Quick reviews of three fragrances: Sonoma Scent Studio Forest Walk, Ayala Moriel Treazon and The 7 Virtues Afghanistan Orange Blossom. The theme: indie fragrances I've added to my buy list.
Sonoma Scent Studio Forest Walk
I tried Forest Walk when it came out earlier this year, and I liked it right away but it didn't match my summery mood so I set it aside. Then, of course, I lost it, and had to tear my office apart to find it again — raise your hand if your perfume samples are in desperate need of reorganization! Anyway, Forest Walk is just what it says it is: "the earthy, mossy smells of the forest floor with tree bark, tree needles, and soft floral highlights". It's brisk but deep, and as advertised, beautifully earthy, and it has a meditative quality that's perfect for chilly fall evenings. It might be the cold weather version of Annick Goutal Nuit Étoilée — if you found that one a little too thin, Forest Walk might be just what you're after. Bonus: the travel spray can be had for a song.
Sonoma Scent Studio Forest Walk smells unisex to me, and despite the fact that I set it aside in June, it isn't really so heavy that it couldn't be worn year-round. The notes include galbanum, olibanum, patchouli, orris, black hemlock, oak, western red cedar, New Caledonia sandalwood, fir balsam, oakmoss, jasmine sambac, violet, benzoin, amber and labdanum. It is available in 5 ($21), 17 ($54) and 34 ($105) ml Parfum. For buying information, see the listing for Sonoma Scent Studio under Perfume Houses.
Ayala Moriel Treazon
The opening blast of wintergreen will knock your socks off — it's reminiscent of Serge Lutens Tubéreuse Criminelle, but with less mothballs and band-aids, more green. Treazon, which is a natural perfume, softens into a silky, dusky, not-buttery tuberose accented with vanilla and spices. It has an almost wine-y undercurrent. The Non-Blonde called it "breathtakingly beautiful", and I'll second that, and add "very wearable" (at least, once the wintergreen settles) — it has a mysterious demeanor, but it's not a big diva sort of tuberose. On my buy list (along with Etrog), but probably outside of my budget.
Ayala Moriel Treazon is due to launch in December; it will be available in 4 ml ($90) Extrait or 15 ml ($180) Eau de Parfum. The notes include African stone, anise, benzoin, birch, cassis, cinnamon, orris, tuberose, orange blossom, vanilla, massoia bark and wintergreen. For buying information, see the listing for Ayala Moriel under Perfume Houses.
The 7 Virtues Afghanistan Orange Blossom
This fragrance has come up here in the comments several times, most recently in the comments to my review of L’Artisan Parfumeur Séville à l’Aube. And now that I've tried it, I can see why: it's a near perfect example of a cheerful, relatively straightforward orange blossom soliflore. It's much simpler than Séville à l’Aube and it's not as ethereal as the L'Artisan harvest orange blossom scents; it's not as iris-y as By Kilian Prelude to Love and not as dewy as Le Labo Fleur d'Oranger 27. Like Serge Lutens Fleurs d'Oranger, it's given fullness by a significant dose of jasmine, but it isn't nearly as rich or spicy as the Serge. It's the sort of fragrance you might reach for to cheer yourself up on a grey dreary day when your brain is too tired for esoteric niche scents, and happily, it's cheaper than your average esoteric niche scent. One final comparison: it might be just what you need if you wanted to love Jo Malone Orange Blossom, but found it overly brash.
The 7 Virtues Afghanistan Orange Blossom is $70 for 50 ml Eau de Parfum, and can be found at The Bay in Canada or at the brand's web store.