June is the greenest month. It rains all the time, the whispering mountain undergrowth, tangled and heaving: steamy with life and tingling death. Raindrops lodged in a spider’s web, collected; slowly descending along the veins of the leaves of new hydrangea like glass tears. Stems, blades of grass seething with chlorophyll : the slow camera of photosynthesis. If there are bitter greens: benevolent greens, Tindrer, by Baruti, is definitely the former, a piercing loam violet shrouded in morning mists that is chilling as a gothic fairytale. Disconcerting (it makes me shiver), it is as if this perfume exists on two simultaneous temporal planes; one deep below, where the twisting violets grow over the roots of an old oak tree, and above – an ozonic hiss of cold, silent death.
A friend of mine has often stated that if he were to choose his own exit, absinthe would be his chosen conduit. Dying in the gutter, but staring at the stars. Thick with green, poisonous anis, this liqueur – this perfume – laced with wormwood, fennel, poured viscously over sugar cubes to sweeten the venom (‘patchouli and woods attempt to induce the wearer into a comforting, disinhibitive state, while sobering oakmoss and amber ease you back into the material world ), it is a decadent’s headache in a bottle. Wear it, drink it: : intoxicated to the point of annihilatory bliss, he blurredly makes his way out, staggering into the moonlit Japanese garden to find a place among the gnarled roots, the damp moss, lie, and make his hallucinatory passage. Still conscious, he feels his way half blind towards a shaded space beneath a boxwood, writhed with ivy and potent green notes of every shade; breathes in the air; supine; a toxically fresh herbarium of witchery in dark, coniferous chrysanthemum and aglaia bush of black copal and fir trees gradually closing in; mysterious, daunting like the stunted, clipped and menacing topiaries of vengeful Bonsai.
Hermia : the flash of the new mock orange in summer hidden in greenery as he discovers himself awakening to a new clarity. Daylight. Bird song. Subtle unobtrusion ; the rarity of morning : orange blossom, vetiver, cassis and basil are fresh, simple, there is an ease. Mesmerizing though the darkness of the forests and the secrets of the woodland inevitably are, I prefer this green, freshing uplift to the doleful siege of the dark pine forest. Yes, the final denouement of Almah Perfumes’ Green Crowne, as cheering a scent as I have discovered in recent times, might ‘merely’ be a clean, shampoo-sheened modern skin musk, but I personally prefer such gentle, mood boosting presence to the ominous, malevolent descent into coniferous murk and blackened woods that are my bane; the vivacity of those green, Calyx-like scents with their eye-brightening openings that freshen the senses into sunlight : basil, bergamot, cardamom, marjoram, citruses, a verdant perfect equilibrium of loveliness. Though the pall of this sombre season with its deep verdurous gloom is always numbingly hypnotic – (the woods are lovely, dark and deep…………….but I have miles to go before I sleep……………), I ultimately need more scintillant uplift – the promise of growth – life; citrus, flowers, meadows – and sun rays – to resist its raindrenched, Orphic pull.
10 responses to “THE SWEET, BITTER GREEN OF SUMMER : : HERMIA by KAREN TIMSON (2019)+ TINDRER by BARUTI (2016) +ABSINTHE MINDED by ANKA KUS (2019) +GREEN CROWNE by ALMAH (2019) + BONSAI by HOUSE OF MATRIARCH (2019)”
In more plain language, Green Crowne is a delicious fresh green fruity in the manner of The Different Company’s Tokyo Bloom or Union’s Holy Thistle; I personally love a zingy scent of ease in that mode.
Bonsai is a quite eerie, hissy green perfume that definitely gets under your skin; VERY green and sharp with ozonic facets like I Hate Perfume’s Black March, but with a much wider, more boscous panorama. Tindrer is also of this ilk, a freak violet like a John Carpenter movie. I could wear neither of these but they do intrigue me, if simply for the atmosphere they create.
Hermia is light, easy – a T-shirt scent.
Absinthe Minded is a woody thing you have smelled before but if you like full on anise/fennel liquorfests, I don’t think you could go wrong with it. Something like L’artisan’s Fou D’Absinthe is a real teetotaller in comparison!
These sound like a great way to travel the forests without worrying about mosquitoes.
so evil the insects would be frightened off?
Haha are they? I was thinking more because you don’t have to include bugs in your forest fantasy while wearing the perfumes at home.
I could make a bug mobile and have it going round slowly from the ceiling
like a merry go round
That sounds like a horror movie prop.
I think I may become obsessed with finding the perfect fennel perfume. And as a I type this, I think I really mean fennel seed, though the entire plant smells wonderful. Wonderful, evocative writing. I would like to smell them all!
Thank you. I think this absinthe is meant more for the young heavy drinker – it’s more of a teen club scent than a truly luxuriant ultimate anise – and the fennel is only there in support, not the main singer. Bonsai is slightly scary.
Love the atmosphere(s) you’ve created here, N. I’m not used to thinking of June as warm and rainy, and I was transported to a new green, wet and fragrant world. Good writing.
Thankyou. A bit dense : I was tired.It really is ultra green and rainy in Japan at this time though: rather gloomy to say the least.