October 26, 2017
Josh Meyer of Imaginary Authors-Digital art by MC
For his second release of 2017, and the 3rd and final tome by "Philip Sava" (Memoirs of a Trespassor in 2012 and Cape Heartache in 2013, both reviewed by Tama Blough), Josh Meyer of Imaginary Authors has once again harvested the results of his highly fertile and prolific imagination and given us O, Unknown Eau de Parfum a smart and decidedly different spin on iris.
Wanderer Above The Mist Caspar David Friedrich 1818 digitalized
“At age 65, when famed explorer and author Philip Sava was given less than a year to live, he set off from his home in Madagascar for parts unknown. Leaving all his belongings behind, he set off on foot, hopped a freighter across the Indian Ocean, and wandered into the Bangladesh wilderness. His journey, which lasted over a decade, took him through Nepal and Tibet where his exploration turned spiritual and into rural China where months of solitude resulted in some of the most confessional observations ever committed to paper. This is the story of a man grappling with the meaning of life as he grasps to life’s last vestiges."
Courtesy Josh Meyer
The brilliant and central conceit of Josh Meyer’s Imaginary Authors perfumes is a threefold process. 1.) Create an author with a fully-realized life. 2.) Create a novel/memoir/treatise written by that author, and 3.) Design a perfume inspired by that author and that particular work. A complex and complicated process and Josh proves time and time again that he is up to the challenge, having produced a line comprised of unforgettable perfumes, creating each with its own literary personae and world. In O, Unknown, Josh tackles the classic hero’s journey with all its trials and tribulations; a protagonist searching for that which is “unknowable”, be it God, spiritual enlightenment, what is life after death etc… all the questions that remain unknowable to the eternal seeker. Ironically given only one year to live, the author finds his life stretching out for the next ten years as he continues to search for the meaning that eludes him, not realizing that it is the search itself that is keeping him alive.
O, Unknown is at its heart an orris/iris-centric perfume, the iris itself often grown with a three-spathed flower which could be interpreted as a holy trinity not unlike the lily represented by the “fleur des lys”. The trinity being father/son/holy spirit or maiden/matron/crone, again a great Unknown.The Orris Butter is central to this aromatic perfume, at once dry and floral, with that sublime dusty powder sensation.
Black Tea via googlesearch digitalized
The tea facets representing the authors travels through Nepal, Tibet, and China, especially the tincture, provides those singular smoky, nutty, and green pine notes which one associates with a fine aged Lapsang Souchong. Often referred The King Of Teas, Lapsang Souchong is akin to a very fine aged whiskey or bourbon, and can command similar prices. The sandalwood and musk balsam in the base provide a warming woody note, not the unlike aged oak and wood notes found in the process of smoking tea leaves over a wood fire. Seamlessly blended in O, Unknown these notes provide a haunting and mystical scent that is contemplative, enticing, and a wonderful addition to my Imaginary Authors library.
Notes include Black tea, Lapsang Souchong tincture, orris butter, Kyoto moss, musk balsam, sandalwood and "mystery ???"
Disclosure: Thank you SO much to Josh Meyer for supplying my sample. The opinions are my own.
-Robert Herrmann, Senior Editor
-Art Direction: Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief
Collage by Robert H
Thanks to Perfumer Josh Meyer and Imaginary Authors we have one 14 ml travel sprayer of O, Unknown for one registered reader In the USA, so be sure to register if you have not done so. To be eligible please let us know what appeals to you about Robert’s review, if you are a fan of Iris and/or tea fan fragrances and your favorite Imaginary Author’s Fragrance. Draw closes on 10/30/2017
O, Unknown launched October 24, 2017. You can read Josh's Profile in American Perfumery here. Please follow us on Instagram @cafleurebon @imaginaryauthors and @fragrantwanderer