All it took for me to be interested in Surrender (the new perfume from sample/decant retailer Surrender to Chance) was learning it contained petrified hyrax urine (hyraceum).1 It didn't hurt that Surrender was developed by perfumer AbdesSalaam Attar (Dominique Dubrana) of La Via del Profumo (one of my favorite perfume lines).
(jasmine absolutes, licorice, carrot, myrrh, gourmand notes and hyraceum)
If anyone reads "petrified hyrax urine," cringes, and marks Surrender off his perfumes-to-try list...DON'T! It's an interesting fragrance.
Surrender opens with glorious, "fizzy" jasmine (a note AbdesSalaam Attar must love; it's in so many of his creations). At first, Surrender smells (mostly) like a jasmine soliflore (though if you put nose to skin, you'll detect an earthy "root" note and licorice). In mid-development, which arrives quickly, the hyraceum note reveals itself...but subtly; it adds depth/gusto to the floral sweetness in Surrender's heart. Hyraceum blends well with jasmine's indoles and has a waxy aspect, but a "mineral" vibe, too.
Surrender ends in two parts: Part I with a floral-musk flourish — the flowers and musk become darker, more daring, with a hint of smokiness; and Part II (the extreme dry-down) as Surrender become a "soliflore" once more (solimusc?) when hyraceum dominates (it smells of dried urine: wild and animalic/furry). This gutsy note stays close to skin; you won't "broadcast" musk to those around you.
Surrender is suitable for men as well as its female target audience (the fragrance was inspired by brides and weddings...and wedding nights). If I didn't know anything about Surrender's creation, I'd have assumed it was a masculine scent.
(sage, pine, night-blooming jasmine, "mountain plants")
Coldwater Canyon (made to evoke "wild" Los Angeles) also commences with jasmine, but jasmine flowers on sticky pine needles (with their natural vegetal musk aroma). Jasmine and pine fight for dominance but it's a draw (decided by referee "Sage," who, truly, takes center stage).
Coldwater Canyon is a simple fragrance but would be a welcome change from standard Eaux de Cologne in spring and summer (and an excellent reminder of spring and summer for those of us living through winter). As Coldwater Canyon develops further it becomes more herbal and herbal-musky (but jasmine never disappears).
Surrender and Coldwater Canyon have good lasting power and sillage; I enjoy them both (and the pricing is reasonable); both perfumes are available at the brand website, in sizes from 1 ml to 15 ml ($5.49-$65.88).
1. If you want to know more about the hyrax and perfumery, read this article at La Via del Profumo.