Tonight I had a scent orgy with my friend Sarah, in which she let me uncork all her recent acquisitions from the master distributor of rare aromatics--Mr. John Steele. For the first time in my life I smelled Cold Distilled Golden Champaca, a breed of magnolia blossoms referred to as 'yellow jade orchid', the scent of which rung out in my vomeronasal organ like a big, sacred bell. Sweet, milky, balmy, like a song. I also got to sample Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, a new high quality sustainable sandalwood produced by a family farm in the ancient forests on the Big Island of Hawaii. The smell was a perfect creamy woody sweet sandalwood, reminiscent of Mysore, which has been dangerously overharvested.
Finally I got to sniff, wait for it...Rose Leaf Absolute. This is my new favorite smell. It has all the red petal lusciousness of a rose otto, but also is wildly green. As if the living stems and leaves of a rose bush are crushed together with the fragrant petals, creating a sublime aromatic harmony that makes me salivate as I write this. I want to base my SPRING fragrance on it, but the stuff is so rare that you can't use it for mass production. And it's bananas expensive. It is only made on one rose farm in India, and some years they don't yield even a single batch. Alas it is for inquiring noses only. John doesn't sell it on Perfumer's Apprentice (the batch is that small!) but sometimes White Lotus Aromatics has it for sale. If you are a scentophile like myself, this stuff is google-alert worthy. Seriously.
Oh what a night. Thank you, Sarah. And thank you John Steele!!