March 26, 2018
Diane St. Clair of St. Clair Scents
“Attempting to learn the art of perfumery is not for the faint of heart.” -Diane St. Clair
From producing farm-fresh comestibles for world class eateries to high perfumery is not that big of a stretch when you think about it; both require extraordinary natural ingredients, passion and belief in your work, patience, intention, and commitment. Perfumer and farmer Diane St. Clair (her profile in American perfumery here) has it (please forgive the unintentional pun) “in spades”. When not providing freshly churned butter to Michelin starred restaurants the likes of Per Se in Manhattan or (gasp) The French Laundry in Northern California’s Wine Country, Diane can be found in her perfumers workshop, meticulously creating mostly natural fragrances inspired by the Vermont countryside surrounding her farm. With three sensational eau de parfums under her belt Diane more than proves her gift as a first class perfumer. Her hand-bottling and small batch production belies the notion that artisan perfumes aren’t mind-blowing and breathtaking, and St. Clair Scents Gardener’s Glove is a perfect example.
Gardening glove by Tim Walker | Northumberland, England, 2000©
St Clair Scents Gardener’s Glove is a flat out masterpiece of a fragrance; a perfect marriage of the best of vintage perfumes shot through with a modern sensibility. Like its namesake, Gardener's Glove is built on a base of well-worn leather, soft as doeskin and broken in to the nth degree of perfection. Gardener’s Glove is all about timing, specifically that moment when the plantings and cuttings you have babied through the cold of winter and ever-changing spring weather finally burst forth and bear fruit.
Archers by Tim Walker©
The smell of sunlight on freshly turned loamy and pitch-black soil, the musty fuzziness of the tomato leaf whose scent rubs off on your fingers, the ornamentals dazzling in their audacity; heirloom rose, perfumed jasmine, lily. The floral scents meld with the fragrance of faint citrus and berry fruit shrubs and linden trees. The amalgam of all these notes work to create that moment in perfume testing when you realize you’ve stumbled upon something extraordinary and damn-near otherwordly.
Diane St. Clair of St. Clair Scents baling hay
The other two fragrances currently on offer are likewise sensational; St. Clair Scents First Cut, a fragrant aria sung at the height of the summer pasture honoring the initial baling of the hay fields, and St. Clair Scents Frost a quasi-smoky and floral scented journey of love inspired by the words of poet Robert Frost. Both are sublime examples of the master perfumer’s artistry, but it is St. Clair Gardener’s Glove that ultimately stole both my heart and checkbook!
The perfumes by St. Clair Scents will weather the ravages of time and fashion, and I look forward to Diane St. Clairs’ future perfumes all the while being able to say in my most jaded and world-weary voice “Oh yes, I’ve been wearing St. Clair Scents from the very beginning.”
Notes: Meyer Lemon, Tomato Leaf Absolute, Galbanum, Bergamot, Jasmine Sambac Absolute, Jasmine Organic Extract, Apricot, Black Currant Bud Absolute, Linden Blossom, Lily, Rose Absolute, Leather, Saffron, Patchouli, Ambers, Vetiver, Benzoin Resin, Castoreum, Fir Needle
St. Clair Scents are available exclusively on their website here.
Disclosure: Thank you so very much to Diane St. Clair for supplying my samples. The opinions are my own. I bought all three bottles! Support Artisan Perfumers
–Robert Herrmann, Senior Editor
-Art Direction: Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief
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St. Clair Scents Gardener’s Glove and sampler @Diane St. Clair
Thanks to Perfumer Diane St. Clair and St. Clair Scents, we have a sample pack of St. Clair Scents Gardener’s Glove, First Cut and Frost 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 Robert’s review of St. Clair Scents Gardener’s Glove and if smelled an artisan fragrance from a sample and bought it immediately. Draw closes on 3/29/2018.