I have blogged (briefly) before about how much I enjoy the creations of Jeffrey Dame, the nose behind Dame Perfumery, based in Scottsdale, AZ. I heard he was going to launch a new fragrance, and the honor went to Tigerlily Perfumery in San Francisco's hip Mission District. I had been lusting after Dark Horse for some time, so I figured it was a great opportunity to pick up a bottle and hopefully meet Mr. Dame himself.
It turned out that the new perfume for women is called Bergamot, Jasmine & Labdanum. What a delight as the spring weather is becoming more regular here in San Francisco. I had the pleasure of sampling it, and I found it to be an incredibly fresh jasmine fragrance that is not sharp or cloyingly synthetic the way jasmine perfumes can be. I have my fair share of jasmine perfumes, as I gravitate towards jasmine in warm weather, which makes sense because that is when it grows. Bergamot, Jasmine & Labdanum is cologne-like in that it opens with sweet and clean citrus, and it contains a true-to-life white jasmine heart.
Meeting Mr. Dame was such a pleasure. It is nice to see a perfumer who is approachable and accessible. I took the opportunity to ask him some questions that come to mind every time I encounter his line of fragrances.
AP: Are your perfumes made to be layered with one another?
JD: No, they are meant to stand alone. But if you like to layer things, then of course wear what works for you and what you enjoy!
AP: I hear that many women enjoy Herb Man. Can you tell me what notes are in it?
JD: There are so many notes in it. Herb Man is meant to be like Herbs de Province.
AP: Can you tell me the difference between the perfume oils and the spray bottles [of his Art Collection, which includes Dark Horse, Black Flower Mexican Vanilla, and Desert Rose]. Do they smell slightly different on the skin, or are they identical whether you use the oil or the spray?
JD: The oils will smell creamier on the skin and will not produce as much sillage. With the sprays, the alcohol tends to spread out and accentuate the top notes more, and the top notes will last longer. In oil form, top notes fade quicker. It's worth trying both the eau de parfum and the oil.
One thing Mr. Dame mentioned is that sillage (i.e. scent trail) is such that you can smell it on yourself, but it will not go so far out that you annoy others with your perfume. In using my bottle of Mate, Heliotrope & Patchouli, that was EXACTLY my experience. That is precisely how I like my sillage to be.
I think what it boils down to is that Americans (and I'm GENERALIZING) are more casual when it comes to perfume. They don't want to smell "perfumy". I know many people who abhor perfume entirely. And if anyone buys a bottle of perfume, they likely don't want to spend a fortune on one bottle.
Enter Dame Perfumery. For starters, the scents are tight. And what I mean is that they're simple, yet they're expertly blended. The olfactory notes are crisp and distinct, yet you can smell how harmoniously they blend with each other as well as play up certain subtleties of one another. They are just so darn pleasing to the nose! While your personal taste may lean one way or another, it is hard to actually dislike any of them. They make easy gifts. If somebody likes the scent of pear, buy them Pear, Water Lily & Amber. Done. Easy! And for a nice sized bottle of perfume, you don't have to break the bank. Like me, you might end up wanting 2+ bottles, so the price point makes that achievable.
I mentioned that I asked about Herb Man. I personally love the scent of herbs, so I finally got the chance to spritz some on my skin. I loved what I smelled (I told you--they are hard to dislike)! It was a nice change from green, fresh herbs and seemed to be more of a fresh, minty top note mixed with savory dried herbs on a woody base. No particular herb stood out, so I did not smell like a rosemary bomb or anything like that. Very enjoyable.