Tarragon is such an unique and complex note. I often complain that it isn’t used enough in perfumery. Well, Esscentual Alchemy has used it and and used it well. Esscentual Alchemy by Absinthe Dragonfly Sax & Violets is an interesting composition of patchouli and yes, tarragon. The final result is a sweet, woodsy, and balmy fragrance that I can’t stop sniffing.
What I expected: With a name like Sax & Violets, I imagined a “dark violet”, like a leathered candied violet. There’s no violet in Sax & Violets. No florals at all. After reading the notes, I imagined a spicy woods perfume.
What I experienced: Sax & Violets is good stuff. It’s very “me”. I couldn’t get a bespoke made for me any better than this. To my surprise, I get lots of tarragon in the opening. Oh, it’s so good! It’s slightly sweet, has a bit of licorice spice, and greenness. (It’s Frink’s favorite herb to eat. He almost destroyed my plant this past summer, hope it comes back). This tarragon is enhanced by a “clean” patchouli that reminds me of the patchouli used in Tom Ford White Patchouli. There’s and unusual chemical aroma to this mix but it is so good. I think it is the styrax. It’s almost like “honey glue”. It bonds the tarragon and the patchouli with a “chemical” sweetness. It sounds weird but it works. (By the way – natural botanicals are used in all Esscentual Alchemy blends, the chemicallness is a natural result of the styrax.) There’s a little bit of orange adding a bitterness to other dark, sweet herbal notes. With time the spice, mainly a clove that reminds me of clove cigarettes mixes with the orange. Sax & Violets is herbal sweet, woodsy, and balmy. It’s complex but very wearable. It’s good stuff. And I like the name.
Notes listed include patchouli, opopanax, tonka bean, styrax, clove, clary sage, cedarwood, bitter orange, and tarragon.
I LOVE Sax & Violets. It’s like a stranger, unisex, natural, hand-crafted Tom Ford White Patchouli. I mean this as a compliment, this Esscentual Alchemy perfume would fit right in with the Private Blends. It has that kind of dark, luxurious feel to it. I usually wear a different scent daily, rarely the same scent sequentially. Oh, but I’ve worn Sax & Violets 5 out of 7 days last week. I find Sax & Violets so interesting because the tarragon scents I usually find are “green” or herbal smelling, refreshing eau de colognes. Sax & Violets is a green, but very, very, very dark, almost black. This tarragon has an attitude, kohl rimmed eyes, and maybe a deck of tarot cards.
Interesting enough, the nose behind Esscentual Alchemy, Amanda Feeley, found Sax & Violets well “gross” at first. I can see that, it is an odd scent. How many woodsy, “dark green” perfumes can you think of? Especially ones with no florals to make them “pretty”. Her husband, Mr. Jazz Musician, talked her into keeping it. Thank you, Mr. Jazz!
Esscentual Alchemy Sax & Violets comes in a few sizes. The 1/2 ounce perfume oil bottle retails for $75. It is available at Esscentual Alchemy’s store.