Floraïku came to my attention not because I smelled one of its fragrances but because I saw one of its bottles; beware beautiful packaging. Floraïku is an offshoot of the niche line Memo Paris and its perfumes are inspired by Japan. At present, Floraïku has 19 perfumes (two of which are "ShadowingTM" fragrances — more on those later). According to the Floraïku website, the perfumes were developed by Aliénor Massenet or Sophie Labbé and each perfume supposedly contains more than 50% naturals (not sure any agency monitors such claims).
Floraïku fragrances are arranged in groupings: Forbidden Incense | Kodo — Sound of a Ricochet, My Shadow on the Wall, My Love Has the Color of the Night; Enigmatic Flowers | Ikebana — I See the Clouds Go By, Cricket Song, First Dream of the Year; Secret Teas and Spices | O Cha — The Moon and I, I Am Coming Home, One Umbrella for Two; Light Shadow — Sleeping on the Roof; Dark Shadow — Between Two Trees. Each scent has a poem attached to the perfume and comes in a gorgeous bottle/10 ml travel spray combo (presented in a bento box). Eight of Floraïku's perfumes are missing from my two posts this week: Just A Rose, Ao, The Mountain Standing Still, Flowers Turn Purple, In the Rain, Wind in my Hand ($755!), In the Dark and Surprise.
Today, in honor of the upcoming spring, I'll review three perfumes from the Enigmatic Flowers collection, and the two Shadowing perfumes.
Enigmatic Flowers: I See the Clouds Go By (cassis absolute, cherry blossom, white musk) "I see the clouds go by, indifferent to the tea picker's song."
This fragrance begins with a delicious cassis note; as this note develops, there's a hint of — wow — spring onion (which does not upset me). The green/sweaty aspect fades fast and candied cassis comes to the fore and lasts a long time. The "cherry" in I See the Clouds Go By smells like candy, not blossoms.
Enigmatic Flowers: First Dream of the Year (grapefruit, orange blossom, iris concrete absolute) "First dream of the year, first wish, the Milky Way above."
First Dream of the Year opens with mentholated grapefruit warmed by a dash of orange blossom. The iris? It smells like "iris" you might get in scented tissues or toilet paper (brittle, phony, cheap). In this instance, the first dream of the year was a nightmare...and the poem needs an update: "Moth balls in winter, ew, your coat stinks."
Light Shadow: Sleeping on the Roof (lily of the valley, orange blossom, amber musk) "Sleeping on the wind, warm wind, shadows blown away."
Floraïku describes Shadowing like this...
Add a light or a dark shadow to each...perfume. Sleeping on the Roof is a light shadow; it brings freshness to your fragrance. Between Two Trees is a dark shadow; it brings power to your fragrance. Rejoice! Play with your shadows; give your fragrance a new twist.
Sleeping on the Roof provides sweet, indistinct floral aromas, all via a lab, not plants. The amber musk is super-sheer and at one point smells like straw (dry dry dry).
Dark Shadow: Between Two Trees (grapefruit, mate absolute, vetiver) "The owl is watching twilight between two trees."
This fragrance begins with a smooth/sweet/gourmand citrus note (think citrus pudding). This brief moment of citrus (again, not natural-smelling) leads to smoky mate and nutty-woody vetiver. Between Two Trees is a rich, warm and long-lasting masculine accord that overpowers bright citrus and florals (it doesn't layer — shadow — well with other Floraïku scents), but it's one of my favorites in the Floraïku line.
Sleeping on the Roof and Between Two Trees smell no different than the other Floraïku fragrances; they smell like fragments, not full-fledged perfumes.
Enigmatic Flowers: Cricket Song (bergamot, magnolia, vetiver) "Walking in the darkness, a cricket song — how torrid the heat is!"
I grew up with crickets (you read that right), love them and their songs, and must say — they deserve better. The fragrance notes listed for this perfume are ludicrous; this smells like a single note synthetic: "'candied flower cola' — something you'd find in a Paris Hilton or Britney Spears cologne or a Bed, Bath & Beyond candle.
Tomorrow: Floraïku tea/spice and incense scents.
Floraïku Eaux de Parfum are $350 for 60 ml (a 50 ml bottle and 10 ml travel spray); the fragrances are available in 60 ml refills ($206) and 10 ml travel sprays ($76). An 11-scent sampler containing 1.5 ml sprays is $35 (and the $35 can be applied to your first bottle order).