My scent of the day is American Perfumer Colorado by DSH Perfumes.
A note: This post wasn’t written to be a post. I made the amateur mistake of writing a wildly long Instagram caption for the photo below, after deciding yesterday that Instagram and Facebook would be good places to talk about fragrances that I happened to be wearing – especially given that I didn’t intend for the blog to be a place for reviewing fragrances. But, Instagram doesn’t allow captions this long. These are points I want to make, and I don’t want to edit it down. So, this post is that original caption, with hashtags and mentions removed, hence this choppy, stream of consciousness style.
Anyway, American Perfumer Colorado. I’m particularly interested in two aspects of this perfume: exploring various conifers and immortelle. I’m not sure if conifers is the correct term here, but I think it might be – what I’d call, when speaking generically, pine trees, or maybe evergreens, but I’m sure those two terms aren’t right.
The conifers in this (if that’s the right word) include blue spruce, black spruce, Ponderosa pine, and fir. There’s also Texas cedar. Often when I experience a natural conifer, I smell something that conveys human sweat. I sometimes get that sweaty smell from lavender as well. To my surprise, I haven’t actually ever heard anyone say this before, but it’s often a problem for me in natural conifer and lavender fragrances. I don’t get that here. Either these tree smells don’t smell like that, or that aspect is blended away. It’s like all the good parts of pine without the quality that I really don’t enjoy.
Immortelle plays an important role here. I find immortelle in a fragrance by associating it with maple syrup. It gives a warm hum. It’s not necessarily sweet, like maple syrup tastes. It’s more like the smell of warmed maple syrup and butter that you smell when you get out of your car in the diner parking lot. In her description of this fragrance on the American Perfumer website, Dawn says that it is the Ponderosa pine that smells like maple syrup over pancakes. So, I assume the Ponderosa pine’s maple-like qualities are given a little boost by the immortelle. Either way, there is an unquestionable savory maple syrup effect here. Not a huge element, but critical to the overall effect.
Purely by coincidence, this morning I tested Amouage Fate Man, which is said to smell most prominently of cumin and immortelle. I have never found cumin to smell of sweat or body odor, with the exception of Serge Lutens Serge Noire (which I absolutely love, by the way, mostly for the clove, which reminds me of my grandmother’s pasta sauce and baked ham). I actually very rarely smell cumin in fragrance that actually smells like cumin (e.g., the smell of a jar of ground cumin before adding to taco mix). I didn’t find the cumin in Fate Man to be sweaty. It did smell distinctly like cumin for quite a while. A very appropriate level of sweetness enhanced it, and licorice helped to cool it down, given that the cumin and the immortelle both make it very hot. The immortelle didn’t hit me as hugely prominent in Fate Man, but, like in Colorado, plays an important part in the overall impact. Fate Man seems to me to be a well executed exercise in blending contrasts – hot and cool, sharp spices and creamy woods. Something altogether different is produced and it’s a challenge to pick out all of the pieces. Good stuff.
Colorado has a creamy, woody hum at its base. The fragrance that popped into my head when this aspect hit me is Mirus Fine Fragrance Driftwood. Looking at the notes for Driftwood, I wonder if the connection is a facet of cedar – from Colorado’s Texas cedar and Driftwood’s Virginia cedar.
I blind bought the 2019 edition of Colorado from American Perfumer because I have a serious fear of missing out problem. But I’m really glad I did. I’ve also enjoyed listening to the American Perfumer podcast and, while we’ve never spoken, I feel like I’ve gotten to know American Perfumer proprietor Dave Kern through the podcast and have come to trust his judgement. This led me to pick up Maher Olfactive (Chatillon Lux) Madame Chouteau, the fourth American Perfumer limited edition, which I am now excitedly awaiting.
Charlie – I appreciate your thoughtful consideration of “Colorado” and thank you for your kind words about American Perfumer. What fine company for Dawn’s great work. I’ve worn Neal Peters “Driftwood” a number of times and love it, still keep a little Fate Man around, and I adore Christopher Sheldrake. It’s amazing that within a year either side of “Serge Noire” he’d also release “Fille en Aiguilles,” and “Sycomore” with Polge for Chanel. Formative for me.
Thanks again, Dave
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