A Special Trio from House of Matriarch

OLFACTORY HEAVEN – 3 WAYS: “House of Matriarch is the premier natural and artisan fragrance maker in the USA. Our language speaks to the past but carries into the future, to the pinnacle of the highest art of perfume-making. Hearkening back to the mysteries of thousands of years of science, discovery and artful application, and gathering that legacy to a renewed modernist appraisal of the futurist art of high perfumery as richly layered as our expression in the magical alchemy of the marvelously detailed fragrances that we create….Christi Meshell, is the preeminent “Nose” of the American niche fragrance scene. Her versatility as both Creative Director and Fragrance Composer allow her to single-handedly develop a concept from initial inspiration to rare ingredient gathering and onwards to final display, cellaring and legacy cataloging. Even after a decade of top luxury positioning, an impressive collection of A-list collaborators, fans and clients and more than sixty fragrance releases, she still composes each new fragrance from “scratch” and blends each vintage by hand in her Seattle, WA studio. True artisan creation for a difference you can smell and feel.”

HOUSE: House of Matriarch
FRAGRANCE: Ghazal, Toukka Ta Tao, Vanilla Caviar
CONCENTRATION: Natural Perfume

Ghazal (2018): Straight up, without any doubt in my mind, the most transfixed work of artful perfumery from House of Matriarch and perfumer Christi Meshell. Bar none, this is my favorite from the house, and that is after wearing, testing and reviewing the brilliant Bonsai, Kazimi and Tetramorph. For me this is a gauzy dream, like sleepwalking through the woods – the tallest of cedars. It seems as though you might want to consider its warming charms for Autumn, however, this will take the chill off on a dewy Pacific coastal morning. It also comes off like a ‘gift of the goddesses’, a refined incense that is holistic, reverent, meditative. May I add that the scent is a most intensive blend of dry amber and woody tones, one unlike I’ve experienced in a long while. The perfume just seems to have this sense of agitation, it swirls and churns with such an aromatic depth. It’s heavy, yet it is open-ended, velvety, permeable. If you are seeking a fragrance that presents a certain mystique, well, land here. Ghazal is incredibly centering, and one of my favorites of the year (or any) by a long stretch. (98%)

Notes: Amber, Lebanese Cedar

Toukka Ta Tao (2017): All the sunshine of the tropics bottled with an emboldened gleam. A big splash of fruits and florals, the wearer will be instantly transported to the magical island of their dreams. I get pineapple though it’s an accord coming from the mix of coconut and passionfruit, with its milky bite. You may have to pinch yourself as you can practically hear the waves rolling in. Though this has that fragrant upturned sweetness that comes from sandy beaches and straw umbrellas the balance is infused by the tea and sea notes which soothe and massage your olfactive capacitors. There is a certain fresh air quality, like a seabreeze gesticulating the best of the environs. If you want a lively fragrance, one that mimics all the eccentricities of paradise, your wishes will not be lost here. And HoM does this with a dimensional ‘plein air’ quality that leaves anything artificial out of the equation, you may get all those aloha feels of a fruited plain, a delicate orchid lei. It’ll take you there. (87%)

Notes: Passionfruit, Mango, Marigold, Litchi, Chamomile, Artemisia, Ylang-Ylang, Sea Notes, Palm Tree, Tuberose, Jasmine Sambac, Coconut, Vanilla, Tolu Balsam, Musk, Myrhh, Sesame, Tonka Bean, Agarwood, Sandalwood, Ambergris

Vanilla Caviar (2020): This perfume is delicious. Imbued with the depth of vanilla bean, almost like a paste, a toffee. This takes me to cafe in Vienna for some reason, with it’s subtle, secondary wafts of the place and people, the mild roasted quality, the soft sweetness. It’s creamy, calming and altogether gender neutral. I get the floral qualities of the bean itself, provided by plumeria here, but somehow synthesized into something heavenly, edgeless. This is a gourmand skin scent and ‘could’ go very sensual, depending, however, for me it invokes a simulated mind and imagination. I’m not sure if others will get a quasi brown sugar or maple accord, but I do. It is a perfect perfume to wear for writers, and those who write journals and other correspondence as it has this warm centralized focus about it. I see why they called this ‘caviar’ as it should truly be savored rather than devoured. Take your time, do it right. (89%)

Notes: Vanilla Soliflore, Woods, Spices, Plumeria Concrete, Ambrette, Sesame Seed

Recommended Soundtrack:
The Abyss Within UsLife in a Circle (Astral Industries, 2020)


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