The newest perfume in the Alphabetical Series from INeKe is a fragrance inspired by the natural beauty of a little mountain town in Southern California, Idyllwild. It’s an aromatic fougère bringing together the fauna of the San Jancito mountains – evergreens, more evergreens and sage.
Idyllwild opens as lemons and evergreens. The evergreens are fresh, bright and living. There’s a a fruity tartness (rhubarb) and a freshly ground black pepper. I also get hits of fresh ginger. But, it’s most definitely “evergreens”, especially fresh Douglas fir (which is sort of naturally leans grapefruit and ginger-y). As it wears, it becomes a smoky tea, like a lapsang suochong with fresh, green cardamom. The dry-down of Idyllwild is a soft, warm musk with a very subtle, sheer modern oud (AKA it’s not funky or gross; it’s more like dry woods).
It’s always been difficult for me to pick a favorite from this brand, but I’m starting to think after wearing Idyllwild for a few days that it is my (new) favorite. I can’t get enough of the Christmas trees with cardamom, tea and unexpected rhubarb. So many evergreen perfumes on me go to balsamic/resinous, others just smell like household cleaner (so synthetic and abrasive), but not Idyllwild. It really is like a little mountain retreat with an atomizer.
Notes listed include grapefruit, Monterey cypress, rhubarb tea, cardamom, Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, Big Sur sagebrush, woods, oud, musk and sequoia. Launched in 2017. PERFUMER – Ineke Rühland
Give Idyllwild a try if you like evergreen fragrances. The closest thing that comes to mind is L’Artisan Fou d’Absinthe. But, Idyllwild is different. Idyllwild is a fresh evergreen forest that doesn’t smell like generic aftershave but it also doesn’t smell “warm”. Something about it brings to mind perfumes by Hermès (or at least perfumes by Jean-Claude Ellena) and some of the perfumes done by Olivia Giacobetti (perfumer behind many L’Artisan perfumes). It’s the style of these, the use of notes like rhubarb and tea with a final product that isn’t overwhelming. Like these notes “read” like they’d be heavy and dark, but the final composition is fresh and like sunshine on dark green fir needles. They dry-down is “darker” but like the shadows of the trees on a sunny day.
Projection and longevity are average.
The 2.5 oz bottle retails for $110 at INeKe. Samples are also available for purchase.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – The freshest evergreens, cardamom and smoky tea. I’ve never liked an evergreen perfume enough to add to my collection. They all smell too sappy or too Pinesol on me. But, then I tried Idyllwld and suddenly I need to smell like Christmas trees in August.
Want to know more about the brand? Check out my INeKe: In the House post.
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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 the brand. Kristen McMenamy pic from Dazed.