It’s the summer of patchouli. Imagine 13 amazing, talented perfumers creating a fragrance with 25% patchouli and 100% natural keeping their project secret, numbered only, sending these out for fragrance experts and celebrities (yeah, Kim Novak, seriously) to sniff and rank. I’m giving a big thanks to Monica Sky Miller. She coordinated this huge sensory event, Summer of Patchouli Love 2011, Perfume Pharmer & The Patch Test Bunnies. This patchouli digging fragrance fanatic is happy to announce that I am a Patch Test Bunny.
Participating in this event has been very enjoyable, but tough. I’m the type of person that over analyzes perfumes. I wear them for weeks and weeks before I write a review, many times before I form an opinion. I wear them during the day, night, different temps. With 13 perfumes, this could have taken up to 3 months for me to decide on my “final” three and the Summer of Patchouli Love would be over 😉 And to make things even more difficult, the participating perfumers did a wonderful job. There are 13 interesting fragrances, each interpreting patchouli in their own way. I want to thank the perfumers for participating and creating such phenomenal patchouli fumes.
Here are my final 3. I think each of these embody what is special about patchouli, one of my favorite fragrance notes.
1st Pick – #5 Decadent Gourmand Patchouli – This is the one that I immediately knew I loved as soon as it touched my skin. Automatically knew it was my favorite. It’s rich, thick, chewy, delicious. It’s a decadent blend that opens with white florals/neroli and then becomes a rich gourmand with dark patchouli and classic citrus. In one of my gluttonous moments, I get lost in its richness and darkness. I get consumed by the lavishness of this scent. It’s a burgeoning Beat fragrance, reminding me of William S. Burroghs in 50’s Tangier, the many exotic smells of Morrocco and bohemians. The sillage is strong. I have received so many compliments on my fragrance while wearing this one. This is something that I’d buy and wear.
2nd Pick – #10 The Easy Rider Patchoui – I don’t expect for #10 to be a crowd favorite. It’s strong and rugged, slightly abrasive. When wearing #10, I think of Easy Rider (one of those movies that had way too much of an impact on me but I’ll save those stories for another day and perhaps a Tauer review). The actual juice is dark and rich, like a fluid that would go in a motorcycle to keep it running. The scent is mesquite, tons of tarry leather and dry evergreens. It’s a dirty leather jacket, the open road, campfires, a rebellious scent with camphoric <strong> patchouli and a medicinal oud. It really is like a counter-culture trek form L.A. to New Orleans in the summer of 1969. Fans of Knize Ten and Tauer Lonestar Memories may dig this scent. I know I do. Out of the entire 13, this is the one that fits my current mood the most. I’m craving it and can’t stop wearing it.
3rd Pick – #13 The Tropichouli – I didn’t expect to love #13 so. In fact, I overlooked it at first. I see this one as a patchouli for those that usually dislike patchouli. #13 has a boho summer feel, a style that I love but can’t pull off personally. #13 is suntan oil bronzed bodies, think Ali MacGraw in a string bikini, thick brows, and long, dirty hair, that type of laid back 1970’s aesthetic. #13 is sheer, super light in comparison to my other two picks, like a warm summer breeze. I get fuzzy, ripe summer stone fruit, warmth from woods/cedar, and coconut-rich florals reminding me of manoï. It’s what I’m calling a tropichouli. I now prefer this “unknown” beachy natural to my bottle of Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess. It’s so perfect for summer and this is the Summer of Patchouli Love, right? And I like to imagine that this is the type of scent that would attract a shirtless Steve McQueen.
Other fragrances that “fought” for the top 3 spot:
#12 – A spaghetti Western sour citrus with mash, a whisky sour in a fictional cantina that will start a fight with anyone, including a squinty-eyed Clint Eastwood in a crusty ‘ole poncho. Unexpectedly, it becomes a peachy-patch. Good stuff.
#2 – A dark, slightly gothic, patchouli with Turkish coffee, dark chocolate, and a powdery base. It’s vampy.
I will post full reviews at a later date after the perfumers and names have been revealed. Each one of these perfumes deserves a mini review. I’ll share my “sniff notes” then. And there will be a giveaway! Stay tuned, because the Summer of Patchouli Love has only started.
Check out Perfume Pharmer to keep current with Summer of Patchouli Love 2011 updates and those that are participating in this summer scent event.