I'd never heard of Mirus perfumes until I visited Tigerlily in San Francisco this July; a sales assistant insisted I sample the Northern California-based line. I was so taken with Mirus Wicked Stepmother, I included it in my Top 10 Summer Fragrances 2016 post.
(jasmine, lychee, orange, carnation, animalic amber and vanilla)
Wicked Stepmother reminds me of a vintage French perfume, one I could easily imagine being worn by the likes of Anouk Aimée or Simone Signoret in their heydays (both actresses could have rocked a mean stepmother — méchante belle-mère — role!) Wicked Stepmother opens with lush jasmine, spiked with a shot of something green. Next up is spicy carnation mixing with syrupy fruit-citrus and some tough-chick musk, not dirty exactly (Pierre, mon amour...quick, school is almost out...the hateful child will return soon, ah, AH!, oh, OOOOOH!"), the musk is more "distressed" (Don't make me slap you, girl! I'm the woman of this house!) or "unkempt" (Clean this room or I'll have your father punish you!") Near the end of its development, Wicked Stepmother presents some sweetness in the form of creamy floral vanilla (Darrrrling, don't tell your father Uncle Pierre was here today. Your father works so hard we don't want to upset him...DO WE?")
(sandalwood, cedar, pink pepper, frankincense, ambergris, vanilla, incense and fresh sea breeze notes)
Driftwood is the latest perfume from Mirus and it's perfect for late-summer/early-autumn wear. Driftwood opens with cedar (this cedar has a pleasing hint of dill); pepper arrives and departs quickly and then sandalwood comes to the fore. Driftwood's sandalwood is smooth, but it also possesses that necessary mustiness one gets from real driftwood found on a beach (salty-damp wood). I currently work at an American Indian organization and Driftwood got raves from a staff that loves rituals involving cleansing with wood smoke or cedar leaf dipped in salt water. A friend, new to perfume, asked me to recommend five "cozy" fragrances to wear this fall and winter that won't "scare" her husband; I included Driftwood on the list.
Mirus Wicked Stepmother and Driftwood have good sillage and lasting power; the perfumes are created by Mirus owner Neal Peters and are available at Tigerlily (15 ml Parfum Extrait; $65).
Note: top image is Rubus sumatranus stem [cropped] via Wikimedia Commons.