Ever feel like you’re the last one to arrive at the party? Recently I have been feeling that way about the Kerosene fragrance line created by John Pegg. For those unaware of Mr. Pegg he has taken his interest in fragrance and telescoped it into actually creating a line of perfumes. His interest was initially displayed on YouTube with his series of video reviews on his Kerosenetrewthe channel. Starting in the last half of 2011 he began releasing fragrances under the Kerosene brand. His first fragrance R’Oud Elements was sent to me multiple times and for whatever reason it just did not resonate with me. I could tell it was well made and there was a clear aesthetic as the same story was repeated through his next few releases. I liked them, I admired the intelligence behind them, I didn’t love them. I was beginning to think Mr. Pegg and I would never find ourselves on the same plane. The latest Kerosene Santalum Slivers is finally the one which gets me to join the rest of you at the Kerosene party. Sorry I was late but I finally made it.
In his Behind The Bottle interview Mr. Pegg described his vision as”….raw and unique, yet approachable. Those three words always guide my creations.” He would also compare his style of perfumery as akin to adding spices while cooking until it was just right. I think it all comes down to an almost improv style of fragrance construction and like all things done in such a free form style of auteur ship; if you aren’t on the same wavelength you don’t connect. Santalum Slivers feels like a more fully formed inspiration with less added frills and maybe that is why this is the one which will finally find its way home to my collection.
If you look at the Santalum in the name and expect a slug of that note, take heed of the second word because the sandalwood is here in judiciously layered splinters. Santalum Slivers is all about the way citrus and wood go together. He doesn’t call it an eau de cologne, and it is an eau de parfum in strength, but Santulm Slivers really does hew fairly closely to the classic eau de cologne architecture as you move from citrus on top through a truly inspired cucumber and rose heart down to a woody fantasia of which sandalwood is only a part of the ensemble.
From the beginning the entire arsenal of citrus notes are present and accounted for bergamot, lemon, grapefruit, and orange cover the spectrum of citrus in perfumery. Mr. Pegg does a very admirable job at keeping this balanced without it spiraling out of control. The heart is an almost aquatic herbal note in cucumber paired with a lilting rose. For those of you who drink Hendricks gin and tonic on a hot summer day, you will recognize this accord as the rose water tinged Hendricks is always accompanied by a slice of cucumber. The heart of Santalum Slivers is a refreshing intermezzo before Mr. Pegg picks up the pace and we dive headlong into the woods in the base. Cedar leads the way along with vetiver which is more woody than grassy. The slight bit of grassiness is turned sweet by the presence of hay and that slightly sweet note is the harbinger for the similarly slightly sweet sandalwood. A lovely skin musk provides the final sliver to the completed perfume.
Santalum Slivers has excellent longevity and modest sillage.
I’m curious to see what’s next at this Kerosene party I just joined. Santalum Slivers has me wondering if I should find a corner and settle in for a spell or say my hellos and be on my way. I guess I’ll have to see what the host has next to show us.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by MiN New York.
–Mark Behnke, Managing Editor