December 4, 2017
Life on A Star by Sassy Ayr digitalized by R.H.
If you’ve never heard of Laubahn Perfumes or their inaugural release Naughty Garden, composed by legendary perfumer and multi–award winning Ralf Schwieger of MANE, fear not. All will be revealed. One of the great joys of the rabid perfumista is the discovery of a heretofore unknown perfume line. Ever since Julius Caesar (in my history re-writing imagination) entered the Roman Senate thousands of years ago, sniffed the air and asked “Et Tu Brute?” perfume lovers have delighted in ferreting out the new, the undiscovered, the never-sniffed. Laubahn Perfumes of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is the brainchild of Ms. Sassy Ayr (née Stacey Bresnahan) the author of the book “Life on a Star” from which Naughty Garden takes its inspiration. Engaging Ralf Schwieger of Mane as perfumer is a bold, engaging and ultimately winning move.
Ralf Schweiger at the 2014 Fragrance Foundation Awards with his award for Aedes de Venustas Iris Nazrena (source Mane)
Ralf Schwieger has created many fragrances, too numerous to list and his body of work includes Eau des Merveilles (with Nathalie Feisthauer) for Hermes, Womanity for Mugler, Afternoon Of A Faun and Fiel de Dieu for Etat Libre d’Orange, Orange Sanguine and Vanilla Insensee (and others for Atelier Cologne), Christopher Street for Charenton Macerations, Aedes de Venustas Iris Nazrena and Lipstick Rose for Frederic Malle, the quintessential violet/powder/rose. His compositions were and are ahead of their time, some might have been overlooked upon release, but ultimately they are recognized as extraordinary “reference” perfumes. So it should come as no surprise that Naughty Garden for Laubahn Perfumes is a “noteworthy” creation. Centered around an Elderflower accord, Naughty Garden (albeit not naughty at all) is a classic floral in the vein of Olivia Giacobetti’s En Passant but with an added “something-something” that is unique to Ralf’s signature.
“Having never been asked to create a fragrance inspired by a story, I was all ears (and nose.) This is about flowers in a space garden, high up in the sky but bound to earth. Notes of elderflowers play with Indian sandalwood in weightless territory. The green aspects enhanced by galbanum round off the natural floralcy and contrast nicely with the woody and slightly mossy background.” –Ralf Schwieger for Laubahn Perfumes
Elderflower digitalized by M.C.
Elderflower in perfume is not widely used; you may be more familiar with elderflower in wine and spirits. I grew up listening to stories about my Ukrainian Grandmother’s famous homemade elderflower liquor, which my mother described as “sparkling floral nectar”. It’s a shame that you don’t find elderflower in perfume more often, as its ethereal herbacious-honeysuckle scent is captivating. In Naughty Garden, elderflower is represented in all its complex beauty.
Opening with a zing of bergamot tempered with a slightly bitter galbanum, Naughty Garden wastes no time in introducing elderflower as the star of the show; a true Diva of florals. When combined with deft lashings of jasmine and ylang, Naughty Garden becomes one of the best white florals I have ever smelled in quite some time. The sea salt note keeps the composition grounded, but the sense of space and airiness of this perfume is what separates it from most white florals.
Salvador Dali “Surreal Flowers’
The individual notes never feel intrusive, rather they are seamlessly blended to create an unforgettable olfactory experience. The musk has that slight laundry detergent vibe, but the smooth sandalwood rounds out any harsh edges and restrains the musk for being overpowering, and that’s a very good thing indeed. Naughty Garden is a perfume that I am thrilled to have in my collection.
Notes: Bergamot, Galbanum and Ylang-Ylang, Elderflower, Sea Salt, Jasmine, Rose, Sandalwood and Musk.
Disclosure: Thank you SO much to Laubahn Perfumes for supplying my sample. The opinions are my own.
Please Note: Naughty Garden is an Eau de Parfum and is a limited edition of only 1000 pieces, and available thru the Laubahn Perfumes website: www.lifeonastar.com
-Robert Herrmann, Senior Editor and contributions from Michelyn Camen
–Art Direction: Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief
Ralf Schwieger (photo sent to Michelyn for this review)
Meet Ralf Schweiger
Thursday, December 7th, 2017
5:00pm – 7:30pm
Perfumarie 155 Lafayette Street
Thanks to Laubahn Perfumes, we have a 100 ml bottle of Naughty Garden 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 Naughty Garden based on Robert’s review and your favorite Ralf Schwieger fragrance. What book do you love that might be a great inspiration for a fragrance? Draw closes on December 8, 2017.