Though it was 30 degrees F outside when I woke up this morning, I didn’t crave an intense amber, wood or incense fragrance; I wanted sparkling citrus…citrus that would laugh at winter and say: “Your time is almost up, Withered One…flowers and warmth are on their way!” Smiling at me from the “perfume sample bowl” near my bed were two recent citrus-y perfume releases from Askett & English, each an Eau de Cologne — Askett Absolute and Askett Essential.
Askett Absolute includes notes of tea, mandarin, bergamot, cardamom, basil, rose, orange blossom, woods, amber and musk. Absolute opens with ‘bergamot tea,’ lightly sweetened and clean. A zingy orange blossom-basil combo appears in mid-development. (I do detect a rose note, not at all soft or feminine but clear and “ripe.”) Absolute ends with a slightly floral, sheer wood accord (let’s call it “summer amber”). Overall, Absolute reminds me of a ‘sweeter’ Tom Ford Neroli Portofino (a likeable, well-done citrus fragrance with a too-huge ego, $195 for 50 ml, really?)
Askett Essential includes notes of herbs, lemon, bergamot, lavender, jasmine, woods, moss, cedar, tonka bean and vetiver. Essential opens with an abundance of sour/tart citrus aromas (accent on the rind, not the juice). Mixed with the citrus is a bright, green ‘moss’ note (sharper than expected); jasmine is a background accent. Essential ends with a flower-tinged moss-vetiver accord. Essential smells like an old-style citrus scent (think Eau de Guerlain), the type of Eau de Cologne made before moss was slandered, flowers were diluted, and awful ozone and “mentholated” sport fragrance notes appeared.
I enjoy Askett Absolute and Askett Essential; if I didn’t have way too many Eaux de Cologne in my collection, I’d buy one (probably Absolute). Each fragrance is unisex and has good lasting power (five hours) and sillage.
Askett & English Askett Absolute and Askett Essential are £60 each for 100 ml; they are not currently sold in the U.S. but can be bought at Les Senteurs in London, Kapok in Hong Kong and The Different Scent in Berlin.
Note: top image is Egon Schiele’s Der Cello-Spieler [altered], via Wikimedia Commons.