Providence Perfume Co released a new collection of natural fragrances in October, which was good news for any fan of this "indie" company. The collection includes six perfume oils: Rose 802, Orange Blossom Honey, Summer Yuzu, Ivy Tower, Sweet Jasmine Brown and Violet Beauregarde. I've sampled three so far, and I hope to get to the rest this week. Here are my quick thoughts on Rose 802, Orange Blossom Honey and Summer Yuzu, written during a gloomy spell of early-winter weather when I really needed a fragrant pick-me-up.
Rose 802 is a floral with woody and gourmand notes — rose, black currant, cedar wood, fir, vanilla, bergamot and myrtle. (The "802" is a reference to Vermont's area code, since the scent was inspired by summer travels to that region.) I generally enjoy rose-centered "fleurmands," and I like this one, although it took me a few tries to figure out. For one thing, it has less fruitiness than I expected. I also smell a "doll's head" note that must be the vanilla, although it also reminds me of heliotrope or perhaps maltol. The woods come out in the base, and the fir-needle oil lends an interesting balsamic green accent. This mix of sweetness and outdoorsy-ness feels bohemian — Rose 802 is unconventional, yet comfortable.
Orange Blossom Honey includes notes of honey, vanilla, neroli, balsam, tonka, orange blossom, ginger and sweet orange. I expected this fragrance to be sunny and bright, but it actually felt duskier and spicier on my skin. It reminds me a bit of Providence Perfume Co's older release Ginger Lily, in the way that its ginger and some mysterious musky note tend to rough up the more delicate white floral notes. There's also a spicy-sweet element that reminds me of brown sugar. If you like your honey-inspired perfumes a little earthier and more unisex than something like Aftelier Honey Blossom, you might love this one; in the indie-honey sphere, it has more in common with Illuminated Perfume's To Bee.
Summer Yuzu is the cheeriest scent of these three. Its composition of sunflower, cedrat, aglaia blossom, yuzu, tomato, pink grapefruit and frankincense is citrus-packed, and it opens on a refreshing, tart note that's like a hybrid of lime, orange, and mint. I think I can catch some greenish tomato leaf in the fragrance's heart, rather than tomato fruit. The dry down is a very pleasant mix of more rounded citrus and a soft, woody-sweet balsamic note (from the frankincense). Summer Yuzu definitely lifted my mood a bit on a particularly dreary day.
These perfume oils are packaged in white glass roll-on bottles with colorful outer wrappings — or tubes? I haven't seen them in person yet, but their designs look great in photos. Due to their more intense concentration, they have decent staying power on skin (although Rose 802 far outlasted Summer Yuzu, just due to their differing compositions). I look forward to discussing their "siblings" Ivy Tower, Sweet Jasmine Brown and Violet Beauregarde soon!
Providence Perfume Co Rose 802, Orange Blossom Honey and Summer Yuzu are $50 each for a 5 ml Perfume Oil rollerball. A sample set is also available. For purchasing information, see the listing for Providence Perfume Co under Perfume Houses.