A few years ago, I reviewed a little bottle of perfume oil called Scarlett Letter that I'd bought at Aroma Sanctum in Salem, Massachusetts. I recently ordered more of this fragrance, since I still love it and it brings back happy memories. While I was at it, I also purchased sample vials of some other "House Blends," including two beachy scents called Mermaid and Beachscape that sounded perfect for summer.
Mermaid is described as a "lively and fascinating ocean scent" with notes of tangerine, grapefruit, grass, hyacinth, tuberose, oakmoss, benzoin, patchouli and ambergris. It starts with a citrus accord that reminds me more of bergamot than tangerine or grapefruit, and there's a soft, buttery tuberose note buried in its heart, but most of Mermaid is an airy-woody fragrance with a dry, breezy feeling. It really does suggest the smells of driftwood, sandy seashells, and traces of ocean salt on skin (the ambergris!), and despite its name, Mermaid could easily be worn by men. It has low sillage and very good persistence, lasting up to 8 hours on my skin on a warm day. It was less floral than I would have guessed from its list of notes, but I ended up liking it very much and I wouldn't mind owning a bottle.
Beachscape is a unisex blend of pink grapefruit, bergamot, oceanic notes, driftwood, musk and saltwater taffy, inspired by the Salem Willows amusement park. This scent is sweeter and a little more feminine than I expected. Its citrus introduction is much "juicier" than Mermaid's top notes, and I have to say that Beachscape takes an odd and discordant turn as it evolves, with its fruity and oceanic and wood notes bumping up against one another and then heading off in different directions. Fortunately, it settles down after a while, and it ends up as a mix of sugared lime and warm (but clean) musk and a hit of vanilla. It actually reminds me a little of the dearly departed La Perla Eclix, one of those chic-and-clever comfort scents of the early 2000s. Like Mermaid, Beachscape stays close to the skin, but it has briefer staying power on me.
As I've mentioned before, I don't enjoy sun or swimming, but I'm very fond of beaches off-season and, apparently, in perfume or body product form (like Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt or the Swedish Dream Sea Salt line). I'm glad I have quite a few good options to choose from these days.
Aroma Sanctum House Blends are available as .25 and .50 oz. perfume oils (Mermaid sells for $25 and $50, Beachscape for $32 and $64). They can be purchased through the Aroma Sanctum website. Samples are also available.
Note: image [cropped] via Aroma Sanctum at Facebook.