CB I Hate Perfume. Secret History Series.
Review by Tom
I have to admit that I was bewildered by the number of perfumes at Christopher Brosius' site; I was momentarily overcome by the exact same problem I sometimes have at the video store. What should I choose? I decided to start off with the Secret History series, about which he writes "The perfumes in this collection all speak of single shining points of time in my own life.", from the descriptions, we have some shared history going on, so I thought I'd start here
At The Beach 1966 is written of as "The effect when you wear At The Beach 1966 is as if you’ve been swimming all day in the ocean.", with notes of "Coppertone 1967", and "North Atlantic". This means the dreaded aquatic. I'm not big on aquatics myself, since I feel that there's no real way to capture the essence of the ocean in a scent- or at least no-one has done it so far. The description of this scent I find almost eye-rolling as well, but I can forgive all of that, because the description is so very apt. Brilliantly, Brosius covers the fact that ocean smell is nigh unto impossible to pull off by covering it with the note of Coppertone and salty skin. I was really transported by this one: I was once again a 12 year old at the beach at Niantic, wet bathing suit at all. Of course, this scent makes for the most romanticized 12 year old in a wet bathing suit you can imagine, but since I am not 12, and not looking to [CheapShot] try to seduce R. Kelly [/CheapShot], I do not think that I will be getting a bottle of this one. But I do respect its beauty, and if there is someone who is looking for a simple, clean aquatic with great lasting power, then please click through and order.
Winter 1972 is described as "the blue frozen scent of fresh snow and silver stars" I have not idea what notes are in it, but it does smell, basically, blue and frozen, slightly ozonic, with the ghost of woods and grasses waiting for spring to be released. It's not quite as successful as a concept as the beachy one, but it is very nice.
Memory of Kindness is written of as his childhood memory of his Grandmothers garden, the tomato vines and loamy soil remembered as "a vast jungle of vines" with his child's eyes. I think this is the least ethereal and most interesting of the scents (well, maybe I just like it the best): the brightness of the peppery greens and the slight muskiness of the sun-warmed earth are both immediately apparent and absolutely perfect, managing to be allusive yet not obtrusive.
As much as I respect the achievement, I don't think that I'd actually seriously wear any of these. They are interesting, exceedingly well done, and even evocative in a way that's so shockingly personal I almost feel as if I had an intimate relationship with this man. I can see these being the ultimate comfort scent: if I was ever seriously depressed, these memories of perfect childhood would perk me up better than Atavan...
Like all of his scents, these are available at his website for $60 for the Absolute (oil) and $60 for the Water Perfume (spray). While these three are not going to be full-bottle purchases anytime soon, I will be revisiting him to test his others and urge you all to do the same. Brilliance always deserves to be rewarded.