I've never met my fellow Now Smell This writer Kevin "in real life," but I feel as though we've been friends for years — not only because we're familiar with each others' fragrance tastes and we've read each others' writing for so long, but because we share other, non-perfume interests and opinions as well. One of them is a background in art history. Another is a strong dislike of hot summer weather. Kevin's recent post on two fragrances for heatwaves suggested one scent-strategy for coping with soaring temperatures: "merging" with the oppressive weather by wearing intense, vivid scents. As I was testing Blackbird's Broken Glass this week, I thought of another: wearing a fragrance that foreshadows autumn.
Broken Glass was developed by Blackbird's in-house perfumer, Aaron Way. Its composition includes notes of jasmine, geranium, rose, opopanax, amyris, angelica root, violet leaf, chamomile, davana, bitter almond, cardamom and pink pepper, and it's inspired by the effect of bright light shining through shards of glass. That description made me expect a cool, spiky fragrance, but Broken Glass feels warm and comfortably enveloping instead. I'm guessing that it might include a generous dose of natural ingredients: its resins, in particular, are smooth and aromatic. To me, Broken Glass is primarily a balsamic-woodsy fragrance with hints of spice. Its florals (yes, rose!) are very subtle and dusky, and the tonka adds a touch of nutty sweetness in the base. Overall, Broken Glass has moderate staying power and sillage, and it feels quite androgynous.
Going back to its name, this fragrance does remind me of broken glass, after all — if the glass in question was originally an old window with thick, slightly distorted panes, and the light is passing through its shattered surfaces onto a well-worn wood-plank floor. It's not the type of thing I often wear, and it's not as "me" as Blackbird's cool and vaguely ethereal Triton, but I've drained my sample vial and I enjoyed it very much.
Quick poll: which "autumn fragrance" do you look forward to wearing?
Blackbird Broken Glass is available as a 10 ml roll-on ($38) and a 30 ml atomizer ($88) via the Blackbird website. Samples are also available.