“As a designer influenced by nature, it was natural that James Heeley should be fascinated by the world of scent. It was after meeting Annick Goutal in 1996 that he discovered how scents are ‘designed’. His first scent, ‘Figuier’, is remarkable for it’s precision in evoking the natural scent of a Mediterranean Fig tree. With time and experience, his beautifully constructed, simple and fresh scents evolved into more complex creations such as ‘Cardinal’, ‘Esprit du Tigre’ and ‘Cuir Pleine Fleur’. His continually evolving collection now includes nine contemporary scents made according to the art of traditional French perfumery. …”
FRAGRANCE: St. Clements, Verveine d’Eugene
NOSE: James Heeley
RELEASED: 2010, 2007
SIZE/COST: 100ml / $180
Oranges and Lemons Say The Bells of St. Clements (86%): OK. Sublimely bright of citrus. In fact, what I get, really, is Maurer & Wirtz’s No. 4711 and then amplified, at first. It’s like high tea, and with tongue-in-cheek this is lemony at high altitudes. I’m reminded of those hot face cloths dolled out on most luxury international flights, that puff of cleanliness, and the trail of some serious earl grey that just lingers on. There are green strands strewn about between the heart and the dry down, but its the citrus combination that shines ever so bright. This would be an easy go-to, however, after the cozy tea most is quite linear, and if you are one for a blast of bulbous fruit, you will be in heaven. I wish this had some form of incense to shapeshifter this just a touch as this fades, but you will have to suffice for a smoldering bergamot that rides the course. Lemons and bitter orange for days.
Notes: orange, lemon, bergamot, mandarin, neroli, petitgrain, earl grey tea, ylang ylang, vetiver
Verveine d’Eugene (93%): This must be the second fragrance, of thousands, that I have come across where the currant accord comes off cannabis-like, this here is thanks to the vegetal inclusions here no doubt. But one thing that stands clear is this is highly individualized, a truly unique olfactory experience in and of itself. Musky, musty, green-leafy, dried and raw to a certain extent, the fragrance comes alive in the heart. It’s one of this near psychedelic perfumes, an elixir for the imagination. The earthy qualities, paired with the hint of fruited sweetness, and I mean a hint here, are carnal to an extent. This is to be experienced moreso than to be pondered and described, it’s ultimately wearable and evocative of unknown mysteries. Fully neutral of gender, this will seem peculiar to some, and hippy-adjacent to others, still the nose that knows will pick up a sweet harmony in which they have never seen recorded in history. And though this is fourteen years since its release it is future-proof. Stunning, glass ceiling shatterer.
Notes: blackcurrant, tomato leaves, verbena, fig leaves, white musk
Iori – Nexus (2012, Bitta)
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