Superbly shocking opening, a weird combination of antithetical elements (dry-vegetal on one side and edible-fruity-balmy-sweet on the other side) able to disorient also the "Diablo". All the notes seem to be encompassed by a really arcane and sinister atmosphere as well as some unexpected spell had in a flash projected us back in to a prehistoric greenish-watery appalling world. I detect by soon a lymphatic sticky "leaves nectar" combined with fresh (fizzy) balsamic "air of mountain", wet earth, mineral elements, "mastering" pepper, roots, minty fir resins, mold, camphor, forest musks, mushrooms and God knows which other "devilry". All the previous "subterraneous" elements appear by soon "escorted", sweeted, tamed and counteracted by floral patterns and edible (almost yummy) culinary notes like fresh watermelon, something like ripe apricot, vanilla, milk and red fruits from the forest (blackberries, raspberries, apples). The combination is of course compelling and freaky. I detect in the amalgam the spongy iris powder surrounded by leathery (suede like) and seasoned (woods-tobacco) accents. The hellish combination is at once fruity/lacteous, green-mouldy, dusty and suede veined, over all surrounded by an undeniable weirdness which talks us about left back mysterious ages and secret stocks of "brilliant" things. Franky I detect far more the omnipresent mineral (wet earth like) atmosphere and something milky (and unbelievably something vaguely plastic) than actually the ozonic feel is told somewhere about. Mare is the more daring (or better, experimental) Slumberhouse's creation on the side of Sova imo, something at same time somewhat mystic/rural but surprisingly avantgard. Test it inescapably on skin before to order such a masterpiece of natural starkness.
P.S: after a couple of hours the mouldy/greenish dustiness starts to tame down and a fresh (and smoothly fruity/lacteous) tobacco leaves/sandalwood vibe marvellously starts standing out.
12th February, 2015 (last edited: 13th February, 2015)
Mare is probably the ugly duckling of all Slumberhouses. The one fragrance that everybody dismissed at first, to then become on of the most wanted in the house's back catalog.
It's an incredibly evocative mix of dark green vegetal notes (leaning towards algae type of smells) and fruity-melony, kind of watery, elements. The pairing of these ingredients give birth to a bizarre, abyss type of scenario that's sci-fi and primitive at the same time. A place populated by weird aquatic creatures and, possibly, the kraken. There's an overall mentholated vibe going on throughout that slightly drives the fragrance towards balsamic territories while milky facets and loads of iris provide even more craziness to one of the most compelling creatures delivered by the hands of Josh Lobb.
Downline: Crazy, odd and even over the top if you want, but not as *scary* as it might sound.
Mare is the most challenging fragrance for me out of all the Slumberhouse scents I have tried thus far.
First of all, it smells completely different from a distance than it does nose to wrist. Up close, there is something vaguely rotting or even vomitous about the smell that truly repels me. But from a safe distance away, you get this beautiful waft of herbs, greenery, and a gentle fruity sweetness. It almost smells innocent, fresh.
Second, the scent is endlessly complex and shifts from one accord to another, so my nose picks up a range of different notes each time I go back for another sniff. Some of the times what I smell repulses me, some of the times, I find myself thinking, "Wow, that's so good!" The experience of wearing Mare is therefore a bit of a see-saw.
In the opening notes, for example, the first thing I smelled was melon, but when I forced my nose back to my wrist a mere few seconds later (I don't like melon, either to eat or to smell), all I was able to smell was either dill or fennel, something frond-y and green anyway. It's a very pleasant, botanical smell, not foody in any way, just natural, like swishing a frond of dill or parsley across your face. For the rest of the scent, half of the times I smelled melon (and maybe some apple too? there was a fruit note there that is considerably fresher and less "rotting garbage" than melon), and the other half I smelled greenery, herbs, some vetiver.
Mare also seemed to me to be washed down with a fresh, salty note that makes you think of the fresh air you get at the seaside, although I hasten to add, there is nothing seaside-ish about this at all. Mind you, in Montenegrin, Mare means Sea, so maybe I am just imagining this briny air note and projecting my own reading of the word "Mare" onto the scent. I never picked up on any orris root, sorry to say. Although it is possible that it is orris that is responsible for me smelling that salty, airy note.
All in all, a weird little scent that I either like a lot or cannot bear, depending on the physical distance between my nose and my skin, and where it is exactly on its little merry-go-round between melon and greenery. It smells quite wild - fruity, dark green, veering off into something rotting and wet, then reigning itself back in again to smell like a gust of salty air. I can see why people either love it or hate it. It is certainly incredibly evocative and original.
