January 23, 2013
Jessica September Buchanan
Some of the greatest artistic creations are a result of the poles of human emotion. The depths of despair have seen their share of inspiration but it is the opposite emotion which is the sweeter side of the same coin. The sheer joy of finding love and those days of finding how two people fit together to become a couple are often the best days of anyone’s life. It is then no surprise that perfumers are inspired by that same rush of love. Independent perfumers have the opportunity to let their emotion carry them to a creative place and that is just what we see from the two new fragrances by Jessica September Buchanan of 1000 Flowers; Ode for Him and Love is Sweet.
The Love Letter by Jan Vermeer (1669)
I met Ms. Buchanan almost three years ago as she was releasing her first fragrance Reglisse Noire. From the first moments we met and the first time I wore Reglisse Noire I have had an olfactory love affair with the style of perfume Ms. Buchanan creates. Over the last year or so she relocated to Grasse to pursue her art. During all of the stress of moving and setting herself up in France it would be a triumph just to begin to make new perfume. What has been special is Ms. Buchanan has also found love and that love has inspired these two new fragrances. From her press release we get the inspiration for these new releases:
“The love story began when a boy from the east, met a girl from the west, when smiles and shy glances were exchanged, and their hearts leaned in to each other.”
La Surprise by Jean-Antoine Watteau (1718)
Ode for Him is an unabashedly aggressive fragrance full of the notes of the east. The beginning is an attention getting blend of coriander, cardamom, and immortelle. This is a very forward start similar to a 100-watt smile of piquancy. There is a humanity to this opening that felt authentic and when I wore it I felt that the Him in the name was there next to me. The beating heart of Ode for Him is a beautiful duet of rose and Laotian oud. This is the intertwining of passion as the rose stands up to the very high quality Laotian oud. This is a skillfully balanced bit of perfumery by Ms. Buchanan of two notes which could get out of control and instead lean in to each other and come together. The base is equally balanced with an austere frankincense, opulent myrrh, and herbal patchouli combine. Ode for Him carries a reality to it I don’t often feel in a fragrance and the Him of the title, through Ms. Buchanan’s olfactory description, is a truly complex individual.
The Swing by Jean-Honore Fragonard (1767)
Love is Sweet is no demure retiring flower of a fragrance but it doesn’t wear its heart on its sleeve quite as unabashedly. The opening statement is one of fresh beauty as Bulgarian rose is matched with rhizomal iris dusted with a bit of pink pepper. The rose makes the first impression but the iris adds a second layer underneath that contrasts without being powdery. The heart uses the slightly spicy Turkish rose and this time the underlying orthogonal floral is violet. Here the rose begins to show some unusual aspects and the violet adds the steel of personality. A pinch of cinnamon is used to enhance the spicy facets of the Turkish rose and opoponax provides delineation for the violet. The base is sweet vanilla, musk, and patchouli. Love is Sweet ends on a sweet note as in particular the vanilla and musk remind you that the human connection is something sweet indeed.
Both Ode for Him and Love is Sweet are eau de toilette strength and have average longevity and average sillage.
My love story with Ms. Buchanan’s fragrances continues as I feel the joy in her creativity throughout both of these new perfumes. They mirror my joy in knowing she is making new fragrances in the place she wants to be with a partner she wants to be with by her side.
Disclosure: This review was based on samples provided by 1000 Flowers.
Thanks to 1000 Flowers we have a reader’s choice draw for a 15mL bottle. To be eligible leave comment naming which you would choose and why. The draw ends on January 27, 2013.
We announce the winners only on site and on our Facebook page, so Like Cafleurebon and use our RSS option…or your dream prize will be just spilled perfume.
-Mark Behnke, Managing Editor