ROASTED MEL GIBSON: Celtic Fire by Union (2012)


Celtic Fire is possibly the hairiest, most virile scent I have ever encountered. Intense, rugged, romantic, it is also the best ‘smoked’ smell I have come across – a very specialized nook in perfumery that includes such alumni as Feu de Bois by Diptyque (technically a room spray but fine as a perfume), and Le Labo’s legendary Patchouli 24. While the Diptyque is severe and somewhat one note as you claw among its embers, and the Labo has a meaty jambon/vanilla fusion I can find nauseating, the first half an hour of this scent achieves a fiery perfection:  it  is natural, clean, and trustworthily sex-charged. Presumably it is the ingredients that count here: a litany of no-nonsense UK sourced botanicals that, when blended together, add up to a club-wielding brute to set hearts pounding (the company itself describes it as ‘positively tribal’ and I can’t say I disagree).

Bog myrtle from Fife; glowing birch from Inverness; an ‘oak extract from ancient forests’: pine needles from the wilds of Aberdeenshire, the list of storm-lashed ingredients goes on, though one will get the most attention: a touch, in the heart, of Marmite, that yeast-extract spread that polarizes all those who taste it with its sour, hoary breath.

Fear not: the effect when you first smell this scent is more fragrant lapsong tea chest than weird savoury: a fierce, glorious smoke that conjures a hunter, fresh from the forest, thrusting you to the ground with a feral intensity acted out brutally on a black bear rug, as the open fire crackles and emptied whisky glasses glow in its light

  (…………..pause as the writer fans himself….)

Then, as this arresting accord dissipates, though, a more typically ‘masculine’, harsh woody drydown begins to feature more prominently, at which point I am no longer enthralled.

We find ourselves now less in a hirsute wood cabin and more in a Friday night meat market: the bestial grunts have gone, and we are left instead with winking chat up lines.

Nevertheless, it is still a good smell, and sexy – I just wonder who could carry it off.

Perhaps a naturally manly type who can wear it with humour; a desperate woman with Joan of Arc fantasies; or else by a pale, timid urbanite who imagines a bit of hair on his chest and dreams of a fireside, booze-drenched frenzy



Filed under Masculines, Perfume Reviews, Smoke

10 responses to “ROASTED MEL GIBSON: Celtic Fire by Union (2012)

  1. Helen

    I don’t imagine I could carry this one off….maybe to be carried off by it would be more enjoyable. But my environment could only be a let down after your conjuring of the wilds, not the same in a Birmingham terrace, or am I showing a lack of imagination here? How far can perfume aide one’s suspension of disbelief I wonder.

  2. ginzaintherain

    Maybe I was getting a bit too carried away in writing this review as well (and I can’t quite believe I called this review ‘Roasted Mel Gibson’ – I just thought of it as I was writing on the bus and I kept laughing to myself): but it really is just a horny beast of smoke that does have something British about it, strangely…quite good if unwearable. Did you read my review of the Serge Lutens carnation by the way?

  3. Helen

    Roasted Mel Gibson is a brilliant title, it definitely drew me in. No I haven’t read the carnation review, I’m starting to realise that I tend to miss one or two, I am very keen to read it and will do so shortly.

  4. Reblogged this on The Black Narcissus and commented:

    Tomorrow I will do something new b ut

  5. Cath

    As a fan of smoky scents, you make me curious.
    As usual…. ;)p

  6. brie

    It sounds downright scary….and yet, I am intrigued… if the package has not been shipped yet I would love some samplings from this company!

    • brie

      I was brought back here by Australian Perfume Junkies and now after reading Portia’s review and seeing that bottle I am even more intrigued!!!

  7. Dear Ginza
    A most amusing review.
    Bear skin rugs? Really? Think of the chaffing!
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  8. e.l.f.

    Finally tried this one in the big Apple….ironically it ended up being Britt’s favorite of the line (which completely shocked me as she prefers more feminine scents)….

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