For the holiday season, Marie Claire magazine asked Christopher Brosius of CB I Hate Perfume to create an exclusive fragrance for their December Gift Guide. Their request: something that would calm the over-stressed Type A personality. The result is Just Breathe, with notes of bamboo leaves, Japanese green tea, three varieties of cedarwood, and incense.
Just Breathe is a light, calming fragrance in a water formula that allows you to use it on your skin, your clothing, or as a room spray. If it was a color, it would be a very pale celadon green, and that describes the smell as well: pale leafy greens with a light wood undertone and the teensiest hint of incense. It would create a perfect atmosphere for yoga or meditation, if you are the sort of person who undertakes such activities, and makes a lovely spray for the bedsheets just before going to sleep.
I am about as far from a Type A personality as you can get without being actually dead. What I usually need is not to be soothed, but to be jolted into action. Burning Leaves, another recent fragrance release from CB I Hate Perfume, is to my mind the perfect aromatherapy for the slacker personality, being both calming and invigorating at the same time. It is exactly what the name implies: the scent of burning leaves. Maple leaves, to be exact, although I'm quite sure I couldn't tell the difference if it was oak or beech. There is a whisper of something lightly sweet, almost caramelized, running through the smoke.
It is perfect by itself, and also layers beautifully with Gathering Apples. That one starts a bit sweet — for a couple of seconds it teeters awfully close to the smell of Jolly Rancher apple candies — but it quickly calms into the scent of an old wooden bowl overflowing with freshly picked apples. I don't generally care for apple in fragrance, and would probably not wear this one alone, but with the Burning Leaves, it is wonderful: the crisp, bright scent of a sunny day in early fall.
CB I Hate Perfume has several other new fragrances available online: To See A Flower, In the Library, and Patchouli Empire (which I hope to review next week). Coming soon are Winter 1972, Tea/Rose, and Gingerbread.