I recently 'threw the dice' and chose two newish perfumes to review; quelle surprise...I like them both!
Goldfield & Banks Southern Bloom
(listed notes: Tasmanian boronia, cassis, mandarin, ylang ylang, jasmine, iris, vetiver, sandalwood, amber, musk)
Southern Bloom honours the rare and enchanting native scented flower, the Boronia, during its short September ‘spring-bloom’ on Australia’s southernmost island, Bruny off the coast of Tasmania. The absolute of boronia is distinctive and one of the most expensive perfume materials in the world. An immediately lavish, pure and sensational floral-woody fragrance, with a smooth, velvety sensation and glimpses of exquisite green notes. Opulent, sophisticated and luxurious.
Smelling Boronia megastigma flowers (brown boronia) in situ is on my bucket list (I must act fast, climate change is affecting its bloom). I'll have to travel to Australia to experience boronia, since US florists don't stock this flower and I've never seen the plants for sale, either. The boronia absolute used in Southern Bloom is made in Tasmania from the plant's fragrant flowers and leaves. Stephen Clark, in Perfume World Goes Mad for Australia Wildflower the Brown Boronia for the Financial Review, says of boronia:
In the '70s it contributed citrus tartness to Coca-Cola's Mello Yello soft drink, and it's been used to flavour tobacco. Boronia was responsible for the fresh sweetness in Dior's Diorissimo Eau de Toilette way back in 1956 and Ralph by Ralph Lauren had fruity boronia at its heart.
l'll make a foolhardy assumption that what I'm smelling in Southern Bloom's opening is boronia absolute; it smells of intensely scented freesias mixed with a light woody note. Also detectable in the opening and mid-development is tangy cassis, a dash of ylang-ylang and a cool (camphoraceous) mandarin note. Southern Bloom's base still smells floral, but with added muskiness. Southern Bloom makes a great, non-traditional / anti-cliché beach perfume. It'll go perfectly with a bikini or Speedo.
Goldfield & Banks Southern Bloom is available in 100 ml Parfum, $205.
Les Bains Guerbois 1978 Les Bains Douches
Perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour (listed notes: yuzu, bitter orange, whiskey, davana, clary sage, rose, heliotrope, blond tobacco, myrrh, maté, amber, cedar, patchouli)
Paris 1978 and another endless night in one of the world’s wildest nightclubs. Follow its powdery scent. Downstairs it’s a Negroni Yuzu for her and a Whisky Sage for me. Ribbons of tobacco smoke weave their magic. Leaning on the cedar wood bar, I watch her moving on the dance floor. Wafts of myrrh, vanilla, patchouli and oriental rose go to my head. Though I close my eyes for a second, the Bains Douches never sleeps.
Les Bains Guerbois has been reincarnated twice: it was a spa first (founded in 1885); a nightclub — Les Bains Douces; now it's a boutique hotel with a fragrance line.
1978 Les Bains Douces smells like a spoiled (big) "baby's" bath, with creamy citrus-scented bubbles and powders mixing with whiskey and coconut-infused tobacco leaf aromas (tobacco is the major player here). The base is smooth and sheer, mildly sweet, calming and satisfying, a refined medley of tobacco mixing with the usual suspects: vanilla, patchouli and cedar. A 10-15 ml spray of 1978 Les Bains Douces would have done nicely and I'd have bought in a second, but at $238 for a vat (140 ml!) — no thanks. I'd never finish the bottle. If you love tobacco perfumes, do seek out and give this a sniff.
Les Bains Guerbois 1978 Les Bains Douches is available in 140 ml Eau de Parfum, $238.
Note: middle image of Boronia megastigma flowers via Wikimedia Commons.