February 22, 2011

Arcana - Shiver Ensemble

The "Shiver Ensemble" is a series of four perfumes that play on the mystery and magic of words, evoking the movement from winter into spring as the cold and darkness falls away to reveal new life. And as a symbol of that life - honey, a note all of these perfumes share.

Shiver Perfume Oil (Limited Edition): An armful of pale flowers: tuberose, royal jasmine, jasmine sambac, white osmanthus, gardenia, muguet, and narcissus; honey, chilled peppermint, and smoky frankincense.

Hiver Perfume Oil (Limited Edition): Ruby grapefruit, French cognac absolute, pink pepper, mirabelle plum, honey, and a drop of aged patchouli.

Hive Perfume Oil (Limited Edition): Honey, wild rose, amber resin, sticky beeswax, milk, and a buzz of rose geranium.

I Perfume Oil (Limited Edition): Rich amber, labdanum, white pepper, black pepper, cognac absolute, honey, cardamom, and red patchouli.

Shiver - I expected to be overwhelmed by the white flowers, or to find the combination of honey and florals too sweet. And this blend is indeed sweet, but not in a remotely cloying way. The lightest touch of mint keeps this a little fresh, and the frankincense grounds it. This becomes a dense, creamy floral that feels as sweet, feminine and cozy as a luxurious white cashmere sweater. Gorgeous, and probably my favorite out of the four.

Hiver - The grapefruit and pepper combine to give this a delightfully astringent top note, that fades into a graceful blend. The patch is a very light note here, supporting the brightness of the plum and restraining any excess the honey might be prone to. The cognac is, to me, undetectable.

Hive - Absolutely beautiful rose and honey blend, with the milk note barely there but softening everything up. It has a faintly "dirty" note that is probably the amber, and keeps this from being too pretty. It feels like something ancient and female, like it would be equally at home on a 1940s vanity as it would anointing a priestess' hands. For someone who doesn't wear rose easily, this is a rose perfume I would reach for without hesitation.

I Perfume - A textured resin blend, that is gentler than I would have expected from the notes. The spices are there, but well balanced by the honey. This dries down, like most resin-heavy perfumes do, to that kind of deep, warm, powdery finish that leaves you snuffling your wrists throughout the day. And if you normally find patchouli too dirty or 'thin', red patchouli will be a pleasant surprise.

All of these are currently available on our site.

1 comment: