It's probably also worth reiterating that he is planning on making a few more "wearable" fragrances in the future for spring and summer. I'd think those that can't wear anything from the house would benefit from checking those out when they come to the surface.
I've never tried a niche fragrance, but I've been thinking about ordering a Slumberhouse sample pack. Are these scents really THAT far out? Or is their niche-ness more indicative of a small operation and high quality ingredients?
When people are saying Slumberhouse does not have mass appeal, I think there are a group of complex factors involved. Price and wearability are being cited as the two main ones, but some of the arguments around these seem a bit shaky...
Dollar for dollar, Slumberhouse isn't more expensive than some designer fragrances at my local mall. Yes, the size of the bottle is smaller, but the concentration is higher. I think even the most uneducated fragrance buyer can quickly learn the difference in %/vol between an aftershave, cologne, eau de toilette, and perfume, so it does not seem unreasonable for people to understand that the value of Josh's "extrait" fragrances are to be measured in a smaller bottle -- of equal price -- lasting the same amount of time as a bigger, less concentrated bottle of something else.
As for mass appeal, I don't think that is a determining factor in wearability, because taste varies by individual, time period, and location, among other factors. There are fragrances at the mall that I find un-wearable, but have the brand power to achieve wide distribution, which helps them to find the people who will appreciate them. Kouros is just one example. There are also older scents that have their devotees, but perhaps appeal less to the next generation. This is the classic "old man/woman" fragrance that has mass appeal to a certain age range, but is less popular or wearable to another cohort. By location, I mean different cultures consider different scents to be fragrance worthy; I was wearing Old Spice in Hong Kong and got asked by my friend if I was using herbal medicine...
Furthermore, in periods of high market homogeneity (like most new releases of designer/celebrity frags these days), it does not follow that all people will just buy what is available. If demand for something is not sated, consumers drop out of the market until something different comes along. Marketing can go a long way towards encouraging people to buy something, but fragrances are a luxury product, so taste is a deciding factor.
Basically, "mass appeal" is difficult to determine because masses of people are heterogeneous. There may be a current mainstream of new fragrances, but these trends are just a grouping in the much larger range of what is available from even the average mall.
That being said, I don't want to waste my money on a Slumberhouse sample pack (currently Norne, Jeke, Sova, Pear + Olive) if they aren't wearable. Being outside the current mainstream is OK, strong is OK (I like powerhouses!), different is OK, but are these fragrances really that weird or beyond the pale? If they were available at the mall and people understood just how concentrated they are (re: value), would they sell or would they sit there until some devoted Bassnoter came in?
In my opinion they are not just wearable, but belong to the most complimented of my collection (I wear Sova and Jeke and get compliments every time).
But really only you can judge what is or isn't "wearable"... at any rate I would say they are definitely worth a try if your curiosity is piqued.
From what you said, you are fine with powerful fragrances, and these are certainly powerful. How powerful tends to depend on the person, as I have seen people say that they cannot wear these, or only wear them when they spray their wrist or behind the leg or something. Me, I wear one spray right on the neck, and I do fine.
As for the sample pack, I say you get it. I should mention that I am friends with Josh to an extent, so I'm a little biased since I want to support him, but realistically this is an experience any fragrance lover shouldn't miss. What is interesting to me is that almost everyone who tries them that dislikes the scents says that they respect what Josh is doing, but that they just can't see themselves wearing one frequently enough to buy a bottle. I totally get that! I bought Sova for myself, but I wear that a lot (at least once every other week), and Sova is really mesmerizing to me, as it seriously gets better the longer you let it sit on your skin (which is generally true of all of his fragrances). Hours 1 and 2 can be harsh, but don't give up, as hours 5-10 are great, and hours 15-∞ (I say that because I tend to wash up before it's done lasting on my skin, I've gotten well over 24 hours from it) are the best! That's how Josh intended the fragrances to be. I remember him mentioning in an interview once that he designs fragrances for the five hours after application, which is why he doesn't use top notes.
As for weirdness, yeah some are a little odd compared to mainstream fragrances, both designer and the more popular niche. Still, some of them are really unique and quite interesting, like Jeke.
As I've mentioned several times, Josh loves getting emails from people, be they new to the brand or people just inquiring about something. So, if you want to talk to him directly just use the email listed on the site, and I'm sure he'd answer any questions you have.
I'm not sure they'd sell at the mall to your typical fragrance shopper, but they're definitely not that far out.
I find them more wearable than Andy Tauer's fragrances that are held in very high esteem here, and I feel for the most part Slumberhouse's fragrances have more depth and density than many fragrances available today (niche or otherwise).
