Friedemodin is a relatively new independent perfume brand created by Nina Friede and Elisabeth Modin (get it?), "two friends united in London by [their] fascination and love of perfumery." The first Friedemodin collection, Jardin Mystique, is designed to evoke the scents of a garden from dawn to dusk. The four fragrances in this collection — Vertine, Jardin Mystique, Rosée de Nuit and Feu Follet — were developed for Friedemodin by perfumer François Robert.
Moving from lightest to deepest: Vertine, a fresh green fragrance, includes notes of peppermint, basil, galbanum, fig leaf, tea rose, cedarwood and musk. For me, at least, it's hard to see the name "Vertine" and not think of Balmain Vent Vert, the classic green galbanum fragrance. I recently had a chance to sniff some vintage Vent Vert, and if that's what you're hoping for here, you'll be disappointed. On the other hand, if you keep an open mind, you'll enjoy Vertine's brisk, bright arrangement of leafy herbs, with hints of fig and sheer cedar. (The galbanum is there, too, but it's relatively tame.)
Jardin Mystique is the namesake fragrance of the quartet; it's a green floral with notes of cassis buds, bergamot, cut grass, jasmine, lily of the valley, crushed leaves, patchouli and woods. It's heavy on stemmy green notes and some slightly raspy muguet. I preferred the dry down, once the lily of the valley had faded and I smelled more jasmine and something like linden. Then again, I'm just not a lily of the valley fan; if you are, you might want to give Jardin Mystique a try.
As evening falls in the garden, we have Rosée de Nuit, a spicy-wood composition of cardamom, bergamot, pimento berries, violet, wood shavings, patchouli, teak and sandalwood. This is an autumnal scent as well as a dusky one. It's very smooth, with its cardamom and other subtle spice notes gently shading into the woodsy base notes. The patchouli is warm and gentle, and not at all hippie-like. (With this balance of spice, floral, and wood notes, Rosée de Nuit actually reminds me of some of Robert's creations for Les Parfums de Rosine.)
Lastly, Feu Follet rounds out the collection (and it's no relation to the discontinued Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab scent of the same name!). Its spicy leather blend includes pink pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, lavender, saffron, leather, amber, patchouli and moss. This turned out to be my second favorite of the four, after Rosée de Nuit. It's dry and very androgynous, with a breath of woodsmoke over its soft, saffron-tinged leather, and it lingers nicely on a scarf or the cuff of a sweater.
Friedemodin declares its mission as "combining traditional perfumery with contemporary elegance to create fragrances that are personal, inspirational and tailor-made." These fragrances do feel contemporary, and well-constructed to boot. Still, something about them leaves me slightly un-inspired — maybe just because I don't habitually gravitate towards green, woody or smoky notes. Do you? If so, have you tried this line, and what did you think?