We all have our own intensely personal perfume preferences. Some of us are fortunate enough to find the right perfumer who can express our personalities and persona through the medium of fragrance. I have written about Kedra Hart of Opus Oils before. It took awhile for me to acclimate my nose to what Kedra Hart was doing, but now that I have I am entirely sold, and find the more I explore the line the more deeply I fall under her spell.
It is her birthday today, and as a project between a number of perfume reviewers, we have decided to showcase eleven of the fragrances designed specifically for those who have a strong individuality that meshes with her own aesthetic. She's created layers of perfumes, like a scent geode that sparkles with both her and her muse's individuality.
AND, there will be a giveaway of two sets of eleven samples as discussed in our posts. If you'd like to be entered, please contact me at indieperfumesatgmail.com, and I will randomly choose two of you (contiguous U.S. only). It's a tremendously involving and unique set of perfumes to have before you all at once.
Kedra Hart's aesthetic has a deep connection to vintage perfume, and expresses the vulnerable glamor of old silent film Hollywood, Art Deco and heavy Sixties Los Angeles, and Fifties Las Vegas, Rock and Roll/ R&B, with serious connections to burlesque and cocktail culture tucked into the details. In other words, what we have here is serious true blue Americana in perfume form, with lashings of California and twists of the South and Southwest as they influenced same.
These perfumes are like swan's down powder puffs that take down the glare of the shine of the bright lights and make you and everyone else look and feel a lot better. Her perfumes are what I imagine the dames wore in those film noirs full of cigarettes, booze, wit, and significant eye contact. Fun and entertaining while still dealing with the serious emotions and dire consequences of following your instincts all the way out to their logical conclusions.
There is a strong primal side, connecting to the human beauty beneath the cosmetics and fashion, expressing the intoxication of the naked body with itself and other bodies. They all project strength and are strong perfumes with good longevity, but since they are (mostly) oils hold closer to the skin without creating intrusive or overwhelming scent trails.
These perfumes were all created with others who wanted to have perfumes made that expressed their personas and fantasies through perfume. They are available through Opus Oils and/or the muse's web locations as noted below.
Satan's Angel is a big white floral bouquet tribute to a burlesque star known for the fire and spirit in her act ("Queen of the Fire Tassels"). A luxuriant womanly fragrance, with a definite musky-powdery undertone that is sensual and mature in the best sense of the word. Labdanum and oakmoss are the base to stargazer lily, tuberose, gardenia, narcissus and jasmine. They slide over you after a brief initial kick of bergamot to start you up, so there is a full, powerful, even defiant femininity in this fragrance. Going full bore as gorgeous and ultra female.
Star F*cker is the other side of the equation, made for Tiger Powers, a Hollywood fetish model, musician and muse, with his own highly self-refined tastes, featuring strong Mediterranean citruses opened up with acquatic tones, over a comfortable woods and amber dry down. The perfume also contains a few molecules of Tiger DNA, just to keep it real and connected. There's a strong citrus sparkle that flirts and teases and lasts into the serious eye contact of the base notes. This is SoCal in a bottle, getting high on the pleasures of the sun before winding down into the dark for sex on the beach and breathing in more oxygen than your brain has ever been exposed to before. Available through both Tiger Powers and Opus Oils.
Glam Monster/Poison Style was made with and for Donato Style, Inc., an artist designer collector and purveyor of certain special luxurious things. Made in the USA and as they say, corrupted by Hollywood. It opens up with a blast of celestial harmonies created by pink pepper, white grapefruit, tuberose, jasmine, lily, oud, narcissus, and bittersweet chocolate, and comes in both EdP and EdC strengths, to be ordered directly from Donato Style. This perfume is like going hunting with your intoxicated friends who magically turn into a pack of animals, that wear crowns of crystals and flowers as they search high and low for their gods and goddesses, loping in the dark towards the lights in the distance. The florals are subsumed within the citrus and the chocolate so that while it this is not an abstract fragrance, the florals being individuated, the rest of the notes heighten the floral effect towards the soprano end of the scale without standing out as representational themselves. It has an exciting yet narcotic edge.
Eau de Flog was created in limited edition for a new form of TV personality, the Geek Girl, as personified by the actress Felicia Day, who explores the internet and her immediate environs to bring the audience her discoveries. She came to the Jitterbug Perfume Parlor and worked with Kedra Hart to design a fragrance that matched her own instinctive attractions. The result is a young, easy going, lighthearted fragrance that is even-tempered bright and clean. It adds something fresh to an online persona that might otherwise have been working too hard indoors for too long under too bright artificial lights with a script, as so many of the rest of us are. This is relaxation, the fragrance of sanity in the midst of a casual weekend; citrus-y with a clean white musk so it may hold on without clinging. It has a tenaciousness that belies its lightness.
