Perfume Pharmer: Primordial Scents 2012 – Water Perfumes

It’s been a while since I’ve written about the Primordial Scents project so I thought it was about time to tackle another group.

Primordial Scents Water Perfumes

I’ve already written about Seascape so i’ll just copy and paste my thoughts here ;)

Sea Scape by perfumer Anu Prestonia of Anu Essentials

A herbal, aquatic jasmine/orange blossom thing :)

Seascape is pretty gorgeous up top. It’s a harsh, astringent, herbal (again) beginning of bitter violet leaves, and listed seaweed (which is used much more effectively than in the stomach churning Black Amber by Agonist) – it smells marine without the salt and water – enhancing a more fragrant, idyllic olfactory vision of the sea. A hint of citrus, a lavender-like herbal accord and florals – with an indolic jasmine coming in pretty upfront and that’s where Sea Scape develops – into an aquatic jasmine we’ll say. It’s got a honeyed quality to it, and the bitter herbal notes begin to retreat. The honeyed quality becomes a touch resinous – a bitter orange-blossom like scent stung with more citrus and a hint of anise.

It gets much softer as it begins to settle, the jasmine retreating a touch as the sea-like greenery pushes forward – but still clean, no driftwood or rot in here. The scent of woods, light indolic florals (now paired with a subtle rose) and the citrus-florals create something easy to wear, spring-like and completely innocent… still, the bitter undertone keeps it interesting and a light, musky ambergris finishes. It’s not something I’d wear as I prefer my marine’s with a bit more power and a challenging edge… maybe more photorealistic… still, nice whilst it lasts :)

Essaouira by perfumer Ane Walsh

A strange, flat “smell” of almond/vanilla that starts tropical and ends with wax.

Mmmm, a bizarre coconut/lime opening, both “fizzy” and a touch lactonic – a bit of salty citrus, and a sharpness to it like vodka… it smells like a tropical cocktail for a short while. I struggle with the rest, not too sure what’s going on (no notes pyramids on these fragrances to be found!)… it is a little bitter, a little sweaty with an unusual leathery accord underneath that comes in so quick it was totally unexpected.
Is there something floral in it? Well, there’s a little waxy sweetness, a bitter pollen stain like the rot of an old flower… the coconut morphs into an almond-like scent. From here on, Essaouira remains a bitter almond wax and a touch of cocoa butter/vanilla (and the merest hint of dry woods (the sweatiness?). It’s not sweet, or gourmand, and more of a smell than a perfume – unbelievably close to the skin within minutes… still, an interesting little thing whilst it’s around.

Lylli Bleu by perfumer Justine Crane of The Scented Djinn

A slightly spicy/mossy, anisic blue lotus

Another herbal, anisic thing of an opening… rosemary? Sweet basil? Fennel definitely. This reminds me instantly of a slightly more “homemade” version of Tirrenico by Profumi del Forte with the volume turned down a little. The vegetal, anisic fennel is lovely – fresh, green, lacking the salty driftwood of Tirrenico and seems instead enhanced with a little lavender? I’m not sure.
A lotus-y floral accord comes in, a delicately scented, aquatic floral note – with a soft mossy note underneath. There’s again, the quietest touch of woods, and so far the fragrance is the “darkest” of the Water Perfumes.
It’s very quiet on my skin, remaining herbal start to finish – like a slightly mossy, spicy, super-light floral. Not for me, but a nice smell.

Rain Bath Oil by perfumer Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes

A gorgeous, sharp, fresh, herbal/anisic apple/chamomile/eucalyptus

Well this is a bath oil but I’m not running a bath for my review so, straight on the skin it goes :P
Mmmm! It’s beaut – a super tart green apple, crisp and juicy, paired with again, some anisic herbal notes that bring to mind, again, sweet basil, fennel, star anise (a lot of it!), and a super bright chamomile. It’s sharp, but crystal clear… the apple not turning at all soapy thankfully. The herbal notes are hugely astringent but almost sweet, like a shot of apple Sambuca.

