Perfume Directory

by House of Matriarch


Alpha information

AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 12 votes)

People and companies

HouseHouse of Matriarch
PerfumerChristi Meshell

About Alpha

Alpha is a masculine fragrance by House of Matriarch. The fragrance was created by perfumer Christi Meshell

Alpha fragrance notes

Reviews of Alpha

Alpha smells like a dense and yet quite tame, concoction of assorted green notes, dry sandalwood and incense. It has an overall head-shop / *all-natural* vibe that ruins it for me but if you're ok with that and you're up for a solid aromatic-woody, this might be worth checking out. So, it's basically a high-end headshop where rich hippies buy their swarowski pipes.

The drydown gets better when sandalwood and incense become the main players yet, somehow, it still reeks of bongs…fancy bongs though.

30th April, 2015
House of Matriarch Alpha is an amazing coniferous-resinous-incensey fragrance smelling about dark-green appalling forests, herbal sticky patterns, veritable weeds, rubber, pepper, smooth musky vetiver, heavy woods, frankincense, fir resins and stormy ozonic molecules (being the latter a yet runned theme by Christi Meshell in order to "entrap" the soul of the northern west american coast, a yet present oceanic-woodsy feel yet unfolded by the excellent Blackbird). Superbly manly and dark. There is a deeply woodsy resinous (hashish-like) vibe throughout provided partially by cannabis sativa, supported by a rubbery boots polish effect and counteracted by a brighter and smoother (decidedly musky) vetiver dominant undertone. Anyway is properly the vetiver-fir resins-frankincense rubbery accord to increase the hashish-like vibe which several are talking about, imo. Frankincense is extremely well calibrated in order to imprint a sort of atmospherical resinous penetrating vibe. The Alpha's dry down is sandalwood mastered (yes a sort of nutty and slightly smokey aura) and the realistic woods are brightly flanked by smooth oakmoss and mild copahu balm providing a subtle creamy woody undertone. Frankly I hold on catching a not listed vetiver along dry down and I wonder if a vetiver (may be just ostensible) presence could be deceptively elicited by cedarwood, sativa and resins. Along dry down I catch in the air a peppery-mossy-hesperidic-woody feel conjuring me vaguely the Terre d'Hermes's final trail. Anyway this velvety dry down is mastered (under my nose) by this smooth musky vibe vaguely creamy-resinous (fir resins and incense), salty-mineral and aromatic. Extremely virile and mysterious piece of almost organic salty muskiness.
16th January, 2015 (last edited: 17th January, 2015)
A sandal-wood heavy composition that creates a rich aura around the wearer.

This is an odd one for me, as I find it to be relatively tame given the insinuation of its moniker. It sits somewhere between woody oriental and green aromatic, but I mainly get sandalwood from it with some incense that arrives in the dry down.

There's a subtle nuttiness that's detectable in the opening, which is a standard attribute of natural sandalwood, but it's surprising to pick up on this aspect so early in the evolution as it tends to be reserved for use more as a base than as a central feature. And when faced with notes of cedarwood and cypress, I usually expect an astringent sharpness, but here the greenery is oddly dialed back. A subtle smokiness suggests that amyris might be the material of choice, but the creamy, nutty quality of mysore is also prevalent. Either way, the volume of the wood and the relative reticence of the greenery conjures an impression of a sawmill or a lumber yard rather than a coniferous forest. Although there are no animalics listed in the notes, there is a slight muskiness that perhaps comes from the cannabis (sativa) as it draws parallels to Blackbird's prominent weed note. So upfront, it's a rich, nutty sandalwood with subtle glimpses of the green notes sprouting through.

And this is what threw me a little with this scent. For a walk-in-the-woods type of fragrance, Alpha seems to be missing some key coniferous components. Yet once the sandalwood settles, the greens emerge a little more through the use of oakmoss which wafts in and out throughout the scent's lifespan. This had me thinking about other all-natural forest floor perfumes, and it occurred to me that while the full recreation of a headspace would make more sense, it's been done by others so many times that what Matriarch offers is something quite out of the blue. And as the scent settles further and some of the initial creaminess begins to disperse, the incense and copal appear—the inverse of the way you might expect such notes to evolve in perfumery. This stage works very well indeed, with the slightly peanut-y, sandalwood merged with a fantastic, airy layer of bone dry, smoky incense that crackles and hangs as if suspended above the balmy base. Alpha settles into a skin scent, projecting only at close range, and, as with others from the line, makes itself known through occasional wafts and glimpses of the greens. Like other natural perfumes, the scent hugs the wearer rather than bounding off into the world—it's quite subtle and reserved in this respect, which is hardly alpha male type behavior.

Although I'm not sure this one's for me, it would certainly appeal to those who enjoy natural sandalwood-centric fragrances. Richwood springs to mind as a possible analog, but that scent is hinged upon its prominent rose note, and Matriarch's offering is generally more expressionistic in its structure compared to Xerjoff's clinical precision. This would be a scent well suited for someone who wants a more free-wheeling twist on the woody aromatic genre, and its most striking feature is when the sandalwood and the incense converge. If you happen to enjoy creamy sandalwood scents, then Alpha would be a good consideration. But if you're truly an aplha male and you're after some über-powerhouse '70s masculine forest scent, you might look elsewhere as this particular Alpha is far more sensitive than it initially appears.

Pros: The dry down convergence of sandalwood and copal/incense is amazing.
Cons: The greens and other signifiers of "forest" are low in the mix, and the whole composition is more gentle than the name might suggest."

03rd August, 2013

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