More Goodies from Australia: The Perfume & Skincare Company (And a HUGE Prize Draw!)
Once again, I am pleased to have the opportunity to sample some fragrances from the Land Down Under, which has a vibrant perfumery community. This time around, it’s a selection from The Perfume & Skincare Company, a firm that also makes bath and body care products, soaps, skin care products and cosmetics. This company uses many natural ingredients, and their fragrances are made with a high percentage of perfume oils and are lower in alcohol than most others are, so they last very well on the skin. I sampled six of the fifteen scents in the current line in order to assess their range, and overall I was very pleased. Where does this brand fit in the world of perfumery? It’s an apothecary line, comparable to L’Occitane or Antica Farmacista, comprised of simple, straightforward and crowd-pleasing fragrances that are available in ancillary products ranging from bath oil to soy candles. I always wish that my favorite fragrances could be had in every imaginable version, so the fans of these perfumes are lucky indeed. The company’s products are available throughout Australia and online.
Their best selling scent is Fig & Olive, and it’s easy to see why. This fragrance has both the succulent freshness of fig and the mellow ease of olive fruit, rounded and slightly salty, in contrast to the succulent fig. It is not an astringent fig like Diptyque’s Philosykos, since the olive tempers its pungency, and it is very easy to wear; it’s ripe fig, not the puckery-leafy kind. It has a slippery feel on skin, attesting to the high volume of oils in the formula, and it has excellent longevity for a fragrance of this expansive summery style. It is barely sweet so it would make an excellent masculine. It is available in a full range of products, from the perfume spray, I tested to bath oil, hand cream, body mousse, dry oil spray, soap, reed diffuser parfum d’ambiance and more, as are most of the others. I would be happy to have it in any number of these versions, especially the body mousse and bath oil.
I must confess to an inordinate fondness for fruity fragrances, and so I was really looking forward to smelling Forbidden Fruit. It has quite a bit of blackcurrant bud (which I like) up top, but not so much as to be off-putting in the manner of Rosine’s Roseberry, and it’s paired with zesty lemon. It softens somewhat as it dries down to an orange blossom heart and a base of light woods but the tangy fruit is ever-present. The company’s Web site does not list all the notes for any of the fragrances, but I smelled other fruity notes and some light florals peeking out from behind the blackcurrant. This is really great in hot weather, as it is juicy and energizing. I received it when it was still very warm here, and I must confess to spritzing it on with wild abandon as soon as I opened the box.
Equally adept at lifting one’s mood is Linden Leaf, which to my nose compares favorably to Hermés Un Jardin Sur le Nil, one of my go-to summer scents. The spring green exhilaration of Linden Leaf really made me smile, and I reached for it often during the testing phase, which just happened to coincide with record high temperatures for my part of the country. It is notably tenacious for a fragrance in this near-cologne style; its linden character is photo-realistic in the manner of Demeter’s scents, but it’s not a one-trick novelty by any means and a delicious freshly squeezed lime note keeps it interesting. It is another one that should garner interest from men as a delightful alternative to boring “sport” fragrances. The woody drydown is elegant and refined.
Gardenia Flower is also softly green-tinged, a soliflore in the cool, misty white floral style rather than the “butter and bleu cheese” manner of many gardenias. It also smells of fresh dewy jasmine and tuberose, not just straight-up gardenia, but it is nevertheless very pretty and I have really enjoyed wearing it. For those who like the richer style of gardenia, there are plenty of others out there, but here is one that can easily go to the office or other close quarters and not be too overwhelming. (Purists will say it’s not a real gardenia perfume, but neither are most “gardenia” scents, since they are virtually all reconstructions.) Gardenia Flower is a tender scent, not a femme fatale in-your-face big white floral; I like both kinds, and I liked this a lot.
Now that cooler weather is here, Ginger Milk is just the right thing to wear. The name might conjure up images of rich gingerbread, but the surprise here is that the ginger is the delightfully sharp and zingy fresh kind, contrasted with warm and gently spiced vanilla milk resulting in an unusually addictive accord. It reminds me of baking special breads during the holidays, standing over the stove and grating fresh spices into milk before scalding it and preparing the sweet dough. I would especially enjoy having Ginger Milk in the body mousse and hand cream for pampering my skin on cold, dry winter days. It lasts all day on me, and while the opening sharpness fades a bit with time, the ginger note remains prominent throughout. I tried it once during the heat of our late summer and put it away, but now I could easily wear it every day, and it has become one of my favorites of the group.
The only disappointment for me in the bunch was Pink Peony, which is not really surprising since peony accords are a tightrope walk for perfumers at best. It opens with a very realistic peony, complete with the sharp and distinctive nose-wrinkling peony character that I like in the real blossoms, but in the drydown something in this one was working against my skin and it ended up smelling more like a room spray than a perfume. It may very well be great on someone else, that’s just my experience. I got very little of the purported apricot and peach, and the Web site’s description of it as smelling like candyfloss (cotton candy to U.S. readers) mystified me; I really don’t get vanilla or sugary notes from this perfume at all. I usually like highly pitched florals so it surprised me that this did not work. I am sure it will be lovely on the right person.
Which brings me to the prize draw – I was pleasantly shocked to received six full size 50 ml bottles for testing, and they are all up for grabs! They are only missing what I have decanted for testing and they are boxed in the regular retail packaging. Please leave a comment stating which one you would like to win; anyone who does not specify a particular fragrance will be put on the list with the fewest names. If you like, tell us if you have tried any fragrances or other products from this company. U.S.A. addresses ONLY please, as I am unable to mail anything to other countries at this time. The prize draw will be open for one week from the day this review is posted. Good luck!
Image credit: Ripe figs via squidoo.com, visual effects mine.
Disclaimer: All the perfumes were sent to me for testing at my request.