2019 has brought so many wonderful companies into the forefront of my perfume journey, and Sanae Intoxicants is no exception! These beautiful natural elixirs are blended by Sanae Barber in L.A. with a bohemian sort of whimsy and artistry; each perfume tells a story about the wearer and the sort of adventures they may have. There is a certain depth and mystery to each fragrance. The way they are blended makes certain notes sing so beautifully!
Burning Ocean opens with a spicy cinnamon wave that ushers in warm, woodsy notes like driftwood on the beach. Incensy, yet sweet massoia bark anchors the fragrance firmly in a tropical locale. There’s a whisper of calming neroli to soften the strength of the woodsy notes, and it adds just a touch of a golden-honeyed quality to the blend without smelling overly floral. I absolutely love the neroli; it drifts in around the 2 hour mark on my skin once the top notes have softened. The peppery warm notes rest on a base of musky ambrette which has a somewhat clean aroma and an incredible longevity. Out of the three scents I’ve tried from Sanae Intoxicants, I notice the greatest transformation of this fragrance on my skin from top notes, heart notes, and base notes. There is a distinct shift over the course of several hours, starting from very sharp and spicy and mellowing into a soothing warmth.
Imagine a dense forest scattered with patches of lush grass and sunlight streaming through the trees. Little wildflowers peek through the foliage turning their faces with vigor to the sun. Meadow Slumber opens with a caress of lavender to ease the mind as you drift into a peaceful state. The journey into this fragrance meets you with the resinous sap of labdanum, adding to the tranquility of this scent. I absolutely love labdanum; it’s equal parts heavy and amber-like with a hint of exotic Mediterranean spice. Balsam of Peru enhances the warmth of the fragrance and adds a touch of softness and a powdery haze with a woodsy vanilla note. Every part of Meadow Slumber is soothing and cozy. It wears a bit more linear (non-changing) than Burning Ocean, and the notes seem to blend seamlessly into one another.
Vetiver and I have had an interesting relationship. The sharp tone of it has often overpowered perfumes in the past. What I’ve found though, is when done right, vetiver is absolutely gorgeous and makes all the other notes in a perfume sparkle, and that’s 100% true of Smoking Rose. Truth be told, when I initially read the notes for this perfume I was nervous the vetiver would dominate the fragrance – not true at all. It makes the rose sing. Oh my goodness. I am a long time fan of rose in perfumes, and the way this blend comes together is absolutely magical. Rather than add a damp quality to the rose, the vetiver in this fragrance has a much drier personality – like tobacco – hence the ‘smokiness’. It intermingles with the velvety nature of rose petals and create this utterly seductive veil of fragrance. When I wear this, I want to bust out my canvas and paint…something about it inspires me. There’s a depth to it; a sultry quality. It’s the perfume you wear when you are self assured and aren’t preoccupied with others opinions of who you are. It’s the perfume you wear while dancing under the moonlight with the love of your life. It’s not overtly delicate or sweet, but rather for the complex person who takes time to get to know. This is a perfume for those who march to the beat of their own drum – and like it that way. It’s bold; slightly floral, warm, a pinch spicy, and scorched earth.
Sanae has lived and traveled around the globe before settling in Los Angeles, California. She began her journey playing with oils and creating scents which led her to mentor under Persephenie in L.A. as well as with John Steele and Sherri Sebastian. “The type of person who wears my current line of scents is a bit daring,” she admits, “adventurous even, and not shy of being different.”
*These perfumes were kindly gifted by Sanae for my review. All thoughts are my own.