Scents of Comfort: A Joint Blogging Project

Today is the last day of winter, and as we pass from one season to the next we find ourselves in a moment of reflection. Ayala Sender of Ayala Moriel Parfums has gathered a handful of bloggers to reflect on the remarkable scents that gave us comfort this past winter. Here is my selection of perfumes that provided warmth in the cold months and will continue to nest a sanctuary for me anytime of year.

Bancha is the first fragrance that came to mind when I received Ayala’s invitation. I wore it throughout the winter, and it felt nurturing and hopeful. Dawn Spencer Hurwtiz has named this fragrance after a type of green tea, but it is so much more than a “tea” perfume. It’s lemony and minty to be sure, but is entrenched in rich dark soil that provides sustenance to roots and bulbs, a reminder of emerging life. Bancha is equally as gorgeous and appropriate on a man, my husband specifically, which makes my affection for Bancha even stronger.

Royal Couple by Gabriel’s Aunt, is an overtly floral fragrance that is wearable and cozy. It starts with an intoxicating dose of jasmine, develops into a subtly spicy floral in the heart, and dries down to a gorgeous vanilla base. Royal Couple’s blend of jasmine and rose is impeccable and fortunately comes in a candle to help light the way when it’s chilly, be it from the weather or internal storminess.

A perfume can be a salve not so much because of its notes, but because of the association you have with its aroma. When I wore Ayala’s Hanami for the first time last spring, it was a near magical day at the Japanese Gardens with my young boys. The sun was bursting with much longed for radiant heat and the cherry blossoms were glowing with an otherworldly pinkness. Hanami was on my skin, and its floral notes of magnolia and mimosa made the day even sweeter. Despite its petal softness, Hanami is very grounded with woods, tonka, vetiver and subtle vanilla. So for me, Hanami is a complex fragrance that recalls a tender memory.

Buying a perfume after you’ve gone through turmoil is another way to experience well-being, at least in my scent obsessed world. I did just that after my recent unexpected surgery, as I deserved and needed a new scent to appease my situation, right? One read of March’s review of Strange Invisible Perfume’s limited edition Dimanche was all it took for me to decide what perfume I would indulge in. Thankfully, I concur with her glowing review. In fact, I’m having a hard time using any other perfume these days as I am in full-blown Dimanche infatuation. I agree with March that Dimanche is sharp in the beginning due to iris that isn’t tempered with something soft to round its edges. Instead, bittersweet cocoa and powdery rose heighten its intensity throughout the top and especially in the heart of the fragrance. Dimanche doesn’t settle until the drydown when hay and honey emerge, making for one interesting affair. It gets even more fascinating when the soapy quality of iris surfaces. This might sound like a motley crew of notes, but it works. It’s compelling, rich, and to use an overused word, a little bit fierce.

Chêne by Roxana Villa is a perfume I wished I’d had this past winter. Although it is a chocolate based fragrance, it suggests a similar ambience to DSH’s Bancha. Chêne is dark and rich with oud, woods and resins yet has a piquant vitality that keeps it from becoming too heavy. The base of this solid perfume is composed of cocoa butter, beeswax, and jojoba seed oil which is dreamy to apply, and perfect for the rainy days of spring around the corner.

These perfumes, and the Royal Couple candle, are all natural and contain no synthetics, petrochemicals, or phthalates. Many of them also use organic ingredients.

Please visit the other blogs who are participating in this comforting event:

SmellyBlog

Roxana’s Illuminated Journal

BitterGrace Notes

Perfume Shrine

Notes from the Ledge

The Non Blonde

Perfume in Progress

Katie Puckrick Smells

A Rose Beyond the Thames

I Smell Therefore I Am

Olfactarama

All I Am A Redhead

Savvy Thinker

Posted by ~Trish

“Bird in the Magnolia Nest” by Hadley Hutton available at etsy.

“This article’s title is an homage to Michelyn Camen‘s original article of this same name on Sniffapalooza Magazine in 2008, in which interviewed several perfumers to comment on what botanical elements make their perfumes comforting.

 

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DSH Perfumes Bancha. A soothing, all natural perfume.

If you’ve read my blog lately, you know how delighted I am to have discovered DSH Perfumes line of all natural fragrances. Each of her botanical perfumes has its own personality while maintaining the sophistication we have come to expect from Dawn Spencer Hurwitz. Her newest 100% botanical scent, Bancha, is no exception. Inspired by the common green Japanese tea, Bancha has the comfort and grace of a steamy steeping cup.


Bancha, a green tea, is made from mature leaves picked in the summer or autumn, as opposed to Matcha and Sencha varieties whose tender leaves are harvested in the spring. These distinctions are new to me, and according to my friend Wikipedia, Bancha’s late picking gives it a “stronger organic straw smell”.  DSH’s Bancha also has a strong, organic smell that is more green than straw-like, although I would not place this fragrance in the same category of other green tea perfumes. Bancha brings forth the refreshing coziness of green tea, but it is not seeking to emulate it. Rather than having a distinct “green tea note,” Bancha is an earthy tea meditation.


Bancha is a blend of citrus and mint at its opening, quite unlike what you might anticipate. The citrus is a tad bitter, as any fruity sweetness is negated by a fecund mint essence. Even though we’re talking topnotes here, Bancha is immediately grounding, like scooping up limes or lemons that have fallen into dark, fertile soil. Moving into the heart of Bancha is a subtle transition, but the herbal basil, gently floral rose and jasmine sambac, and green pine needles make the experience even richer and a little softer. Sandalwood and cedarwood round out the base, giving an aura of woods, like heat rising off a sauna’s walls.


I have adored Bancha since I first tested it this past fall and drank in this comforting perfume. Perfume bloggers are known for indulging in purple prose every now and then, and I am no exception, but this is no hyperbole when I say not only is Bancha revitalizing, but healing as well. Angela at NowSmellThis just wrote a lovely piece on how a fragrance can become a part of you, settle into your essence naturally. This is how I feel about Bancha. Since I only write reviews about products I enjoy on Scent Hive, I would love to have a bottle of most anything I write about. With Bancha it’s beyond wanting a bottle. It has become one of those scents that I can’t imagine not having in my collection. It fulfills a need on certain days when I want to be taken care of with its grounded and rejuvenating redolence.


Bancha is available at the DSH Perfumes website.


Posted by –Trish

February Haiku by provincijalka at Etsy.com
Disclosure: A sample of Bancha was provided for this review by DSH Perfumes. The opinons in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

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