August 13, 2018
Charna Ethier of Providence Perfume Co.
Independent Perfumer Charna Ethier introduces a limited edition summer fragrance each year, and we enjoy experiencing them all. This summer is no exception. Providence Perfume Co Lemon Liada is a welcome respite from the dog days of summer which have been bedeviling much of the globe this season. I essentially begged for a sample last week, being a staunch believer that lemon makes everything better: one Mrs. Meister Maxim states, “I’d eat ___ if you put lemon on it!”. I stand by those words. I love lemon like I love cheese.
Display of Lemon Liada at the Providence Perfume Co. boutique (13 S Angell St, Providence, RI 02906)
Lemon Liada may be interpreted as ‘lemon liar’ or ‘befuddled lemon’ (crazy for that ‘befuddled’). Either way, Providence Perfume Co Lemon Liada the eau de cologne delivers a deliciously tonic sensation without any lemon whatsoever. It’s a zingy, zesty fling in a flacon – whisper-light, intended to spritz with abandon, since eau de cologne is the lightest concentration of fragrance and the most fleeting.
Gustav Klimt details from his painting Water Serpents 1(1904) ©
Citruses possess a low molecular weight, making them prone to disappear first – one reason why they’re often employed as top notes which introduce and/or pave the way for other fragrant components. One way to imply lemon is via litsea cubeba (as Mona Di Orio did in composing Lux), otherwise known as may chang – herbal, lemony, intense. Verbena is another tried-and-true much-loved botanical which manages both citrus and herbal facets with a lovely floralcy thrown in for good measure. Charna has chosen verbena and mouthwatering cedrat (the citron – known during the harvest observance of Sukkot as etrog, as in Ayala Moriel’s Etrog Oy de Cologne) combined with petitgrain, its bittersweet green leafy freshness imparting floral woodiness derived from processing leaves and/or twigs of any of the following citruses: bitter orange, mandarin, bergamot, or clementine. Mimosa is pure sunshine – honeyed fuzzy blossoms with a feral furry underbelly like lazy felines stretched out in full repose. It’s a brilliant addition and an intuitive one.The delicacy of (pink?) lotus counters bitterness with its lily-like charm and aroma, somewhat fruity (as in tropical fruit). Orris butter, precious substance that it is – furnishes tenacious fixative qualities as it insinuates powdery violet and wood. A great deal of thoughtfulness has gone into Providence Perfume Co Lemon Liada, so much more than just a simple eau de cologne. I love how it treads the tightrope, melding bitter/sweet/juicy/ powdery elements in a seamless fashion.
Gustav Klimt Lady with a Fan© 1917-1918
As you may imagine, Providence Perfume Co Lemon Liada is an ephemeral entity. One can’t expect eau de cologne to linger indefinitely (you can, but that won’t change a thing). Overheated skin will likely prolong its projection somewhat if you, like myself – find that heat and humidity tend to suspend fragrance in the ether a bit longer. While it is here, it is a glory. Victorian dandies and well-bred ladies would gladly douse their fine linen handkerchiefs with it to camouflage those nasty miasmas, don’t you think? Better than smelling salts for the faint of heart or those wilting ‘snowflakes’… Notes: cedrat, verbena, lotus, petitgrain, orris butter, mimosa.
Samples generously provided by Charna and Sarah of Providence Perfume Co – thank you so very much! My nose is my own…
~ Ida Meister, Senior Editor and Natural Perfumery Editor
~ Art Direction: Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief (photos sent by Sarah and my choice was Gustav Klimt for Ida’s review)
Thanks to the generosity of Charna Ethier of Providence Perfume Co we are offering a 5ml roller ball bottle of this limited edition cologne to one registered reader anywhere in the world (be sure to register or your comment will not be counted and one IP for comments). To be eligible tell us what appeals to you about Providence Perfume Co Lemon Liada based on Ida’s review and where you live, and if you have a favorite Providence Perfume Co fragrance. Do you enjoy natural perfumes?
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