Berlin-based indie botanical brand April Aromatics has been around since about 2011, but as usual I'm way behind. I've tried a few but no more — if you have a favorite, do comment and tell us what it is! I was impressed by the ylang-sweetened jasmine-fest Jasmina, but today I'm going to talk about Ray of Light, a unisex aromatic citrus that debuted in 2014. The brand description is pretty on target, so I will repeat some of it here:
Picture a classical still life: citrus fruits surrounded by mint leaves, a pipe on the side - this is how an artist would capture this fragrance in a painting. [...] Savor the aroma of fresh citrus fruit, full of lemons, lime, pink grapefruit, oranges and bergamot conjuring up light's intense brightness. A delicious verdant harmony of mint and galbanum joins the sunny splendor, complementing the rich citrus juice with a balance of wild greens. The base comes from vetiver and aromatic blond tobacco, bringing the desired depth to bind the light citrus essential oils, like memory capturing magical moments.
Waiting impatiently, as I am this week, for winter to finally depart (goodbye and good riddance!), Ray of Light wears like a postcard from July. The opening is a surge of hyper-bright citrus juices garnished with bitter peel, over a tender but vivid green backdrop. It's buoyant and cheerful, and there is enough mint and sugar mingling with the citrus that the early stages seem to fluctuate between mojito and lemon drop. I was worried that all the charm and energy would be in the top notes, but as promised the tobacco leaf, while not assertive — you won't smell it and think of your favorite (or most dreaded) tobacco fragrance, I don't think — does indeed provide enough of a foundation to hold the citrus notes for a few hours wear, assuming you applied it generously and assuming you weren't after any serious long-term sillage.1
Verdict: For this citrus fan, wonderful, and as a bonus, Ray of Light layers beautifully with Jasmina.2 It would be awfully nice to own bottles of both, but (as is so often the case) I am brought up short by the prices, which are quite possibly reasonable given the brand's emphasis on natural and organic materials, but which are far more than I'd pay unless my (really big) ship came in (sadly, that is so rarely the case). But if you have a bottle of either or both, I'm jealous.
April Aromatics Ray of Light is $225 for 30 ml Eau de Parfum (Jasmina is the same price). For buying information, see the listing for April Aromatics under Perfume Houses.
1. It also has just enough heft to qualify as a citrus for cold weather.
2. I have a feeling it would also layer nicely with something that would amplify the vetiver, which is fairly mild here, but I have not tried that yet.