(Okay, I really have to stop kicking the poor Tuesday Roundup all over the week. Sorryaboutthat.) This week’s roundup is a collection of Liz Zorn Perfumes/Soivohle fragrances I sampled recently.
The first thing I have to say about Soivohle fragrances is that honestly, Liz comes up with some seriously great scent names. Daybreak Violin? Love Speaks Primeval? Writing Lyrical Poetry? Bottleneck Blues, Violets and Rainwater, Tobacco and Tulle, Harbinger? All wonderful, surprising, evocative, completely fabulous names. I love them. Best. Names. Ever in the perfume world.
Lilas et Narcissus – Why this is not called ‘Lilas et Narcisse’ I do not know. I get a little disconcerted by mixed-language names, to be honest, and I’m not sure whether this is a deliberate mixing of French and English or something clever that I’m missing the point of. The other lilac scents I’ve tried from Soivohle were called Lilacs and Heliotrope and Lilacs and Roses (the latter unavailable at this point), so the reason for this one not being Lilacs and Narcissus escapes me.
So on to the scent: it’s a pretty lilac scent with some green notes and the sweet haylike aspect of narcissus. I love me some narcissus, but this scent doesn’t have enough of it to make a big impact. It’s not air-freshener, and it is a very pretty floral, but it didn’t move me.
Rosa sur Reuse – again, one with a name that confused me. “Sur” means “above” or “on top of” in French, but what does “reuse” mean in French? Nothing, that’s what. I finally made the connection that would have been apparent to me if there had been an apostrophe in front of the Reuse: it’s rose atop tubereuse, rose on ‘reuse, geddit? Clearly apparent from the notes, by the way, which include raspberry, rose, tuberose, violet, spicy notes and “light Oriental base.”
If you’re looking at that list of notes and thinking, “meh, fruity floral,” you’re dead wrong. Yes, there are fruit (an intensely jammy, rich berry note) and florals (deep rose and tuberose), but this thing is really, to my nose, a spicy, cinnamony Oriental decorated with a drizzle of raspberry coulis and a sprinkling of petals. You know me and spicy Orientals: I kinda really hate ’em. Opium, Cinnabar, Obsession, Youth Dew? GAH. Just Kill Me Now.
But this? This, I like. It’s rich and fuzzy and warm without all that muddiness, that tar-and-moldy-tarpaulin thing you get in those other orientals I mentioned. Rosa sur Reuse is all… hmm. If you saw the film “Chicago,” it’s Queen Latifah as Mama Morton, all dressed up to sing in the nightclub, complete with ostrich-feather fan and satin-framed cleavage: sassy, flirty, bigger than life, intentionally sexy. Yum. For another take on Rosa sur Reuse, here’s a review courtesy of the Divine Miss Musette at Perfume Posse (with a side of Man Candy, if you like that sort of thing.)
Harbinger – I didn’t even look at the notes list for this when I ordered a sample, I loved the name so much. At the beginning, it seems to be a green-citrusy chypre, which is not really my thing, and then it goes really, um, dirty. Cumin and orchid? Gettin’ hot in here, gals. The longer it’s on skin, the riper it gets, to the point of I-need-a-shower-NOW. Whoa. I mean, it’s beautiful. And really, really filthy. And beautiful. Liz calls it a “lovely contradiction,” and that’s probably a good if enigmatic description.
Wild Ginger Chai – For once, a straightforwardly descriptive name. The scent? It’s nice, a spicy gourmand. It would probably really excite me in the fall, with all those lovely spicy notes, and it’s light enough that it doesn’t feel too heavy for warmer weather, but it didn’t seize me.
If you have a favorite Soivohle scent, please share. I’ve tried several and found them intriguing, quirky, charming, but so far the only one I really adore is Centennial (Historical Chypre). I could probably come to love Rosa sur Reuse, too.