Blackbird is a Seattle-based indie perfume brand with a minimal aesthetic and fragrances with backstories delving into science fiction, art and oracles. Throughout the years, I’ve reviewed a few Blackbird perfumes. In all honesty, I have never wanted to try one as badly as I did the newest launch Y06-S. Why? BANANAS. I am one of those weird people that loves the scent/flavor of artificial bananas. It’s so sickly sweet, unnatural but if you really focus on a real banana isn’t it as well? Bananas (real and fake) are so distinctive. As a note, it’s not really used in perfumery. I think because it’s polarizing (many people hate the smell and flavor of bananas). But, then there are people like me. I have been wanting a banana perfume for years (weird, I know).
Y06-S opens like banana-flavored Runts (candies). It’s isoamyl acetate, one of the few things I remember from an undergrad chemistry class. It then becomes banana peels and a heady jasmine. And this is how it mostly wears – a banana white floral. The jasmine is heady, humid and very realistic. The banana, at this stage, loses that candy-ness and is like a banana peel. You can smell the phloem bundles, those (annoying) strings within a banana peel that act almost like the banana’s umbilical cord.¹ As far as electronics, I don’t pick that up at all. I get more of a synth oud and something green like vetiver with a very faint “unwashed scalp” of costus.² Most of the wear on me is a humid, tropical banana meets white floral. It’s really pretty and something I see myself wearing a lot of when it becomes warmer.
Blackbird says in their copy, “This is not a novelty scent. This is not a gourmand perfume“. I agree. It’s a fruity-floral that plays up the banana quality that a lot of creamy, custard-like white florals have by deliberately adding an extra dose of banana. I’m happy to see a modern brand not rely on the usual charred woods or leather that has been popular for years within indie/niche perfume brands. I’ve been saying this for years, but I’m so ready for indie/niche brands to give us their interpretations of florals and “femme”. In 2018 and beyond, I’ll be happy to try any new launch that doesn’t smell like smoked brisket.³
Notes listed include banana, electronics, agarwood, jasmine and milk. Launched in 2017. PERFUMER – Nicole Miller
Give Y06-S a try if you like banana, fruity white florals or the thought of a banana floral. I can’t really compare to many other perfumes since there aren’t many perfumes that highlight banana like this. Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Banane is much more sweet, gourmand and creamier. LUSH Ladyboy (discontinued), a “banana chypre” is much greener than Y06-S. Demeter Banana Flambee is like banana bread, so nothing like this perfume. Then there are tropical florals. Y06-S is more along the lines of M. Micallef Ylang in Gold or Serge Lutens Datura Noir but with a noticeable addition of banana candies/banana peels and a humid jasmine.
Projection and longevity are average.
Y06-S comes in a few sizes with the 1 oz retailing for $88 at Blackbird. Samples are also available for purchase.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Banana white floral. It’s really pretty but not the usual “pretty fruity-floral”. Remind me to pick up a bottle of this in the summer.
¹The entire pop-science article here for those that really want to know more about bananas.
²Note that neither of those notes are listed by the brand. I’m not saying they’re in there, just using those notes as references/descriptors.
³If you read EauMG or do a search, you’ll find that I’m not opposed to smoky perfumes. It’s just that I’m burnt out on smoky woods because everyone was launching a campfire fragrance. I’m not the only one, many people have chimed in saying they are also fatigued by smoke and sharp woods.
Want more reviews? Try…
Fragrantica – Jodi’s review
*Disclaimer – Sample provided by the brand. I am not financially compensated for my reviews. My opinions are my own. Joan Collins with bananas from “The Opposite Sex” still circa 1956 (stirredstraightup.blogspot.gr)