Ladies and gentlemen, take your seats. The Fruitchouli match is ready to begin. On the right we have peach and apricot in their full jammy splendor. On the left is patchouli, with an assist from amber. With power players like this, who will win? And will anyone be able to sit through the entire competition without a clothespin for her nose?
“Fruitchouli” is the clever name for a genre of fragrances with — you guessed it — prominent fruit and patchouli notes, such as Calvin Klein Euphoria. The term is usually bestowed disparagingly. (If you know who coined fruitchouli, please leave a comment! It’s become such a part of the perfumista vocabulary that I can’t pin down where it originated, but I’d love to give proper credit.)
Andy Tauer had the guts to make fruitchouli his own by creating Tauerville Fruitchouli Flash. Fruitchouli Flash has notes of peach, natural apricot extract, rose, white flowers, natural patchouli and fruity musk. It smells little like Euphoria or its many wannabes. Instead, it’s a simple and noble, if bohemian, combination of classics.
Fruitchouli Flash doesn’t have the usual high-register tootling of aldehydes or tingly citrus on application. Instead, the fragrance shoots straight to its main business: peach/apricot and patchouli. The peach and apricot might as well be sitting on your counter, a bit overripe, fruity but not overly sugary. The patchouli is woody and herbal and doesn’t smell like the rancid patchouli I smell all too often smell on strangers on the street. Any rose and white flowers are trampled in the fruit and patchouli head-to-head.
Tauer’s list of Fruitchouli Flash’s notes includes musk, but I don’t smell anything soapy or particularly animalic. Amber’s shimmer definitely plays a role, though, especially as the fragrance dies down. But what strikes me most in Fruitchouli Flash is how herbal the intersection of peach and patchouli is. To me, it almost smells like dried marjarom. My garden is just greening the soil, and this afternoon I managed to find a few leaves of marjoram that overwintered, so I crushed them to sniff. To me, add some wood and it was almost an amped-up take on Fruitchouli Flash’s heart.
With Fruitchouli Flash’s combination of fruit and patchouli, I was afraid I’d be wafting intrusive sillage for hours, but that wasn’t the case. Although the fragrance lasts from breakfast to dinner, after the first half hour, it’s quiet. Toward the end of its life, the fruit and herbal hit fade to a gentle woody amber.
Fruitchouli Flash is no skin scent. It has a definite, straightforward, and particular signature, but it’s fun. This fruitchouli says what it is in a down-to-earth way without the synthetic “neon orchid” heart, sugar, screechy opening notes, and advertising campaign featuring nightclubs and silicon-enhanced lips. Bonus: it’s affordable.
Nice work, Andy. Now let’s see what you can do with Skankfest and Big White Floral.
Tauerville Fruitchouli Flash is $63 for 30 ml. For information on where to buy it, see Tauer Perfumes under Perfume Houses.