Sweet William is the latest addition to Ineke‘s Floral Curiosities collaboration with Anthropologie, and like the other fragrances in the collection (Angel’s Trumpet, Scarlet Larkspur and Poet’s Jasmine), it is inspired by old-fashioned garden botanicals. “Sweet William” is the informal name for Dianthus barbatus, which Ineke describes as a “clove-scented” flower with a spicy, woodsy scent. The fragrance includes notes of peach, cinnamon, clove, cumin, cedarwood, sandalwood, patchouli and Bourbon vanilla.
I’m a longtime fan of clove-y fragrances and carnations (another dianthus species!), so I gravitated towards this Floral Curiosity more than any other in the group. As it turns out, Sweet William is one of my favorite Ineke perfumes so far, but I wouldn’t call it a clove fragrance, and it’s certainly not a carnation-like scent. Its actual smell on my skin is nothing like what the list of notes had led me to expect: I don’t detect any cinnamon or cumin or patchouli, for example. What I do smell at first is a greenish, sweetly balsam-piney scent that reminds me of the bayberry and juniper candles for sale in Colonial America-themed gift shops. It’s a smell that I happen to enjoy; I just didn’t anticipate it as part of Sweet William.