New Zealand is far from the traditional European centers of perfumery but Francesca Brice and Kate Jason Smith are showing that creativity in the 8th art knows no borders. Senior Editor Ida Meister covered the unique connection that brought these two together in her review of “The Artisan Range” fragrances the all natural fragrances in Part 1.Those are the most recent releases but Ms. Brice and Jason Smith supplied us with six other crème perfumes from “The Original Range”. Out of these six fragrances there were two that really stood out for me but I found all of them had something worth experiencing.
Pacific Goddess is Pacific Perfumes most popular fragrance of The Original Range. This probably speaks to the popularity of vanilla fragrances as Pacific Goddess is a meditation on vanilla. Pacific Goddess, like all of The Original Range is a crème perfume and I found the development of all of these fragrances on my skin to be much slower than traditional alcohol based liquids. In the case of Pacific Goddess this allowed the vanilla to claim the spotlight and never give it up. There are hints of some spice and wood far on the periphery but Pacific Goddess is a vanilla deity.
Island Passion is all about a number of balsamic notes wrapped around a sandalwood core. For a fragrance based on resins and wood this has an unexpected sweet quality to it. There is sweetness throughout the development and it could have been stronger, for me, with a little more spice or perhaps cedar thrown in as contrast. Even so what is in the pot is a delicately sweet bit of fragrance.
When I think of the flora of New Zealand and the South Pacific in general the first flower that pops to mind is plumeria or more colloquially frangipani. These are the delicate white flowers which have a lovely fragrance in their natural form. Frangipani captures the fragrance of the flower itself and also the green quality of the living flower. Frangipani is a traditional soliflore and it is a beautiful meditation on this tropical flower.
Hula Lei is true to its name. Like the garland put around every tourists neck upon landing in Hawaii, Hula Lei twists a trio of flowers and a bit of vetiver, as the interstitial green note, betwixt the jasmine, rose, and pandanus. Hula Lei is the strongest floral fragrance of the Pacific Perfumes I tried; the three strong floral notes harmonize without any one of them overpowering the other but together they make an intense experience.
One of my two favorites was Love The Mango. Love the Mango is the traditional green mango accord that is familiar to many perfumistas. In Love the Mango, lime and pepper are used as complement and contrast, respectively. The lime adds a tart citrus which echoes the similar tart aspects in the mango. The pepper adds a piquant contrapuntal note. All together this is a zippy fruity fantasy. I really loved this one.
My overall favorite of the entire line that I tried was Forest of Ferns. As the name would suggest this is a fougere full of lime, basil, and vetiver. This absolutely has the feel of a tropical forest. There is the sense of the loamy forest floor and the herbal quality of basil adds a verdant feel to things. Vetiver always has the feel of green and growing things to me and in Forest of Ferns that quality is fully on display. Every time I wore Forest of Ferns I wanted to wear it again this is easily the best of The Original Range, for me; and the one I will return to most often.
All of the Pacific Perfumes The Original Range crème perfumes have slightly below average longevity and sillage in comparison to traditional liquid perfumes. These crème perfumes are really very personal fragrances mostly for the enjoyment of the wearer and those they let close to them.
I truly enjoyed being exposed to this line of fragrances because when they really worked for me they display many of the things that make the South Pacific fragrantly memorable.
Disclosure: This review was based on samples provided by Pacific Perfumes.
–Mark Behnke, Managing Editor
Art Direction: Michelyn Camen, EIC
Courtesy of Pacific Perfumes we have a draw for a Reader’s Choice Original Pacific Perfumes, an associate member of the Natural Perfumer's Guild we have a reader's choice and since no one claimed thier prize from Ida's Review , choose one from the botanical and one from the review listed.YOU MUST SPECIFY YOUR CHOICES TO BE ELIGIBLE above from each range. The draw ends August 2, 2011