As I'm sure many of you are aware, there are a number of practicing perfumers in our midstâ€”some of whom are producing scents that would appeal to a number of Basenotes' readers. Yet their fragrances tends to get overlooked because they're not logged in the database and only a handful of us have had the opportunity to try them, which keeps them from entering into regular conversation in the forum.
I recently had the chance to test drive several scents by PK Perfumes and thought it would be helpful to start a discussion thread for those who might otherwise miss out on Paul's work. I've requested that these scents be added into the database to provide a more appropriate spot for official reviews, but until that happens, I'll post some thoughts here. (Also, be aware that Paul's line is unisex, but the one's that I've focused on here would be well-suited alongside several recent discussions of forest fragrances in the MFD.)
So to begin, here are some thoughts on Ereâ€”a fragrance that would appeal to many who are drawn to naturalistic coniferous scents, but would prefer something that conveys an additional level of freshness as well.
Ere is a crisp, green aromatic that modernizes coniferous forest-floor type scents while simultaneously referencing the historical trajectory of men's fragrance.
Opening with a bracing surge of greenery, Ere deploys an unusual semi-sweet fern alongside a prominent galbanum to situate you within the undergrowth. Grassy notes of vetiver are supplemented by a touch of clove bud to attenuate the bitter presence of roots, maintaining instead a brighter sensation of forestry rather than overemphasizing the soil itself. And this is one of the first striking components of Ere: the scent is highly naturalistic, yet spares the wearer some of the more fetid aspects of natureâ€”not by eradicating them per se, but instead by locating the fern/galbanum as the prominent focus of the composition. It's here that the scent first seems to cite aromatic powerhouses, recalling vetiver-based classics, but without any overt sharpness. Yet the modern twist the scent provides is that the citrus notes generally featured in the opening of such classics are re-imagined here through a hint of rose that doesn't fully emerge until the scent has settled onto the skin.
While Ere's opening is courteous enough to keep you from getting your feet too dirty, what follows is an intriguing notion of ascension as the bright head notes lower to reveal a body that's as refreshing as the opening, only now sweetened further by the full emergence of the rose and what appears to be a hint of berry. This effect creates an impression of movement in that the coniferous forest seems to separate and open into a clearing of sorts, allowing for an additional level of natural brightness to emerge that reflects more upon the homophonic title of the fragrance itself. Rather than simply replicating a static environment, the scent feels animated in that a narrative progression is deployed to transport you from one aspect of the forest into another. As the rose develops and assumes a more pronounced role among the ferns, a new tension emerges through the pairing of notes that work seamlessly yet raise the question: can roses grow within the soil of coniferous forests? This, of course, underscores the challenge faced by representational perfumeryâ€”recreating elements as they might exist in nature rather than simply pairing complimentary notes. Yet what this rose note seems to do more than anything is to accentuate a subtle and mysterious floral texture already present within the coniferous fern. It's here that I'm reminded of Lubin's Itasca in which harsh greenery is softened by bitter-sweet notes to present a new twist on a classical scent. Ere's indeed doing something similar, but the sense of movement up from the undergrowth lends a more dynamic texture.
As the scent settles, the impressionistic reference to clean air becomes most apparent. The bracing greenery and coniferous notes continue to drop away maintaining the notion of ascension and rendering the shrubbery as a detectable, yet distanced trace. It's here that the clove and the baronia carry the scent through the remainder of its wearing, providing a clarity that avoids becoming overly soapy, nor does it derail into the abrasive territories of "chemically clean." What's captured is a sense of air with Ere that's quite stunning, and this is a fragrance that accomplishes a number of feats impressively. It's well-suited for lovers of men's classics as much as it is for lovers of modern fresh scents. Although others selections from the brand speak more toward my own personal preference, for fans of crisp, green aromatics, this one's distinctive enough to warrant further exploration.
Notes include: Galbanum, Kit-Kit-Dizzie Fern, Clove Bud, Black Tea, Hay, Juniper Berry, Immortelle, Bulgarian Rose Absolute, Boronia, Genet Absolute, Angelica, Haitian Vetiver, Patchouli, Cedar, Mastic, Sandarac, Cypriol, Tobacco, Fir Balsam, Oakmoss
Up next: Red Leather.