Perfume Review: CB I Hate Perfume I am a Dandelion, Greenbriar 1966, Under the Arbor, Wild Hunt and Eternal Return
Review by Tom
Christopher Brosius is of course the New York perfumer who specializes in the most unperfumey perfumes imaginable. He is also the creator of one of my four best American perfumes (from July 4th), Musk Reinvention
The italics are the descriptions from his website:
Eternal Return is the scent of sailing toward the shore. It is a blend of Fresh Ocean Air, Wooden Ship and a faint hint of Cypress Trees growing on the cliff above the water
Not nearly as strong as the name would suggest, I do get the ocean note right off: actually I can't really call it ocean- it certainly doesn't smell like the ocean as I remember it and thankfully don't smell like the usual "ocean" notes in other perfumes. It's a pleasant note that makes me think of still, clear waters. I don't get woods initially, but the woods do come, as well as the barest whiff of the cypress. Will someone want to slug me for writing that I'd love it in a room spray, but I don't really need to wear it?
This scent is a memory of my Grandfather, the sawmill that he owned and the stone house where he lived.
Starts off disconcertingly sweet, metallic and oily, as if Grampy had a side business taking his cotton-candy machine to local fairs in the back of his Chevy Greenbrier. He writes It is blended with Sawdust, Fresh Cut Hay, Worn Leather Work Gloves, Pipe Tobacco and a healthy amount of Dirt. There is also a faint whiff of cotton overalls covered in Axel Grease. I wish I got there. I get candy-covered Corvair.
I am a Dandelion
The simple scent of a Dandelion newly picked from the lawn
Well, yes you are in fact. It has the intense green pepperiness of dandelion greens and the milkiness a dandelions sticky sap. Then it starts to bloom into something more: it becomes heady, with a touch of white flowers and the barest hint of rounded fruitiness. I also think I smell a fair amount both his famous dirt accord and his Musk Reinvention in the base. It settles itself a bit as it finishes, becoming rather sweeter in the drydown: it is also absolutely gorgeous and it must come live with me right now.
Wild Hunt is the scent of an ancient forest in the heat of a summer afternoon. It is a blend of Torn Leaves, Crushed Twigs, Flowing Sap, Fallen Branches, Old Leaves, Green Moss, Fir, Pine and Tiny Mushrooms.
Well, yes, this is that. There's aslo a wisp of his smoke in there, the memory of a decades old fire. He's not listing dirt in there, but I smell it (does anyone do dirt or smoke better than CB? I think not.) and, yes, Tiny Mushrooms. As out there as this reads, and as true to its place (the forest glade) as it is, it works for me as a scent that I would wear in ways that some of his others don't, perhaps because so many other scents would use parts of it in a more conventional way to make a cologne. However, not even CdeG with their studied sense of Avant-Garde would dare hand you a forest primeval, complete with Tiny Mushrooms. Thanks be that CB does.
Under the Arbor
Grape Leaf is a scent that reminds me of some of the most beautiful places I have visited in California, Italy and France. But mostly it reminds me of the old grape arbor that grew in the yard of the house were I lived as a child. I so loved to sit under it on a summer day quietly reading a favorite book curling my toes in the cool moss...
Another winner: quiet, slightly sweet green leaves, grapeseeds, earth and very arid wood. Although I am usually fonder of his oils, this cries out for a water perfume version: it would be utter perfection on a hot summer day, and a perfect veil on a warm summer night.
These are at CB's website at the following prices for the oils:
Under the Arbor $55 15ML $11 2ML
Wild Hunt $55 85ML $17 2ML
I am a Dandelion $65 85ML $13 2ML
Greenbriar 1968 $60 15ML $12 2ML
Eternal Return $85 15ML $17 2ML
The 2ML sizes are deceptive: being oils these are very concentrated, you can easily use one of the "samples" for months. Smaller samples are available at Fragrant Fripperies.