In Letters to a Fellow Perfumer, a series of open letters, Mandy Aftel and Liz Zorn discussed their experiences and thoughts on how to approach common challenges and solve creative problems in the process of crafting works form the same starting point. During their ‘creative joint venture’, each chose one ingredient – Mandy Aftel went for galbanum and Liz Zorn picked ylang-ylang – and both set out to compose focusing on these two as their main building blocks.
Haute Claire is a bright brainchild, a slick juxtaposition of galbanum and ylang-ylang, where the former’s green sharpness is smoothed by luscious blooming of the latter.
The overall theme is verdancy, starting out bright and green with a whiff of lime in a fleeting appearance. Maintaining brightness, the fragrance moves on to centre on balsamic notes, ranging from sweetening of ylang to earthy-woodiness of the gum resin and sage. This pas de deux closes with a combination of vetiver and subtle vanilla, reinforcing the green facet as well as mellow characteristic in a suave drydown.
Haute Claire stays close to my skin and has good longevity - for a natural perfume quite impressive. But I wish the crisp element in the opening had dwelt just a little longer.
12th July, 2012 (last edited: 12th November, 2013)