It's a good thing you like powerhouses, as these scents are very strong indeed. Even Pear and Olive, which has the lightest, least wintery feel of the line (most of them are very thick and resinous), lasts and projects all day.
I say try the sample pack - out of sova, P&O, norne and jeke there's only one I've not thought to buy a full bottle.
They're a great way to see just what Josh does with his fragrances, and the 2mL atomisers each provide you with enough juice for at least 7 wears; that way you might be able to recoup a few bucks by onselling them at a discount if you decide they're not for you.
I find it interesting to try houses like Slumberhouse, Kerosene and Paul Kiler.
Not only are they small, often single-operator companies (almost more artisan than niche, if a distinction can be drawn), but they're American based, and they come to the table with different influences and a new take on fragrance.
I hear people say they'll only buy French perfumes, and that seems silly to me. Just like you wouldn't stick to the one cuisine forever, nor should you buy fragrance from one country to the exclusion of all others.
I assure you, a sample pack won't be a waste of money if you're looking for something different from the usual mall fragrances.
Building on what Tim just said, it's worth noting that each 2mL spray vial should only really be sprayed once per wearing. You seriously don't need any more, otherwise you'll choke yourself out and you'll probably hate the fragrances. Considering each mL tends to give you 7-10 sprays, that's enough for a LOT of wearings (give or take a few) if you want to really figure them out before ordering. I only needed to wear Sova 3 or so times before I bought it, same with my mom with P+O. Now I use those sample vials if I go on the road, or if I am at school.
Thanks for the replies, folks. I'm definitely looking for something different, but had been given pause by some of the replies to this thread.
The comments about potency and application technique are duly noted. I wonder how many people are turned off these scents by failing to respect the concentration? Or by a fragrance pyramid that is lacking in top notes (I think I remember reading the interview with Josh that OctaVarium mentioned), but can stretch the longevity into a olfactory marathon?
I'm ready to try something interesting and further from the mainstream, but am not quite at the level where I can appreciate perfumery for art's sake alone. It still needs to be wearable, which is of course subjective, but if people are wearing them, then it can be done. I'll probably order the sample pack later today, unless some of the naysayers are still following this thread and can weigh in compellingly in the against column...
Yeah, I don't really agree either. When I did the math per mL, Slumberhouse is going for $4.30, which is at the high end of almost anything I looked at, EDT, EDP, anything, except for a very few of the natural perfumers I've been browsing, at the top of the price bracket. By contrast, my bottle of NK Incense, at $500, was only $2.50 per mL, and it definitely matches Slumberhouse for sheer power, AND is rare and vintage to boot. Not that I consider what I've paid for Slumberhouse wasted, not at all.
As for wearability -- might as well just try it. I can say I find Slumberhouse super-wearable and not at all challenging, while my friend NYCBoomBoom above can say the opposite till the day is done, but only you can answer for yourself!
I mean, the whole value for money thing is kind of a separate argument. The other day when I went to Sephora, bottles were much more expensive than what you find online. So, if you say the whole "average person walking into a store" thing, I'd say people would buy Slumberhouse stuff if they like them. Hell, 100mL of Hermes Jardin series was over $100!
7-10 sprays per ml x 30ml=210 to 300 wearings for Slumberhouse. I'm not going to do the same for every designer fragrance in the world, but you do need 3 sprays generally for most of them (I know there are plenty of exceptions), so the overall value does go down some.
Yes, value for money is a bit of a different argument than wearability, but both have been related to the general appeal -- or perceived lack of appeal -- of Slumberhouse fragrances.
If one knows where to look, they can certainly find inexpensive or discounted designer fragrances and one could also wait for Slumberhouse to have a sale My comparison about Slumberhouse being in the same value ballpark as some designer scents is based on regular price at the mainstream malls in my area or regular price from Josh.
For example, I could easily spend $140 ($125 + tax) on 100mL of some of the more expensive designer fragrances or $132 ($125 + shipping) on 30mL of a Slumberhouse fragrance, and if one needs 3 sprays of the designer frag vs. 1 of Slumberhouse, then they work out to approximately the same value. The price per wearing is relatively expensive, but not outside the range of mainstream fragrances, even if it is on the upper end.
Wearability is different and is partly based on personal preference, but also on social perception. Considering that I'm only thinking of getting a sample pack to start, it is also more important at this point than value.
