This summer I proudly participated as a Patch Test Bunny in the Perfume Pharmer & The Patch Test Bunnies Summer of Love project organized by the awesome Monica Miller. Fragrance writers and celebs were given 14 unlabeled patchouli heavy (25% minimum in the blend), natural fragrances made by artisanal perfumers. We were asked to pick our top 3 from the 14 (which was very difficult). As a writer, I didn’t know who the perfumer was or any of the notes other than patchouli. The perfumers did not know which number was associated with their creation. It was an awesome experience.
In case you missed it, here are my top 3 favorites. These really “spoke” to me and I love them so.
Now we know who which number belonged to which perfumer. We also know their names, the notes, and the inspirations. Here’s a look at the perfumes and a glimpse at my perfume notes from back in the day when I was a wild Patch Test Bunny:
#1 – Idiéne by Alfredo Dupetit/BioScent – An organic perfume with notes of bitter almond, sherry, Bulgarian rose, patchouli from Singapore, Madgascar vanilla, tonka bean, and cannabis concrete. Retails for 79€ for 1.7 oz. and is available at BioScent.
- “Fruity, camphoric opening, becomes a hazy floral, powdery “fougére” grassiness, patchouli appears late – not too dirty, more “aromatic woods” in floral smoke. Would make an excellent masculine” *Update – Not a fougére by definition but it has that feel.
#2 – River Walk by Liz Zorn – Notes listed include bergamot, lavender, star anise, patchouli, hay, cedar, cocoa, tonka bean, woods, vanilla, and ambergris + many more. I don’t think this one is for sale (yet?) but you can check Liz Zorn’s website.
- “Sweeter patchouli, coffee, dark chocolate-patchouli with a powdery vetiver base, what do I get ylang-ylang? Something floral, honeyed and powdery. – Actually really good vampy stuff.”
#3 – Go Ask Alice by Shelly Waddington/En Voyage Perfumes – I couldn’t find any information of this perfume on the En Voyage website.
- “Figgy coconut incense, very interesting. On 2nd try, get something almost nail polish remover-ish. Could this be an ester? Like a fruity patch.”
#4 – Haight and Ashbury by Jane Cate/A Wing and A Prayer– Notes listed include rosewood, beeswax absolute, clary sage, jasmine, rose, rose maroc absolute, patchouli, labdanum, sandalwood, and ambergris. The 1 oz. spray retails for $60 and is available at their etsy shop.
- “Picking up something spicy like cinnamon chiclets then some patch, something old-fashioned oriental about this, pretty, get a very proper rose – The “lady” of the group. Like a “reformed” hippie.” *Update – Have no clue where the spiciness was coming from.
#5 – Bohemian Spice by Tanja Bochnig/April Aromatics – This product will be available on the April Aromatics’ site soon. The site is getting a revamp and so far it looks beautiful.
- “Chewy, delicious opening then a subtle white floral/neroli appearance becomes gourmand, sweet with vanilla – Hmmm…reminds me very much of DSH Perfumes Lautrec – This is my favorite, something I’d wear over and over again. Genius.” *Update – Not a DSH, still amazing and I hope I get to try more of Tanja’s blends in the future. She’s talented.
#6 – Happiness by Ambrosia Jones/Perfume by Nature – Notes listed include Tahtian lime, Sicilian lemon, East Indian sandalwood, and patchouli. A 15 ml spray retails for $32 at Perfume by Nature.
- “Strong lemon balm, verges on Pledge if it didn’t have the lime, gets a little fig-bark and warm woods. – Feels like little sunrays touching my skin.”
#7 – Rose Bohème by Charna Ethier/Providence Perfumes – Notes listed include aged patchouli, fir, red tea, oud, saffron, Turkish rose, white rose essence, and artisan rose petal infusion. A 1 oz. EDP spray retails for $115 and is available at Providence Perfumes.
- “Barnyard daisies, poo fades and I’m left with pickled hay and feet. Damn you, oud! With time, I get a sexy Arabic blend of saffron, rose, and patchouli. The oud in this hates me.” *Update – I need to try this again, maybe a better masculine. But, seriously. The oud hates me.
