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I tried not to over-saturate with blogpinions before we ventured to the JAR boutique, but it's hard not to take note of the myriad dismissals of Shadow: that it smells like relish, marinated tomatoes, hamburgers, pickles, etc. Well, it does not. Or, perhaps I should say, if your relish really smells like this then where can I get some?
Just to be fair, I actually sniffed a jar of relish. Its development is linear with top notes of vinegar and dill followed by fructose, clove, and citric acid in the drydown. It was actually less exciting than I expected.
Then from jar to JAR.
First, let me say I have not given a lot of thought to the texture of a scent before. Many designer fragrances (I realize now) come out of the bottle extremely hissy and coarse. They are the olfactory equivalent of an old fashioned TV picture barely watchable through bad reception. I buy a lot of niche fragrance, and their textures tend toward the finer end of the spectrum. But this thing. Ach mein gott. It is stitched together so finely that it may as well have been wept from those angels on the head of a pin. It is well beyond my noob nose to account for how this texture is so beautiful--as if the fragrance "pixels" disappeared and I was seeing for real for the first time--but wow, there it is. A whole new level.
Now the notes. I understand where the pickle comes from, but that is such a lazy way to describe what's really going on. There is a beautiful juxtaposition between vetiver and (what to my nose smells like) mustard seed. It is a sweet-savory tug-of-war against a backdrop of clove, a wood that I cannot identify, and an indolic whore of a carnation. It is fairly linear. It does not have amazing longetivity. But what these players act out on the stage of my arm is so refined, so perfectly crafted, and so stunningly unlike anything else I have smelled that I hardly know how to put it into words.
I also sniffed a jar of mostarda, which is my personal favorite condiment. And I would say the mostarda is a little closer than the relish. But it plays out the same way: sniffing the condiment only reinforces that, not only is the JAR not from the fridge; I'm not even sure it's of this world.
This is some badass juice.
08 February, 2012