Unearthly Beauty? was created for Gretchen Bonaduce, to match her clothing line and in concert with her other activities as a media personality, first became known to the public as a true relationship performance artist, and then developed into a clothing designer. The perfume begins with a scent like the candy Sweedish Fish. This innocent pleasure has a deeper undertow of course, and the Pavlovian mouthwatering light sweetness opens into a vast softened jasmine-d vanilla space just behind it. There is a grounded warmth and body heat built into the fragrance. Pink and red grapefruit, red raspberry and Indian jasmine, French vanilla and tonka bean absolute. There is that signature Opus Oils high keyed note kick that holds throughout, in an alcohol base.
Wild Child is dirty and sweet as Tom of Perfume Posse pointed out (I agree 100%). Marc Bolan of T-Rex comes to town and stays over with you. Or you are sharing a beach house in Ibiza with the Stones in the Sixties. Powerful, deep aged dark patchouli (at least 25%) is the star of this show, but wait, it's a complex composition that will keep the sophisticates' attention with saffron, cabreuva, blood cedarwood, peach tree leaf, clementine, yellow mandarin, wild orange, middle notes of honey, milk accord, black currant bud, tuberose and peach accord and base of sandalwood, ambergris, dark amber, vetiver and vanilla. It was the first place winner in the big Summer of Patchouli Love organized by Monica Miller, the Perfume Pharmer, with whom Kedra Hart of Opus Oils has collaborated several times.
Mother is also for Monica Miller as part of her vast Primordial Perfumes project, which is wild rose, fig, woods and dark chocolate. This one is to express the comfort of the fecund Earth itself, in all its most ornamental and nurturing aspects. It raises a soothing cloud that wraps around you in a cashmere cloud of balanced natural fragrances. It comes in both alcohol and oil, and makes a beautiful deep comfort perfume to wear when you want to embrace the primal earth and connect to that source of natural strength. It creates an amber tone while all the notes harmonize together, with extended longevity. Officially launching May 3rd, it already has many fans and has created converts and crossovers who normally dwell entirely within the European niche perfume world, into this genre of American artisan perfume.
Strawberry Passion perfume, in both the green and cream mods, is a great favorite of mine. I have written about this beauteous pair extensively in my post of April last year. Monica Miller asked Kedra Hart to create comfort perfume based on her childhood memories of high cream tea with jam and fruit in the England of her youth, replete with flowered tea cups and whipped cream with fresh garden strawberries. All this gets mixed up with passion and the yearning of young hearts and the virtuosity of using natural scent materials found on Martha's Vineyard, mixed in with the olfactory equivalent of the baroque/psychedelic stylings of Raspberry Beret by the artist formerly known as Prince. I should mention that I also have the body cream form, which is entirely luxurious and densely fragrant. It is available at the Skye botanical store on Etsy.
Babylon Noir is described in detail within my prior post on Opus Oils, among a number of others, where I "held forth" on my fuller understanding of the perfumer's style in general. This one was created for Sheila Eggenberger's book, Quantum Demonolgy, and its Devilscent companion perfume project, which I have also written about extensively before. (This post has become quite cross referenced). This perfume expresses darkness and light married together as Lucifer and Satan were within the course of their own myths, as princes of both light and darkness in succession. Here is a cool bright citrus sweetness over a deep labdanum base that overpowers all in its path. I personally love to be overpowered by dark perfumes, so if you are of the same mind, you will be most pleased with this tenacious and bold perfume. It has a masculine quality but makes me want to wear it as my Anima's connection to her counterpart. Available through Opus Oils in the Parlour Collection.
Rouge Beauty was created for a boutique in New Orleans, which is now sadly no more. The ephemeral nature of time and beauty personified, as is the whole city of New Orleans. I have no notes but my impression is one of the fragrant interior of a fine lady's make up bag. There's a touch of skanky leather in there, as the perfume might have leaked and brought out the animal in the handbag's leather. A hint of warmed powder, the vintage feel of a perfume to be worn with an satin evening gown for a dance in a humid tropical climate, deep powdered cleavage and white gloves required. It is now been reissued and is available directly on an Opus Oils Etsy page.
Please enter the draw by sending me a message as listed above, at indieperfumes at gmaildotcom, with the subject Opus Oils (contiguous U.S. only, please, sorry but we must post by ground mail only due to the new postal regulations). I will have two sets of eleven samples to give away, so this is a perfume wardrobe enough for the coming Spring and Summer (depending on how free you are with application, I know I am very free myself). I myself have been tempted to increase my stock of Opus Oils and have ordered a couple for myself while writing this post.
I keep falling in love again with these perfumes now that I have broken through my "nice girl" hesitation and understood the unconventional beauty and dramatic glamor that lies within our most Hollywood of perfume queens.
For more takes on these perfumes, please visit Perfume Pharmer, and for videos please see Brenda Boo Elder-Fornay and Eau My God Perfumes. It's so interesting to see the differences in what other perfumistas focus on within the same perfumes.
Copyright 2013 Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved.
The samples were provided to me by the perfumer and these are personal opinions, not compensated or commissioned.
Music to listen to perfume by: Marc Bolan and T.Rex Get It On, especially for Wild Child
and Raspberry Beret by Prince, especially for Strawberry Passion.
Above images from the Opus Oils website, except for the geode which I got from Pinterest and have no photo credit for - if it's yours please let me know.