Nix. Ghastly. Melon. Apple. Over-ripe tropical fruits plus the same "spoiled" or moldy note that I disliked in Pear + Olive. Sweet and rotten aroma. Fermenting compost pile of fruit. Why does no one else mention fruit? It's a sweet-tart fruit like mango or berries. It's powerful and watery like Calone. It's a melange of tart fruits left in the sun too long. Other people are calling this green. My definition of green is galbanum, tomato leaf, violet leaf, shiso, green tea, grass, cilantro, and some of the mints. This does not say "leaves" to me. Where are people finding notes for this? Regardless; whatever it is, it's not to my liking.
Crazy, gorgeous opening, really powerful and amplified, an edible, mentholated green-balsamic accord of crunchy leaves on a dark, oily, milky base, greener than green, humid and wet, spacious and tridimensional, with bold herbaceous notes and a general invigorating, energetic vibe, like those sugarfree mint candies you eat when you've a sore throat. Never smelled anything like this before – and I am surely not "an easy one" when it comes to enthusiasm, especially for avant-garde niche products. This instead just completely got me. The heart of the scent is really dense, thick, materic, almost oily and sticky, pungent but at the same time, luminous and bright – not in a predictable "sunlight" meaning, rather a neon, plastic light. Lot of synthetic aromachemicals, but used in a really balanced, bright and creative way, to explore new ways of composition and give the scent a palpable futuristic vibe. All smells so "new" (to me, at least) that makes this scent quite hard to describe for me, but it's simply superb, the only "normal" reference I can recall is that balsamic accord, which from times to times smells also like absinth, with its darker, liquid and stickier counterpart. But there is a lot more, there's this strange, captivating feel which makes me think of two cultural references: the opalescent, suspended, gloomy photography of Sokurov's movies, and the world of Ballard's novels - specifically his "The drowned World" novel, which is set in this post-apocalyptic green, super humid world. This is quite the smell one can imagine that world may exhude – a futuristic, at the same time organic and archaic nature. Deadidol perfectly summed that up below: "it’s the scent that vegetation will produce when humans are no longer around to interfere". Totally brilliant. Plus, the composition is just perfect, powerful yet restrained where it should be, it's just great. Plenty of skills and talent here, and a stunning quality of materials. The only tiny "con" is the drydown, which smells a bit like a chewing-gum, but I can really forgive that.
This is probably the most imposing perfume from the line, and the most challenging for me to wear. Yet there’s something utterly compelling about it and the absolutely immersive experience that it offers.
Mare is sopping wet. It’s the scent of a forest rainstorm—a monsoon in which the aroma of bitter vines, lush vegetation, vitreous leaves are intensified to extraordinary levels. This is no mere hint of undergrowth; you’re entirely subsumed and encompassed by it.
Technically, Mare is a bouquet of bitter greens and glassy vegetal notes with a subtle camphorous thread running throughout. It’s iris, vetiver, and wet soil (among other things). The scent effect that it replicates can be understood as “petrichor”—a chemical reaction between soil bacteria and ozone. The ozonic effect, here, comes from a watermelon material (don’t worry, it’s not calone or anything even close to that) that provides a green shimmer akin to a salicylate. But what’s most surprising about Mare is that for all its bitter vegetation, it never veers too far into the wild—the composition is entirely managed and modulated with astounding precision. The greens are entirely vivid and vibrating; it’s as if deep and resonant sinusoidal waves are being propelled through a dense rainforest, causing each individual leaf to vibrate at high frequency, shaking scent-infused dew in all directions like an animal shaking water from its coat. Wearing Mare is like having your sense perception go through the roof: everything is over-performing its natural role, yet the frame rate has been slowed down to a snail’s pace so that you can experience it all with microscopic precision.
It’s not a “pretty” scent, but it doesn’t go out of its way to stress ugliness either. If you’re a fan of perfumes like Irish Silver Mist, Norne, and Sycamore, and you’re strangely drawn to the scent of fresh rain, then this will be unmissable. In the past, I quite disliked it as I tend struggle with overly vegetal and green notes. But as with many scents from the line, I knew that one day it would “click" and make sense, so I bought a bottle and set it aside. After wearing it for the past few days now, it has indeed "clicked.” That doesn’t mean it’s any less challenging, but having moved beyond that initial threshold of difficulty, it’s has totally come to life.
Mare is atavistic, but it’s also futuristic. It’s the scent that vegetation will produce when humans are no longer around to interfere.
18th April, 2014 (last edited: 21st April, 2014)