#8 – Patchouli Paisley by Lyn Ayre/Coeur d’Esprit – Notes listed include jasmine, neroli, orange blossom, patchouli, and earthy notes. A 60 ml atomizer retails for about $110 and is available at Scent of Nature.
- “A doughy patchouli with white flowers.”
#10 Têtu by JoAnne Bassett – French for “stubborn” (no wonder I like it). Notes listed include vintage jasmine, centifolia rose, amber, smoky notes, citrus, vanilla, and cocoa. The 1 oz. EDP retails for $125 and is available at JoAnne’s etsy shop.
- Mesquite leather that reminds me of cowboy boots and leather jackets, dab of citrus, some medicinal oud/something camphoric, dries down to this amazing smooth patchouli and resinous amber (so far a favorite), so smooth like sip’n brown liquor. Badass.” *Update – Still LOVE this one. LOVE IT!
#11 – Bodhi Sativa by DSH Perfumes – Notes listed include bergamot, cassis bud, galbanum, botanical cannabis accord, centifolia rose absolute, champaca, Australian sandalwood, benzoin, buddhawood, East Indian patchouli, frankincense, Texas cedarwood, tolu balsam, and vanilla absolute. A 10 ml eau de cologne retails for $33 at DSH Perfumes.
- “Oriental citrus, soft and warm, grows to something incense-like, smoky and woody. It’s good but reminds me of something that I already own.” *Update – It’s a DSH, so yeah, that’s why it was familiar.
#12 – Queen of Punk by Amanda Feeley/Esscentual Alchemy – Notes listed include civet, tobacco, patchouli, amber, cognac, rose, coffee, linden blossom, bitter orange, black pepper, and mimosa. A 10 ml bottle retails for $75 and is available at their Art Fire store.
- “Whiskey, then some sour citrus, smells like a whiskey sour -Drinking shots on the border, very Clint Eastwood, then gets a little “peachy” then patchy, could this be Esscentual Alchemy?” *Update – Haha, it was. And that “peachy” was mimosa 🙂
#13 – Wild Child by Kedra Hart/Opus Oils – Notes listed include dark patchouli, saffron, honey, milk, black currant, tuberose, peach, sandalwood, and vanilla. A 1 oz. EDP spray retails for $75 at Opus Oils.
- “Fuzzy summer peaches, warm cedar/woods, soft, it’s like a tropical patchouli, is that even a genre? Milky white tropical florals with a coconut-patchouli. Keeps growing on me. Reminds me of a 70’s babe, tan and no fear of the sun. Tropichouli, you’re a great new genre.”
#14 – Royal Water by Rodney Hughes/Therapeutate Parfums – Notes listed include English lavender, citrus, coriander, patchouli, and jasmine. An .85 oz bottle retails for $220 at Therapeutate Parfums.
- “Cool as creme de menthe, very cool and refreshing like mint and lavender, then becomes almost courmain-ish with warmth, almost coconut, but more seaside- Really, really good but where’s the patch?” *Update – The only reason I didn’t pick this for my top 3 was because I wasn’t getting enough patchouli from it.
Many of the perfumers are selling their perfumes from this project. I hope to do more in depth reviews of these scents in the future. With 14 perfumes in front of me, I felt like I didn’t get to spend as much time with them as they deserved. And usually, the ones that I don’t like at first are always my favorite in the end!
Perfume Pharmer is selling kits of these in case you want to be a Patch Test Bunny too. It was fun and I can’t wait to participate next summer.
!!!FRAGRANCE FREEBIE !!! -Drawing is closed. Winner is Kami!
The talented JoAnne Bassett has given me a 5ml in a pretty silver atomizer of one of my favorites, Tetu, a must have for any carefree badass that isn’t scared of leather! And I’m giving it away to a lucky reader of EauMG!
Please comment below about which of the “mystery” perfumes in this project that you find the most intriguing. You’ll get 1 entry for a comment and 2 entries for a comment and following EauMG on Facebook (let me know in the comment).
Sorry-but this draw is only open to those in the U.S. This draw ends on Thursday, 8/11/2011 at 8 PM PST. *Drawing is closed* One lucky winner will be chosen via www.random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged goods in the mail.