I think it’s safe to say that if a perfume has “hops” as a fragrance note, that it’s going to be weird. Hops themselves smell weird. And if you don’t know that, then plan a visit to a local brewery this weekend or make friends with hobby brewers. People are usually proud of their hops and want you to smell them. They’re about as bad as perfume people when it comes to smelling things… Anyway, I was hesitant to try Ayala Moriel Sandal Ale when I saw “hops” listed. I didn’t want to smell like a microbrewery, but I couldn’t resist as well. Could hops work in a perfume? I had to know.
Sandal Ale smells like a sandalwood Indian Pale Ale (IPA). It opens as bitter, sharp and well, hoppy. It’s like dried wheat and blue cheese. And it’s effervescent and fizzy like an apricot pale ale with a shot of spicy ginger beer. The opening of this perfume is difficult for me because it really does smell like beer and I have no idea where a perfume will go next if it starts out as beer. But, then this perfume completely surprises me. It’s this warm, spicy sandalwood that is woodsy but somehow delicious with a cool, refreshing elderflower liquor. And there’s a sheerness to it that makes it refreshing, like a cold pale ale on a hot day. It’s like a “splash of sandalwood”.
Sandal Ale is a really weird perfume. It really does open as a pale ale with fermented notes (and these notes are DYING to be next to some funky white floral like gardenia). But, then it becomes this warm, woodsy scent that I enjoy wearing. It’s a weird one.
Notes listed include apricot, amyris, elderflower, green cognac, marigold, hops and Australian sandalwood. Launched 2014.
Give Sandal Ale a try if you like unusual perfumes or sandalwood perfumes. Or heck, maybe you really, really like beer. Or if you like perfumes like Diptyque Tam Dao, By Kilian Sacred Wood, Tom Ford Santal Blush and/or Donna Karan Black Cashmere.
This perfume does wear like an “eau de cologne”. Projection and longevity are below average.
Sandal Ale comes in a few sizes with the EDP retailing for $120 at Ayala Moriel. Samples are also available for purchase.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – A sheer Indian Pale Ale and sandalwood. It’s weird but somehow it works. Worth sampling if you’re sick of the same ‘ole thing.
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*Disclaimer – Sample provided by the brand. I am not financially compensated for my reviews. My opinions are my own. Product pic from Fragrantica. Eartha Kitt with Heineken beer from www.geheugenvannederland.nl