I see that CompassRose is in my area, so it is reassuring to see a vote for super-wearable I've read some posts about people having to scrub their Slumberhouse samples off after a short while and I still wonder if that isn't from over application... I don't, however, recall anyone having posted about negative reactions from other people when wearing Slumberhouse?
When testing out a few of his 'heavier' scents I got negative reactions from friends/family.I don't, however, recall anyone having posted about negative reactions from other people when wearing Slumberhouse?
One day I tested a single spray of Eau des Baux, which is a fairly mainstream and accessible fragrance. Several hours later, I was chatting with my mother and she told me it was overpowering her. Perhaps the source was too direct because I sprayed it on my hand, particularly because I gesticulate when I talk and they must have been fanning it in her face. Anyway, I thought someone was kidding about wearing a 1/2 spray of Slumberhouse fragrances behind the knees, but maybe there is some metaphorical truth to it!
Potency aside, if there is nothing so weird about the current Slumberhouse frags as to make dogs howl, babies cry, and get me kicked off public transportation, then I'm leaning towards giving the sample pack a try.
Last edited by rowan-; 27th March 2013 at 06:39 PM.
First I tried Pear + Olive and I got an eggy vibe from it (?). I'm sure something went wrong with our interaction, so I'll have to try it again and see.
Jeke was next and it was like smelling barbecue sauce. I ended up getting a compliment on it at the end of the day, so that's good.
Wearing Norne now, and my impression is almost exact as that with Jeke.
All in all, I am impressed and looking forward to giving these more wears and try Sova, which is the fourth and last one in my sample pack.
Do you live in a McDonald's or something lol? Eggs from Pear + Olive, BBQ sauce from Jeke? Needless to say, I didn't encounter any sort of notes that you're referring to. Additionally, I found Norne to be completely different than the prior two mentioned. What I got more from Norne was an incense vibe that the other two most definitely do not have.
Well that explains it all Seriously though, I haven't noticed such notes. Are you sampling the recently reformulated stuff? I only have Slumberhouse's EDPs except for Sova which has always been an absolute to my knowledge. I am wondering if Josh's new developments have something to do with this.
Rume is my favorite. I'm wearing Sova for only the second time today. Sova is definitely a monster in terms of longevity. I keep it to one spray on the wrists and dab the side of my neck with this stuff. About 4 hours in right now and I'm smelling all beeswax and honey with a hint of hay.
Pretty excited to receive my sample pack and try these out.. Who doesn't like a sample pack?!
Current obsession...Invasion Barbare
Got back home from work last night and sprayed Norne on my wrist so that I could smell- I know these are strong stuff, so when applying in the morning I just do one on my chest and that lasts me the whole day.
Anyway, the resinous, syrupy, smokey character that reminds me of barbecue sauce was there, but I got the pine too. Went to dinner, and after about 20 minutes I smelled again and it was like sticking my nose onto a freshly-sawed slab of pine. It was impressive and explicit.
Last edited by juanderer; 29th March 2013 at 05:53 PM.
Dur. Thanks for bringing that up. It was Norne. I reapplied.
Norne is an interesting one, actually one of the most impressively complex fragrances from Slumberhouse. The dry-down has some incense, which is a nice touch in conjunction with the fir. However, this is the only one in the house that I do not personally enjoy wearing.
Hey Tony! I don't think you'll be disappointed with the purchase. I think the blast of spice overpowers the light potpourri scent. As it warms up and evolves throughout the day I think you'll really enjoy it and possibly come to love it as I do
Has anyone perchance tried Eki? I see that Parfum1 still has a few bottles of that left, and if anyone could make a white flower scent that I had the slightest hope of liking, it would be Josh. I'm debating whether to risk it.
I have found personally that the character/personality/strangeness that I love in the heavy scents are not present in the lighter ones (Flou, Sana, Eki I have tried). But I am liking Pear and Olive.
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I'll admit I was nevertheless tempted by those few bottles left at Parfum1 but ultimately reminded myself that I have a priority queue for Slumberhouse frags and Eki is behind at least three of the four currently in production.
But if you do pick one up, I would be interested to hear what you think of it.
I've tried Eki, Grev Jike, Vikt, Rume, Sana, Norne, and Pear and Olive, but they were the extrant super concentrated samples. I loved Norne, but not on me...smelled like pine room spray. Pear and Olive was wearable. The rest were just too strong.
I agree on Norne, personally. I like the strength of Slumberhouse frags. If I am paying over $100 for a 1.7 I would expect the quality and strength received from Slumberhouse. I've paid over $100 for a niche fragrance before, only to see the fragrance fade from my skin after only 3 hours. With Slumberhouse, you're smelling like Rume/Vikt/Jeke until you take a shower...not until you roll the windows down in your car.
