Perfume Directory

Sova (2012)
by Slumberhouse


Sova information

Year of Launch2012
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 70 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerJosh Lobb

About Sova

Sova is a shared / unisex perfume by Slumberhouse. The scent was launched in 2012 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Josh Lobb

Sova fragrance notes

Reviews of Sova

Stardate 20190131:

A different gourmand perfume but then that is expected from Slumberhouse.
It has the same syrupy resins that Josh loves but there are savory aspects to this Gourmand. Folks have compared it to Indian curry and they are right.
The tradition punjabi mango pickle use mustard oil, onion seeds and anise as preservative to pickle green unripe mango. The savory aroma of Sova is very similar to this pickle.
Josh has made sure to dial this down just right to keep this non pungent.
A great effort. I just can't wear this pickle :)
31st January, 2019
Sova is a nice foodie fragrance. It has a nice warmth and richness, and it smells interesting. It has a sweet spiciness. In moments, it smells like a ginger snap cookie, but it also has interesting complexity, and smells like much more - a delicious stew, for example, sweet and savory. There's also a hint of leather.

A couple more thoughts on what this smells like: maybe a sweet chai, or maybe a dish of Indian food with a fairly sweet sauce, such as korma.
30th July, 2018
I only obtained a bottle due to the limited re-release this August via Fumerie Parfumerie of Portland, OR, and I was fortunate to nab a bottle, breaking my general rule of not blind buying, especially fragrances on the more expensive side.

Sova's reputation, having been discontinued for a couple years, however, was the stuff of lore, and so I felt justified in going for it, and I'm not disappointed that I did.

Like the other Slumberhouse fragrances I own (Jeke, Ore, Norne), Sova is powerful and provocative, but it's a bit more daring, spicy, and even borderline animalic.

And like the others, while there is a woody commonality (woody dominance in the case of Norne, in fact), and a semblance of sweetness in Ore and Jeke, both qualities are present in Sova but are overwhelmed by the spicy, animalic mixture of hay, castoreum, and broom, giving it a sharper edge than the other fragrances in the lot.

Still, Sova is anchored by tonka and vanilla, both of which keep it from flying off the rails as a wild spicy and dirty potion.

Sova pushes the envelope from what I already considered bold, daring scents in Slumberhouse, but I'm pleased that it's still a sophisticated enough blend that I'd feel comfortable wearing it in a few situations. Yet at the same time, it's a bit too daring and edgy for a first impression or early date, but a little loud to wear privately, so it's hard to select an ideal occasion for wearing it, but no matter: I'll find the time to wear it, albeit sparingly.

It almost doesn't need mentioning, but Sova has the same superlative performance like its fellow Slumberhouse dark juice brethren, on the extreme high end in terms of both projection and longevity, a testament to the juice's value at $160 for 30ml.

If you come across this, do check it out! A staple of the line and one I'm glad to have added to my collection.

8 out of 10
23rd September, 2017
Interesting to read the reviews on Sova. My experience has been a good one, but I haven't smelled many of the things I've read that others have.

Sova opened with a very nice caramel smell, but one that had a strange note as well. It took me a moment to recognize it, but I finally realized it smelled like a burning smell, and to be more accurate, like the smell the belt on my vacuum has when it's slipping and starts to burn a little. It was a strange smell, but it didn't last too long, and once it was gone, Sova just smelled so wonderful all day. To me, Sova smells like caramel popcorn. Not just like caramel popcorn, there are spices going on as well, but this caramel popcorn smell is the bomb. It's an ultra buttery caramel popcorn. Absolutely delicious smelling to my nose. Sova seemed very linear to me once the slight burned rubber smell left. The rest of the day the buttery caramel corn smell hung with me, and I really enjoyed it a lot. I'd love to have a bottle of Sova in my collection. Excellent fragrance in my opinion.
16th April, 2017
This is a bit of a strange creature. On me, this smells of baked apples, and something watery and syrupy (like canned fruit cocktail) and the lit end/ashes from a cigarette (burnt and dry). The ashiness is pretty prominent and is quite strong, but after 30 minutes it dials back a bit. Don't get me wrong, it's still the main thing that I smell...but at least it doesn't smell quite so much like I've been rolling in an ash tray or covered in paper that's on fire. In the back of it I can smell this metallic fruit cocktail (straight out of the can, complete with juiciness of the syrup) and a hint of baked apples. It's also starting to develop a soft "boozy" quality, I think maybe brandy? All in all, I like this weird little scent adventure! It's not very high on my purchase list, but it's something that I will enjoy the sample while I have it.
05th December, 2016
Slumberhouse perfumer Josh Lobb has said that he doesn’t work with topnotes. Most of his perfumes smell layered, as if materials with similar consistencies or densities were creating a ‘wall of scent.’ Materials meet each other head to head on a level playing field. The democracy of materials urges you to find your own understanding of the perfumes without being steered along a particular course. By contrast, a traditional top/heart/base has a momentum that guides your attention more explicitly. If you favor traditional perfume, Sova might seem as if it lacks movement. On the other hand, if you prefer the ‘wall of scent’ approach, a traditional pyramidal structure could seem programatic, like a theme-park ride that, for all its thrills and drama, is still a passive experience.

I have no horse in this race and think that both approaches can be effective. The issue is how successfully a perfume accomplishes its goals. Sova is an excellent example of Lobb’s method. It has no topnotes per se and questions the premise that a perfume without a top-to-bottom structure is “linear”, that is to say, static. By asking the wearer to participate in order to make sense of the perfume, Lobb’s perfumes tip the balance from observation to interpretation. The perfume is less an artifact and more the entry point to an adventure.

Sova appears gourmand at first sniff and aromas come into focus as flavors. The herbal moistness of tobacco and hay. A bitter honeycomb made from hops and clover. Cold/hot spices like clove and allspice.

If I try to chase down the specific gourmand facets, they take me somewhere vaguely inedible–woods, bitter herbs, resins. Sova’s imagery is elusive if you squint too hard to bring it into focus. To paraphrase a new age expression that used to make me apoplectic, Let Go and Let Sova. The imagery works best as a gestalt, not zooming in on the flavors, but the picture that the flavors suggest. I have a sample of the discontinued Slumberhouse Baque (also 2012), which has a similar profile to Sova. The similarity of aromas is there, but Sova suggests baked goods while Baque suggests booze.

Lobb riffs on an approach that Christopher Sheldrake honed to precision in woody Serge Lutens perfumes like Arabie, Chergui and Five O’Clock au Gingembre. Framing woods with resins and spices brings out roasted tones. Sova is far less sweet than these Lutens though, as if Lobb paraphrased the Godfather cannoli meme: Leave the syrup. Take the woods.

Sova reminds me of the most delicious part of gingerbread, the scorched edges where sweetness gives way to smokiness. Lutens might have built a gingerbread house. Slumberhouse burns it down.
21st June, 2016

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