On the outskirts of Clarksdale, Mississippi, at the end of a secluded dirt road sat a small ramshackle church. It was not a place of worship but rather where many went to seek refuge during impoverished times. [...] It was a distinctly secular place where locals who knew where to find it could share moonshine, socialize, and dance their troubles away. They called their ramshackle juke joint Saint Julep and the oral histories compiled within paint a picture of that magical place where “the smiles was always free and salvation had the distinct smell of sweet mint.”
That's presumably the imaginary blurb from the imaginary back cover of the imaginary book that inspired Saint Julep, the latest fragrance from indie brand Imaginary Authors. The notes — sweet mint, tangerine, Southern magnolia, bourbon, grisalva (amber molecule), sugarcube and crushed ice — are an obvious nod to the mint julep, and it's hard to believe, but I've never tasted one. Since I assumed it was something heavy and dark and sweet, I likewise expected Saint Julep to be heavy and dark and sweet.
Wrong again. Never judge a book by its cover, right? Although actually, Saint Julep is a pretty good synesthesia match with the pale green color of the brand image above. It's fresh, it's crisp, it's summery. The opening is indeed crushed mint and sugar, brightened by juicy citrus (it smells like a blend of mandarin and lime and lemon, and it reminds me a wee bit of the brand's Mosaic). It could be the start of a mojito — a cocktail I actually know — and when the "booze" arrives, it's not quite so strong or so dark as bourbon, or maybe it's analogous to a mint julep with just a light splash of bourbon? Or maybe I imagine the mint julep all wrong to begin with? Anyway, it's mild, and you won't smell or feel like you've spilled your cocktail on your person. So, light and bright and sweet, and minty, but not toothpasty at all. There is a wisp of light floral in the heart, but I can't say that I notice magnolia in particular. The dry down has a bit of sheer ambery warmth, and it is darker than the early stages, but it stays pale enough to wear like a summer cologne. Expect to reapply before your day is out.
Verdict: I like. It's fun, and it's refreshing enough to wear in hot weather. A perfect Imaginary Authors summer day coffret: Mosaic to wake up and get your day started, The Soft Lawn or Falling Into The Sea to take you through the mid-day, and Saint Julep for just when you start wondering if it isn't cocktail hour yet?
Extra opportunity for people who read to the end (and who can follow simple instructions): I have a 14 ml travel size of Saint Julep to give away. I will send it anywhere in the world, but the usual giveaway rules apply — I will take eons to mail, even more than usual since I'm leaving on vacation soon, and I won't be responsible if it never shows up or it shows up damaged, etc and etc. If you want it, comment below, and start your comment with "I want it." I will pick a winner using my handy dandy random winner app on Friday, and I'll announce the winner on Monday, 3 July.
Imaginary Authors Saint Julep is available in 14 ($38) or 50 ($95) ml Eau de Parfum. For buying information, see the listing for Imaginary Authors under Perfume Houses.