In preparation for the arrival of my sample pack, I emailed Josh in regards to people's comments about the potency his fragrances. I asked for some guidance on application. Here is the relevant part of his reply, which other people may find useful too:
"...due to the concentration I recommend rubbing the fragrance into your skin once you spray it on, otherwise it may leave behind a slight 'oily' sheen from the density of the materials used to compose them. This isn't necessary, but I do at least suggest doing so with Norne as it's a dark colored perfume and can leave a bit of staining if you don't rub it in. The other option is exactly what you said, to spray and walk through, or what I do which is simply spray from a full arm's length so that the fragrance disperses well. I'm also using a new atomizer on my bottles which allows for great pump control, half-sprays (and even less) should pose no problem. As these are extraits, the sillage shouldn't be too loud but the longevity will be quite substantial, especially if you like to spray your clothes."
I sounds like one spray, at arms length is probably good. But for those who think Slumberhouse fragrances are too strong, maybe just 1/2 a spray is enough?
You'll be fine with one full spray.
When I applied Norne to my forearm, it immediately looked like I was bruised.
With Slumberhouse and other potent fragrances, I half spray my wrists, dab together (no rubbing) then spray another half spray on my neck line. That tends to work best for me.
I'm wearing Baque today for the 1st time. Funny, but I don't really get an apricot from this. I think I might be anosmic to apricot notes. But I instantly smell the similarities to Sova and the tobacco/straw/woods smell old (antiquated), thick and resinous. Nice - but not as nice as Sova.
"Human interaction can be hell. Or it can be a great spiritual practice."
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I'm not adding much, but I do love me some slumberhouse!
Jeke (autumn), Norne (pine wood), Sova (sweet yummy autumn), Baque (dry tobacco) are my faves from the line.
Verg (mossy vegetation) is ok, but I need to try it some more. Others didn't rub me very well on a first try: Grev (green herbal), Vikt (woody resin), Rume (barn hay), Mur (cereal-esque). I do need to rotate these up again for more trials.
Only Kere has been one I don't want to wear for sure, but that's only because I do not get along with licorice scents at all.
No matter the scent, though, they are all very powerful and masculine. And when I like them, I *really* like them.
Baque to me feels like something halfway between Sova and Jeke, without the smoky notes and with an intriguing extra sting of camphor. I like Baque. I think, given the option, Baque would be what I'd buy, rather than Jeke, since I already have Sova.
Wearing Sova today. Got a booziness from it at first sniff and a nice tobacco and hay vibe with a very present vanilla and burnt sugar sweetness that is far from cloying. Really enjoying this.
I still get the barbecue-sauce-like smoky thickness that I got from the other two (Jeke and Norne) although this one is not as smoky.
I'll try to give Pear + Olive another spin in the next couple of days.
I appreciate this line more the more I'm exposed to it. I think my favorite so far is Norne and I'm kicking myself for not having ordered samples earlier to try the offerings that are now unavailable.
I'm very thankful to have bought a bottle before the discontinuation. This is my favorite fragrance in the line after Rume.
Baque reminds me of the smell of the Maker's Mark whiskey distillery just outside Louisville. Wooden barrels, whiskey and smell of light light smoke. Baque has the sweet hay and tobacco that Sova has without the Beeswax.... a very slight hint of apricot (or dried fruit) upon launch whereas Sova has more honey. This stuff lasts quite a while, 12+ hours no problem.
I'm glad I own both Baque and Sova, but I find that I wear Baque more frequently. Perhaps it's a bit more conventional in some ways than Sova, which smells more like a place than a perfume (which is not something that bothers me). Speaking of smelling like a place, my bottle of Rume arrived today. It must have been one of the very last ones he made because it's in the new bottles, but was made before he filled them with marbles and got the new atomizers. Wow, it's really strong. It even survived me taking a shower. I'm glad I have it for archival purposes but I'm really not sure I'll be wearing it much. It smells like old books, cola, and spiced stewed plums.
Tony! I'm glad to have swayed you on the Baque or at least I'd like to think I had something to do with it I have the same bottle of Rume you just got today, new bottle, extremely potent. I haven't tested the new bottle yet, but it sounds like it will last me quite a while from your description. I wear Baque 2nd most out of the whole line after my original bottle of Rume. I'm super interested to see if there will be anything coming out from Josh in the near future. I was definitely surprised, but stand by his decision to discontinue some of the fragrances he fell out of love with.