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Friday, June 23, 2006

Perfume Review: Rich Hippie Purple Haze

The lovely people at Rich Hippie must put some “illegal substances” in their creations, because their scents have the strangest effect on me…they fill me with inexplicable, irrational feeling of well-being. Now, to quote Douglas Adams, my capacity for happiness you could fit into a matchbox, without taking the matches out first, so whatever Rich Hippie is using must be pretty darn strong to change my not-so-sunny, Eeyore-ish disposition. I am not talking here about the complexity and the intricacy of their blends; these are rather simple scents after all. But they have a certain sumptuous, boozy joyfulness about them and they never fail to put a silly, big, contented grin on my face.

Another thing I like about Rich Hippie fragrances is that, (perhaps deceptively) simple that they are, they also manage to be a little strange, a little off, a little not quite right, in the most pleasant way possible. Take Purple Haze. It starts on my skin with a smell of over-ripe apples and roses, the smell of fruits and flowers so ripe, they are already beginning to be marked by decay…the smell just one step away from rotten. Can this possibly be pleasant, you might ask, and the answer is, yes, somehow it is very enjoyable. Rich Hippie only lists Bulgarian, Moroccan and Turkish rose and Brazilian “citrus” as the notes of Purple Haze, but there is more to it than they are letting on (and I am not just talking about that “substance”). Right after the overripe floral fruitiness of the top notes subsides, the scent becomes fresher, drier even. It has earthiness that makes me think of vetiver, a cool, mint-like accord, quite a bit of lemon and perhaps a hint of pears. At this point of its development Purple Haze smells like a sophisticated lollipop. A lollipop for adults only, because it has a little extra somethin’ added to it to raise the spirits. The drydown features what I came to think of as Rich Hippie’s trademark vanilla, a velvety, curiously boozy and yet quite subtle vanilla, which I enjoy a lot. Incongruously but not unpleasantly, this fluffy vanillic drydown sports an herbal note not unlike dill…

This strange and strangely enjoyable fragrance can be found at, $85.00 for 1/2oz, $185 for 2oz.

The image is from


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, I saw your review and ran to dig for my sample of Purple Haze. A-ha, here it is. I just put some on, and my husband who's usually oblivious to all things smelly (unless it's some sort of a stench) just asked me, "What's that smell?" Mind you, he's not even sitting right next to me. But anyways, yes, I agree with your descriptions. I don't get any rose here at all, however. I do get the citrus and the funky apple and boozy vanilla (brilliant expression!). Sort of herbal, sort of minty. But one thing is sure: it's a very weird scent. Sorry for such a long comment. I had to laugh out loud at your "sophisticated lollipop" phrase!
P.S. Oh, and I'm yet to see your "not-so-sunny, Eeyore-ish disposition".

11:43 PM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

The one RH I tried (Rich Hippie) was not my style, and I'm glad to hear that the others you describe sound similarly distant from my usual cravings. It's good to know that there's one very expensive line that I don't madly desire. Now please, dontcha go telling me this one is right up my alley. . . .

6:52 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

So did he mean "What's that smell?" in a good way or in a bad way? :-) Because I can see it going either way with this scent. For the fragrance in which 3 types of roses are listed as notes, this does indeed have very little rose presence. I get some only in the beginning. Did you get the apples in the beginning too?

8:48 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Not to worry. This is *not* something you'd love. You might not hate it, but you won't love it. Wait till I get my hands on some other Rich Hippie scents. There *are* some that sound right up your valley...

8:49 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Well, duh! I just re-read and saw that you do get apple to. I need more and stronger coffee! :-)

8:51 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Hahahahahahahhaahaha ---- yeah, you should probably forward a sample of this one to Clement too, just to make sure he gets the HG base right... that rotten part can be tricky to capture correctly. Now, layered with something armpitty, hmmmm...

9:18 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Of course the rotten part is hard to capture! The perfumer would walk a thin line between not ripe enough and plain stinky :-)
But layered with something armpitty...even *I* fail to imagine that such a blend would be wearable. :-)

9:27 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marina, I'm not quite sure what he meant. When I asked him, he just said, "Hrmph. Hmmm. Hum."

9:55 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh, that's so funny...and so typical around here too. I think it might mean: "I am puzzled by this scent. It is kinda weird. I am not sure whether I am repelled or attracted by it."

10:16 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Either that or something like this, "Please leave me alone. I'm trying to read my book [Anna Karenina] and enjoy my bath." That applied to last night's situation. ;)

10:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh wow! Anna Karenina! *envious* Now, leave the man alone and let him read the classic in peace! :-)

10:49 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought you were on my side! Folks, I just lost an ally.

10:53 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am on your side, always...but a man reading Anna Karenina is too rare a phenomenon not to be protected and cherished. :-)

11:21 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I see what you mean. Especially, when it took him a few years to finally acknowledge the book's presence in the living room. :)

11:24 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

See? Cherish and protect, cherish and protect! :-)

11:49 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Trying to decide if a lollipop, even for adults only, has any appeal...I have to really love something to wear it in oil anyway, since I just don't like oils. Have a feeling this one is a pass, especially given the price :-)

11:57 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I have no doubt that this one is a pass for you. No doubt :-)

12:15 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I haven't tried Rock Star yet but it is caling my name. :-)

12:48 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK. I normally like the same scents you do, so I am determined to give the Rich Hippies another try, especially this one. The concept of dill in the dry down fascinates me in a wierd sort of way. Dill is not exactly something that springs to mind when I think of herbs I like in scents, but the very wierdness of it makes me feel I have to experience it.

1:06 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It's a strange little scent, worth trying just to experience it. I cannot guarantee however that it is indeed dill there. It made me think of dill, but that doesn't mean anything. :-)

1:26 PM EDT  
Blogger Jenny said...

Well I never smelled it but I love the name Purple Haze, it reminds me of the song by Jimi Hendrix.

3:06 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I woulnd't be surprised if that's what inspired the scent :-)

3:14 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you, that's very interesting...whatever it means, as you say...I actually like the concistency of the scents, they are not sticky nor do I have to rub them in. I am too lazy to deal with oils :-)

9:32 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Ah! Someone else thinks an almost-rotten smell is appealing. I am so happy! :-)

9:32 PM EDT  
Blogger Caitlin Shortell said...

yumyumyum. i need to try these!

3:52 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I would love to hear what you think about this one or any other RH scents!

4:05 PM EDT  

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