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Monday, July 7th, 2014 12:32 pm

Let's get this out of the way: Aftelier samples come in a ridiculously adorable vial. That's because Aftelier perfume samples are ridiculously tiny: .25 milliliter, compared to the .7 ml most samples seem to be. The sample my work friend gave me was, understandably, mostly empty, but I got a couple of good wears out of it.

Shiso opens with a heady, herbaceous sweetness, like anise or thai basil - Wikipedia suggests the chemical estragole takes the credit - with a pleasant soft under-note, like a nice green tea perfume. As it warms on my skin, it turns camphorous and woody. There's a hefty dose of patchouli, an old-fashioned dirty-hippie patchouli, which incidentally is my favorite kind. The geranium is pleasantly sweet without overwhelming me with plant reproduction. The sandalwood is nice. This may be the first perfume I've tried where I like everything that it does, without a single fake-y note of wow-I-wish-that-wasn't-in-here, though the oud is pleasantly pungent and could evolve into something less pleasant as it goes. So far the drydown is woody, though. Mm, frankly. This is the first come-here-and-smell-me perfume I've tried that hasn't been a sugary amber, though it would take a very specific person to want to come here and smell me. It does still smell composed, like a perfume and not a bottle of patchouli oil, but I feel like the formalism of that structure is very loose and it mostly just smells dirty and green and woody.

After I took the notes above I wound up wearing it for the rest of the day, and it went faint and dried down to nothing - six hours later - before it hit a single note I disliked. I would happily smell like this full-time, though hopefully that's not because I'm anosmic to the cat-pee note that some people got from the oud.

Straight up, this is one of the first perfumes I've smelled that I liked more and found more interesting than the everyday unedited smell of Human Being. I'm not going to lie, there are some deodorantless vegans in this town who I think smell fantastic, but this smells better. So this might only be a recommendation if your tastes run that direction, I can't tell. Either way, I'm delighted with it, though given the pricing on Aftelier perfumes I'm going to have to buy more tiny elf bottles and dole it out very gradually. Possibly Aromatic Green is the scent family for me? Thoughts?
Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 12:19 am (UTC)

As far as BPAL goes, I wonder if Lear, Incantation, The Bow and Crown of Conquest, or Thanatopsis might work for you.

I haven't tried it yet, but I have a sample of Chanel Sycomore that I think might fit the bill of awesomely green.

You might also want to try Guerlain Vetiver.
Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 03:38 pm (UTC)
I've got a sample of Bandit to try that I hope to get to this week.

when I smell Sycomore in the vial, it doesn't smell floral at all but very green and woodsy. Of course that doesn't mean anything as the flowers could just bloom on the skin.

I liked Lear to begin with, but it faded after an hour or two into pencil shavings. You're welcome to my imp if you want to try it. Thanatopsis I liked better. It was intensely piney and also smelled really strongly of good wet dirt. I don't know how old my imp is though; I wonder if it would be even more intensely green fresh from the lab.
Thursday, July 10th, 2014 12:00 am (UTC)
I have now tested Sycomore.

Here's my review:

I really think you should give it a try (although I seem to remember from one of your other reviews that maybe vetiver bothers you? even so, I would still try this; it is so so fine and green and woody)
Sunday, July 13th, 2014 11:37 pm (UTC)
Are you interested in the imp of Lear? If not, I'm going to send it to elfin with some other things. :)
Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 02:43 pm (UTC)
Okay. :) I'll send it out to her in the mail today.

Let us know what you think of them if you do decide to get any BPAL; I'd love to hear your reactions.
Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 02:42 am (UTC)
Oh, god, I can tell already I'm going to have an Aftelier issue -- Sepia is the most beautiful, beautiful there-and-gone flash of rotting weirdness, and I mean to try Cepes & Tuberose as well, and now this sounds fascinating.
Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 03:07 am (UTC)
Briefly! But I'm not kidding about the speed of fading -- it was more or less over within an hour, on me, although with someone else's skin it might be different.
Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 11:35 pm (UTC)
After reading this thread, I googled Atelier perfumes instead of Aftelier and was really confused. LOL