September 5, 2010

Lord's Jester - Part 1

Lord’s Jester is an independent, handmade natural perfume line produced by Adam Gottschalk and a small group of artisans based in NYC.

I   received a set [1] of seven liquid and three solid perfume samples, all named for the mythic classical Greek sacred spirits - Anthea, Ares, Daphne, Demeter, Dionysus, [2] Helios, Heracles, Selene, and Zephyr.

A common theme that runs through them all is based on the use of ambergris and a wild animal tone of labdanum in the lingering base notes, and frequently a very soft rose for a bridge in the heart notes, and often a form of pepper in the top notes with hay and tobacco tones arising from the sweetness of the resulting scent cloud.

These perfumes are all generally much darker and lower in tone than most perfumes, like musical compositions based around the cello or bass guitar. This style is something that appeals and works for me, personally. The liquid perfumes themselves are golden in varying tones of honey color, or like whiskey, and similarly warming, too.

The solids are pale blond/honey colored and slippery, and feel luxuriously moisturizing, so they could be raked through the hair to perfume and condition it at the same time. The liquids feel very much propelled by the evaporation process, quickly rising fully out from the application in a way that seems like they should be producing a gigantic sillage trail, but as the ingredients are completely natural, this aura stops about six inches away from you. This is an essential quality these days, for those of us who work or travel in close proximity to others.

Even so, I am not sure these are scents are work appropriate, though personally I would not want to let that stop me, because their development tends to pass through a long period of drowsy sensuality before emerging into subtle sweetness and light.

Many of them have a very marked development process, starting out one way, some even bitter and harsh, and then resolving into something mellow and sweetly unexpected from such a start. One thing I found to be true of them all was that after about five minutes or so of applying them, they created a subtle sweetness in the air around me that was mysterious yet simple, like the aroma of summer morning air warmed by the sun. This would suddenly appear and disappear, in and out, on the edge of sensory consciousness, as if a fragrant breeze was passing through.

I love solid perfumes. These three solid perfumes are all deep and rich, while as is common with naturals, holding close to the skin, so can be applied to the face or hair to continually enjoy their effect. This is a good idea because they hold even closer to the skin than the liquid perfumes, since the emollient base is much less evaporative.

The Anthea solid is a jasmine with ambergris, orris, clary sage, rose and petitgrain, which all resolve into a gorgeous soothing soft un-cloyed jasmine with tobacco and soft leather, that I could see worn easily by both men and women. If a man wore this it would almost be unfair, because those unschooled in the effects of jasmine[3]* might not understand they were in the presence of an unusual and seductive combination of jasmine with what are traditionally masculine signals. I find I apply this one over and over for a fresh hit of the floral essence of the jasmine in a greener form than usual.

Helios, in reference to the sun, as a solid, begins immediately as a soothing vanilla patchouli ambergris and orris base beneath the energy of oranges, neroli and bergamot, and a tiny stimulating amount of pink pepper, with tagetes (marigold) that moves to and awakens the back of the throat. The vanilla and citrus notes are equally balanced to continue the stimulation in a controlled way, and patchouli is a blender rather than a foreground character. Like sunlight, both comforting and waking the senses.

Selene, for the moon goddess, as a solid is different than the liquid version in its notes list, in that there is additional orris, and osmanthus rather than styrax in the base and geranium sur fleur and juniper in the top notes. Both are based in ambergris /carnation/vanilla that creates a dry woods aura, supporting the acidic citric petitgrain top. The solid has more jasmine at the heart, nutmeg, clove, rose and especially clary sage very softly blending to hold the bridge between the top and the base. The result to me is redolent of dry grass and hay giving off their heat after the sun has set, and the pepper again sharpening the nostrils to breathe this all in more fully.

All available at the Lord's Jester website. The solid perfumes are gradated in size and on sale so they can be a much more affordable luxury - $25, $60 and $80.

More to come on the liquid perfumes.

Lord’s Jester supplied my samples.
Prior post on the narcotic effect of jasmine

Above the goddess Selene as the moon incarnate,Pegasi-chariot, Athenian red-figure
kylix C5th B.C., Antikensammlung, Berlin

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