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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hermes by Lord's Jester: fragrance review of a Brave New Scent & giveaway

You might be incredulous to see the moniker referring to Aldous Huxley's novel twisted into a perfume review, but indie perfumer Adam Gottschalk of Lord's Jester participates in a blogathon of indie perfumers which we announced on these pages recently and his scent submission Hermes indeed defies classification.

For Hermes perfume, a vividly green (literally!) perfume, Gottschalk used one of the essences which I have always been fascinated by: green cognac. Produced from the wine precipitate known as "lees", from the plant vitis vinifera, cognac essence is a winey, dry, complex note.
The vividly mossy stain of the fragrance does not bely the scent itself: it's rather mossy and quite animalic all right; musty, tart, very dry and earthy, but with a floral depth opening soon, which allays some of the gloom and animalistic character of Africa stone. (Africa stone/hyraceum for those who don't know it yet is the petrified and rock-like excrement composed of both urine and feces excreted by the Cape Hyrax (Procavia capensis), commonly referred to as the Dassie. The material can be harvested by aroma material producers without harming the animal to render a note that unites some of the facets of castoreum, musk and oud. Quite intense!) Coupling the musty with the more hay-sweetish flouve absolute (rich in coumarin) produces a loaded combo that seems to hit you on the head at first, only to mellow soon after.
Lord Jester's Hermes tricks you into believing it is all about the base notes, but the lighter elements (a very perceptible and very lovely indolic jasmine note, plus citrus essences) are welcome leverage which rounds off the perfume. Too much animal can prove unwearable otherwise!
I have tested the fragrance from a spray vial and feel that it would be better suited to a dabbing from a splash bottle instead, to smoothen the initial blast; the rest of the composition blooms wonderfully without assistance even on a mouillette, usually not the perfect medium for all natural perfumes.

The perfumer used in order from greatest concentration to least these "wild" essences for his fragrance "notes":

for the base:
green cognac
linden blossom absolute in 30% fractionated coconut oil
flouve absolute
ambrette absolute
Africa stone

for the heart:
araucaria
rosa bourbonia
boronia
jasmine auriculatum
jasmine sambac

for the top:
linden blossom essential oil
orange essence
lime essence
tagetes

Pretty rare, huh? Indeed Gottschalk clarifies in a blog post how suddenly two of his chosen essences are becoming rarer and rarer; namely rosa bourbonia and jasmine auriculatum. Harvesting materials which are unavailable to the masses and the Big Boys (big aroma producing companies) however is at the heart of small artisanal perfumers, isn't it? In that regard, you won't be disappointed: There's inherent rarity factor in Hermes and I hope Adam finds a way to procure supply of these two rare aromatics. 
Hermes by Lord's Jester is an 15% concentrated Eau de Parfum and is quite decently lasting for an all naturals perfume.
We have a perfume giveaway for our readers (a 10ml/0.4oz) mini of Hermes, so please post a comment if you want to be eligible!  (NB.Perfumer sends prize directly to winner)

Sample provided by perfumer as part of the project. Photo found via AnyaMcCoy's tweets.

52 comments:

  1. Anonymous19:22

    I'm intrigued by the inclusion of "araucaria" - monkey puzzle. I can see them readily enough in the Botanical Gardens here but I've never known of a perfume ingredient being prepared from them. I'll have to try and sniff one of the trees during my next visit:-)

    Please count me in for the draw for "Hermes", in case the park staff keep me at bay. The heart notes look particularly delicious.

    cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

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  2. The description sounds really intriguing. I am all for fragrances that are both bitter and animalistic (eg Rien, Oud Cuir d'Arabie), and I like flowers for boys too.

    cacio

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  3. Anonymous20:08

    Sounds great! Enter me for the draw please and thanks :)
    Mo

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  4. I would love to be entered in the draw. Thank you! :-)

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  5. I love Adam's work, and it sounds like Hermes is another great addition to Lords Jester. I would love to be entered in the draw!

    Thanks,
    Michael

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  6. Great review! In my opinion, Hermes is the most intense of all the scents in the Brave New Scents project. Bravo on going all the way, Adam! I would not have had the guts for this kind of animalic intensity and I have certainly learned from studying your creation. I'm eager to see what you have planned for the gardenia absolute. :)

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  7. This sounds fascinating! please enter me in the draw.

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  8. do please enter me in the drawing...how could i not be curious to smell this one!

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  9. I'd love to go in the draw please. I'm particularly intrigued by the African Stone you mention. Having grown up in Southern Africa, I am no stranger to the Dassie - they were everywhere (and cute I might add) but I never thought to smell their droppings!

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  10. annemariec22:12

    Sounds marvellous! Please count me in.

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  11. Sofi22:19

    This sounds great!Please enter me in the draw!