It begins to turn a touch mentholated as a tea-tree oil-like scent comes in, or maybe eucalyptus, something cool that almost tingles your skin… peppermint? Whatever it is, this cooling, herbal scent is super fresh, astringent, and bizarrely sensual (as well as smelling like it would clear your sinuses in the winter! – it’s powerfullllll!). It gets softer as it goes on – and swims on your skin in a dense, gorgeously balanced herbal layer of chamomile and dry woods (with a hint of smoke and vegetation at the finish). Invigorating.

A Study in Water by Shelley Waddington of Envoyage Perfumes

A clever , soapy green floral arranged to smell like an aldehydic accord

Fresh apple, a gorgeous aquatic lily of the valley, dewy green leaves and clean rose – beaut! A Study in Water gets soapy after the top settles, smelling like a mix of various body washes (slightly soapy, slightly creamy, slightly floral, slightly fresh, slightly… subtle?) – I’m not sure, subtle in texture for sure, but it’s actually got a fantastic performance on my skin! Now, the “body wash” reference sounds like a bad thing ey? No. Multiple Rouge by Humiecki & Graef is a bad body wash (but fun!), Puredistance 1 is a bad hand cream (but not fun!), A Study in Water is bizarrely comforting – it’s a watercolour blend of florals and greenery – mixed with ozonic notes and a touch of lactones to create something that doesn’t smell like perfume. It smells undoubtably clean… clean clean clean, but extremely appealing in the same way that Stephen Jones smells hyper-clean up top.

The brilliant thing about A Study in Water, is it smells extremely aldehydic, without the pungency of aldehydes – it retains that bright, white soapiness that seems to disguise the floral accords underneath from start to finish – with a greater weight to it. As for the florals themselves, similar to Chang Chang – they are blended to something almost impossible to pull apart. The muguet disappears, leaving behind a clean pink rose, maybe a hint of jasmine – drying down to a watery wood, with Shelley’s signature musk in the base. It probably sounds like many perfumistas worst nightmare, but honestly – it’s my favourite of the group! Very clever, and weirdly sexy.

SO! Definitely not the strongest group so far, but some interesting things in here for sure :D

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10 thoughts on “Perfume Pharmer: Primordial Scents 2012 – Water Perfumes

  1. Frédéric says:

    totally agree with you A study in Water is definitely the one to have in the pack.
    Even if it’s not my style originality/quality makes all the difference

    • Glad to hear you’ve tried these and agree :) It’s quality and originality is exceptional :) I love it and would consider a full bottle without a doubt. For fans of Puredistance 1 and Antonia to experience something better >:D

  2. poodle says:

    I like the sounds of the bath oil. Someone somewhere once suggested taking scented bath oils and mixing them with unscented body butters or lotions and using them that way. I bet that would be fabulous with Rain.

    • It is a great bath oil for sure and so potent! That’s a clever idea – I’d definitely try it with this. It’s made me keen to explore the other ones in Mandy’s collection! The tartness of the apple up top is almost unbelievable considering it’s all natural – it almost smells aldehydic! I’m guessing fruit acetates and natural isolates? Hmmm. Thanks for reading poodle

  3. Ane Walsh says:

    Thanks for your report on Essaouira.
    As it is a beach scent, salty is the thing that is intentional, coconut and citruses too.
    These were the aromas on the beach of Essaouira that morning…

    • Definitely I love salt in a fragrance :D
      It’s a very obscure beachy scent (obscure is always good) – that I’m not too sure developed perfectly on my skin, but the direction was awesome and I can imagine it being close and sexy on someone else. That midly bitter/sweet waxiness – totally mysterious for a beachy smell :P

  4. Mandy Aftel says:

    Thanks so much Freddie for your terrific review of Rain – I love your smelly thoughts on the notes! If you do want to wear it directly on the skin, you should indeed dilute it first in a carrier like alcohol or jojoba oil, or use it to fragrance a lotion.
    xo Mandy

    • Thanks for the tip Mandy! You can tell straight off that this oil is as good as neat! Super super strong up top. I’ll definitely use my last few drops on the off chance that my apartment can power enough hot water for a bath :P Thanks for reading as always

  5. Smelly Thoughts, Thank you for this review. Your writing is uniquely beautiful and reminded me once again of why I admire writers. Funny, snarky, tongue-in-cheek but caring and spot on in every case. You rock!

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