The first Midsummer scent I bring you comes from the lovely Ankica Milic of Bellatrix Perfumes.
She provided me the following to reflect on as I sampled her scent, Titania:
Out of this wood do not desire to go:What a lovely choice of words for an artistic meditation. I believe, on this passage alone, I could plan an entire lovely summer wedding. Titania’s woods are in many ways like love itself – once ensnared, it is a place one not only cannot leave, but does not wish to flee, for how sweet are its tender entrapments!
Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.
I am a spirit of no common rate;
The summer still doth tend upon my state;
And I do love thee: therefore, go with me;
I’ll gve thee fairies to attend on thee,
And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,
And sing while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep;
And I will purge thy mortal grossness so
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.
Notes: Rosewood, Pink Pepper, Mentha peperita, Tuberose, Rose damascene abs., Neroli, Iris, Labdanum, Violet leaf, Orris butter, Sandal album, Angelica root, Ambrette, Oak moss, Patchouli.
The scent, then, to me is less a mediation on the Queen of Fae herself, than on that blessed and magickal place that lives in our hearts, the haze of love that feels like the moment between sleeping and wakefulness. A drowsing dreamy state, where one might feel the gentle press of hands and gentler kiss of brow and cheek, and even in that unconsciousness, sigh for the happiness of it.
In that respect, Ankica has done her material a turn considerably more than fair. The scent is one that eyes closed and listening to Shakespeare’s words, might conjure in one’s mind images of the characters venturing into the woods that fateful night.
I cannot say that it is much like anything else I have tried, though I see some similarity to both strongly woody scents and some nerolis. The opening is full of pepper and menthe, which quickly retreats and folds strongly toward rosewood, oak moss, and patchouli. Violet leaf lurks, and rose as well. I give Ankica true credit for managing such a gentle patchouli. Usually it is a note so overwhelming I have to struggle to catch anything else. I do not get any iris, sadly, but I do not find it a loss here.
To give a sense of the scent beyond my own expression, let me give some other comparisons. It has some in common with Dana English Leather, but it less sharp featured and masculine than this cousin. Compared to Jo Malone Orange Blossom, Ankica's scent is less flowery and sweet and more of smooth wood, more inclined toward Fair Titania's hidden home than she herself. It is not so green as to share any relation to Roxana Illuminated Perfumes GreenWitch, though the Queen of Fae be both green and bewitching. It is very lovely, and makes a truly sweet scent for this project.
I hope Ankica will make it available when she chooses to launch her line. I’d like to own it. It fills a hole in my collection I did not know existed until I smelled the scent. And in this respect, it is quite like finding love when for love one seeks least.
That may be Titania and Oberon’s greatest trick here, and it is a good one.
To see more visit A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Perfume Event, running June 14-24, 2011.