evergreens, a crystal clear musk and lemon-y resins. It’s not really incense. It’s not really woods. It’s somewhere between the two, like a fog of dry woods and incense resins.
After wearing Anabasis, I was like, “Why isn’t Perfumeworld talking about this brand more?” And the answer is that it’s because of exposure and distribution; the same issues for all indies. I see this line appealing to folks that like brands like Comme des Garçons or CB I Hate Perfume. I’ll tell you one thing, if I was out there making perfumes like this, you better believe I’d have my name out there. I understand keeping private but my name would plastered on everything. I’d be so proud of myself if I were making things this good.
Notes listed include citrus, shiso, birch, mint, pine, frankincense, cedar and musk. Launched in 2015. PERFUMER – Holladay Saltz
Give Anabasis a try if you like cool, green scents. Or if you like perfumes like The Different Company De Bachmakov, DI SER Kaze, Cartier Roadster, Comme des Garçons PLAY Green and/or HEELEY Menthe Fraiche.
Anabasis wears more like an EDT concentration. But, I like that. It adds to the misty, fogginess of it all. It has a nice little tricky thing going on that makes it appear almost nebulous. I like that. It’s not close to the skin but it doesn’t really project either.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Shiso and a cool evergreen forest. I’ll probably end up buying a bottle even though I have De Bachmakov. It’s just that I have to have all the shiso things.
Want more reviews? Try…
Basenotes – Member reviews
Ça Fleure Bon – Interview with the perfumer
Design*Sponge – Just in case you’re curious. It’s the perfumer’s living/working space.
*Sample purchased by me. Product pic from Twisted Lily. Byra Hemingway circa 1947 from Condé Nast.