In the season of thanks, I'm especially thankful for being part of a discourse on perfumery which takes diverse and interesting turns all the time. The Outlaw perfume project was one of those moments in time which I feel might kickstart something bigger soon. And I'm hopeful! For now, I'm thankful that I got sent samples of two outlaw perfumes created for it by its instigator, Anya McCoy, president of the the Natural Perfumers' Guild: Light and Amberess.
I will come back for Amberess soon because it's so very snuggly and unusual for an amber-based scent (an amber mix that's not too sweet and is more spicy-rosy than most, yeah!), but Light just needs to be brought into the light (ha!) now that the natural light is diminishing in the Northern hemisphere and we tend to hanker after it. It's no accident the feast of St.Lucia (which means..."light") is on the shortest day of the year...
Anya based the composition of Light on the flower absolute of a Chinese perfume tree with beautiful yellowish blossoms belonging in the family of mahogany, named Aglaia odorata (also known as Chinese Rice Tree). Originally she meant to call the perfume Aglaia after it; a Greek name which comes from the verb αγλαΐζω (ah-gla-EEzo); it means "to beautify", to "aesthetically enhance" and is literally the origin of the english word "glamour" (nifty, eh?) In Greek mythology, Aglaia is one of the Three Kharites (the Three Graces) symbolising splendour, glory, magnificence and adornment. I personally wish Anya would have kept it, for reasons of uniqueness and...well, fitting the spirit of the perfume! But hey, I know most people would have a hard time manipulating their tongue over those heavy Greek ls and the most difficult γ for which is there is no English sounding equivalent, really... The name change into Light came naturally: The fragrance is luminous and breezy!
It's built on a "cologne style" (lots of that neroli and citrusy-woody-musky impression you get when you use a really good traditional Eau de Cologne), floral and citrusy and admist it all, the aglaia flower is the soliflore which sings the beauty of "less is more". Aglaia smells between neroli and a light, green jasmine to my nose in this mix and it's an absolutely delightful impression. Frankincense lends beautiful citrusy aspects with a gentle bitterish smokiness which couples very well with the slightly tarry-cool note of broom (that's what the French call genet); the combination makes the whole quite sophisticated!
How is Light, so delicate, so innocent, an Outlaw? The notes that are either limited by, or untested by IFRA are shown in red:
Top notes: Sicilian cedrat, Israeli yellow grapefruit, French juniper berry.
Middle notes: Chinese aglaia flower, French genet flower, North Carolina
Base notes: Hojari frankincense oil, edible frankincense sacra resinoid.
In order to get the most lasting power from this Outlaw perfume it's advisable to use on hair, clothes (it doesn't stain as far as I was able to test on regular non-silk fabric) or in a perfume locket! (A romantic idea which is enthusiastically embraced by the Outlaw perfumers!)
Light and Amberess are included in the newest sample set at Anya's Garden online, ten samples of all-naturals perfumes for 65$ with the option of a 10% discount with voucher code OUTLAW used upon purchase.
Anya is doing a giveaway of both Light and Amberess in 3.5ml minis, pure perfume/extrait de parfum. She prefers to ship in the USA only at the moment. Enter your name in the comments if you are eligible and I will pick
two random winners! Draw is now closed.
pic via http://home.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/