• Winter
  • Drawer of DisastersExperimentsJournalMellis AccordRejected and NeglectedWinter


Dr. Zhivago trees, originally uploaded by Studiobaker.

Not here yet, but certainly getting there. The above title is actually the name of a perfume I discovered when digging through ancient stashed-away disasters of 2001 (the year when I began to compose fragrances).

I've been struggling with spicy orientals for as long as that. That genre is not easy to tackle, not only because I found no reliable reference formulas in any of my perfumery books; but also because these are such complex perfumes, and using only natural raw materials in a complex formula often leads to disasters.

The perfume in question here was intended as a Youth-Dew type of oriental. this perfume belongs to a type of spicy oriental that has very many facets, and is at once spicy, floral, ambery and deeply drenched in patchouli and animalic notes.

What I created back in 2001 smelled terrible at the time. It smelled muddy and earthy and dirty and just overall nothing was really appealing about it, except for the bottle I put it in. And that's where it was left, forgotten, for about 9 years.

And 9 years later, when I was researching spicy orientals for my students and was trying in vein to find a perfume that is the "classical" spicy-patchouli-oriental, I came across this and discovered that it is, after all, not all that bad.

Winter is made of patchouli, vetiver, oakmoss, rose, ylang ylang, chamomile and geranium and bergamot. Way back when, it smelled like a puddle of mud. Now it smells like a very old-fashioned perfume, like what you'd expect to find on your Grandma's vanity. It's a fermented rose scent and is strangely lovable.

With all the other research I've done about the "mellis" perfumes (that's how professionals call the spicy orientals of the likes of Tabu, Youth Dew and Opium), I think I've finally figured out the formula for how to make them smell good and true to the genre, hopefully without waiting another 9 years before they become wearable.

  • Drawer of DisastersExperimentsJournalMellis AccordRejected and NeglectedWinter
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