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  12. Morticia22:43

    I have never been a fan of Hermes' fragrances, but this doesn't sound like anything they've done before. Please enter me in the drawing.

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  13. Green cognac? I've gotta smell that. Thanks for the draw.

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  14. AnneR00:01

    I think this sounds so interesting. I would love to be entered in the drawing for this lovely prize! Thanks for the review.

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  15. sounds great, please enter me in the draw

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  16. please enter me in for the draw..thank you

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  17. I love all of those scents and combined it must be heaven. Thanks for the draw!

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  18. I was confused as I thought the hyrax was a Dr. Seuss character, then remembered that was The Lorax.
    I would love me some ethically-harvested hyrax-poo, I will wear it with my Thneed!

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  19. This sounds great, I would love to try it. Please include me in the drawing.

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  20. wow! wonderful description of a most certainly amazing scent...refreshing to read about some courageous perfume compositions! So needed in this world of conformity ;)...thank you!

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  21. Eligible! Or so I desire to be.

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  22. Anonymous06:20

    Very interesting combination of components. I would really like to try it. Alica - alica@cleis.net

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  23. Jules06:41

    What an interesting set of notes. Hermes certainly has me intrigued. I've been dying to try Lord Jester frags, but just not yet got round to them. So please do enter me into the draw. (Than you !)

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  24. Gisela07:38

    The notes and the perfume sound intriguing - with so many perfume companies, both mainstream and niche wimping out recently boldness is a very welcome virtue! (And that name is very clever!)

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  25. I'm very intrigued by this perfume because of the main notes. It seems to contain lots of linden blossom essence and I love that note. The animalic side could be my least favorite facet.

    Please, enter me in the draw. Thanks!

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  26. Anonymous10:02

    I am in love with Lords Jester`s creations.I have been carefully following the NPG projects and when i found out about the rarity of the raw materials used in Hermes, i am dying to smell it.thanks for the draw!!
    yas

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  27. Cute animal indeed and related to elephant!? I didn't know that.
    Certainly I'm intrested in trying this very unique juice.

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  28. Wow, please enter me in your draw! I can't imagine what this would smell like really. Thank you!

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  29. I'm intrigued...I have all other Hermes fragrances and they undoubtedly have the same vein running through them...I'm looking for something different.

    do people really win?

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  30. I've never heard of Africa Stone, but it sounds very intriguing. And I love green. Please enter me into the draw - indie perfumers seem to come up with the best ideas.

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  31. Please enter my name in the draw, it sounds excellent, and would love to win this one.

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  32. Anonymous15:55

    Your description makes me want to try out this unusual mixture of aromas! Thank you.

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  33. Hermes sounds very lovely.....and unique. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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  34. Anonymous17:43

    Dear E,

    I would love to be included in the draw.

    Natalia

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  35. I'm always excited to try fragrances with a linden note. This one sounds very interesting.

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  36. This looks so interestingly weird that I surely want to have a chance to try it.
    Enter me in the draw, please.

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  37. I would like to be in the drawing.

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  38. This sounds incredible! Please enter me in the draw =)

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  39. my heart leaped at linden blossom.... =)

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  40. Anonymous16:28

    This sounds fantastic! Green cognac... I hope I am the lucky winner.

    Ccc

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  41. I adore the Lord Jester's scents.I consider purcahsing the new edp version of Ares,but I would love to try this one it sounds amazing and I belive in the best quality of the ingredients.

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  42. class flirt19:45

    yes, please.

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  43. The list of notes is very intriguing. Please enter me in the draw. Thanks!

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  44. This is certainly one, I'd like to sniff! If it is not too late, I'd like to enter the give-away too.

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  45. brigitte11:25

    Linden blossom .....yes! I have read about Adam and he is such an inspiration. Please enter me in this draw!

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  46. Cynthia16:23

    What an intriguing list of ingredients! I would love to try this.

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  47. I am fascinated with Greek gods and goddesses. They were my friends since early childhood. Among with my dolls and their dresses, these Gods and Goddesses of immortal myths were my comfortable playmates as well as my windows to adult world. I loved Aphrodite most, and Hermes became my favorite later. When I grew up, I read a lesser known myth about Hermes's and Aphrodite's lovemaking. I would love to smell the animalic essence and ponder the myth! ahhh...

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  48. i have been following adam's blog and his journey in becoming a perfumer, it been a pleasure! i would love to partake of this rarity- and the homage to what aroma communicates!

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  49. Thanks for all the kind words. Hope you enjoy Hermes!

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  50. Sounds interesting, please enter me in the draw!

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  51. Not sure if the draw is still open since I'm a few days late, but I'd love to be entered! This perfume sounds very interesting.

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  52. edwardian16:25

    I'd really like to smell this...I'm quite new to indie perfumery, but lately everything seems to smell so bland and diluted that I think we need scents like this to remind us what real perfumery is about. Fabulous blog, btw.

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