September 13, 2015

Apoteker Tepe: After the Flood, Anabasis, The Paradam

Photo from the Apoteker Tepe website
Apoteker Tepe is an American based small batch niche perfume company.  There's a backstory, but I won't get into and repeat it here. It's easy to find elsewhere on the internet. As I said in my last post, I find the backstories have started to get in my way with the perfumes, as involved and interesting as they may be.

Especially if there is tension between the branding and reality.  Marketing is marketing, but the perfume itself is what counts. Understandably, the newer perfumers may want to create their own legends, and build them up immediately rather than over decades as the established perfumers have had the time to do.

Trying so many perfumes I am overexposed to the marketing, so now I find it much better to appreciate a perfume when I am alone with it, without the noise. Okay, that's the end of my current rant on perfume marketing (well, for now).

In this case, the perfumes themselves have more than enough going for them to stand on their own.

They have a sophisticated, something mysterious around the corner quality and also a sense of spaciousness. They are stylishly genderless and tend toward the minimalist. Refined and gentle, they are all still most definitely there, and hold on with a presence that lasts without being overwhelming to others. They are more for your intimate space, which I think is turning out to be the contemporary approach to wearing perfume.

Easy to wear, maybe even influenced a little by some of the nicer designer fragrances out there, but with a lot of character, dimension and thoughtful elegance. While mild, they are engaging enough even if you are used to all kinds of niche perfume specialness. Gentleness is fine with me.

I looked up the notes after writing my descriptions this time, just to see what that would be like. It was fun, and made it a more personal and sensory experience, rather than be influenced ahead of time.

Anabasis has a beautiful background aura of old crumpled thick cottony paper, which reminds me of notebooks written over with rich black oil-based ink, that have absorbed some damp in the air over the years and swollen up a little. That part is super nice, but there's more. There is a layer of freshness, a citrus liveliness, and it goes sprightly rather than dark and heavy in the dry down, so it just lifts off and dwells in the realms of brightness and light. Eventually it calms down into the medium range of the aromatic dial, neither high or low. It's an elegant, aromatic aura.

Notes listed are Citrus, Shiso, Birch, Mint, Pine, Cedar, Musk.

Pond Water, texture library copyright 2013 Dmitry Chugai
After the Flood, is an aquatic perfume with character. Room temperature fresh water, maybe rainwater, or pond water, collected in a stone and metal urn.  There are warm and green elements, a clean earthiness, comfortable and comforting. Dense balmy humid air above water that has inhaled the greenery and moist earth over an afternoon.  A lovely day time perfume.  I think it would keep you grounded and real even if inside all day working at a computer, under florescent lights.  It does have a true resemblance and therefore a connection to those simple and essential good things found in nature in our temperate climate.  It can make you feel good if you are at all sensitive to olfactory influence, and that's the main thing I ask of a perfume.

Notes are listed as Violet leaf, Water lily, Mushroom, Patchouli, Wet Earth.

It must be the water lily getting to me, and that makes perfect sense as I am wild about water lily and wish it was used a lot more often in perfumes. And everyone has a primal positive reaction to the scent of wet earth.

The Paradam dives into the indolic, that is to say the 'dirty sexy wild' end of the perfume pool, but keeps its self-possession with a bit of distance. It reads like the scent of heady flowers clinging to a wool coat, as if that's what's been extracted, proving that strong jasmine and lilies were once here with you, perhaps in the buttonhole of your jacket or crowning your hair. Buttery orris root and sandalwood contain some of the intensity to soothe and calm. There's depth in the gentleness, while it contains those tricky indolic qualities in a wearable way. Serious, elegant, and civilized enough to be able to wear out to dinner without becoming most dominant over the table.

Notes are listed as Madonna Lily, Jasmin Grandiflorum, Orris Butter, Mysore Sandalwood (legally sourced) and Oakmoss (yes, that scary Oakmoss that the EU wants to protect us from, much used until recently in so many beloved classic vintage perfumes). References the old school perfumes made long before aroma chemicals hit the scene, but in a gender neutral way.

I'm very taken with these three from the line, and there are more. A sample set is available if you are not close to a shop that carries them.  I was glad to run across these perfumes the last time I went to Twisted Lily in Brooklyn, who generously provided me with samples.

Copyright 2015, Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved.

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