I have made no secret about the fact that I am a huge admirer of Liz Zorn Perfumes. I'm going to review a few of the scents that have recently captured my heart.
When I first heard about Blood Cedar (demi-absolute), just the name alone was evocative enough that I knew I must have it. I love cedar almost more than any other note in perfume, and Liz' treatment of this particular essence is singularly delightful.
From Liz Zorn's website: "Blood Cedar, distilled from the Virginia cedar heartwood is a warm wood embellished with a citrus opening, lightly floral with a base of tonka, sandalwood, labdanum and vanilla."
Blood Cedar is warm, nutty and delicious from opening until extreme drydown. The cedar note does not carry the high-pitched sharpness that cedar is often known for, instead, this has a rich, wet wood quality that, blended with the subtle sweetness of vanilla and labdanum speaks of sleeping cats, curled up in front of a fire on a cool night, thin cashmere blankets and expensive tea. Blood Cedar is a mood piece, as are so many of Liz' perfumes. There is an intense sense of comfort and well-being when I wear Blood Cedar, almost unequaled by anything, perfume or otherwise. The labdanum in particular is used strategically here, just when you think the intensity is waning, its softly animalic depth comes out for the duration. It's clear that I'm going to need a bottle of this.
[11ml spray for $30, 35ml spray for $80]
The next one I'm going to mention is Domino Viole (absolute).
From the website: "a rebirth of our beloved Domino in a lush absolute, dark earthy violets, oakmoss, oud, herbals and musk, with a sprinkling of jasmine absolute, orris root, roses and lavender"
Domino Viole is a very rich blend highlighting violet and orris with a dark mossy background. It is a floral fougere with mystery attached. The violet used here is not the light-hearted, candied kind, but reminds me of the violet in vintage Coty L'Origan, but lacks any of the powderiness traditionally associated with violet. The orris is slightly spiced, no doubt aided by the subtle and lovely lavender. The reason Domino Viole is rather thrilling to me is that it does indeed give the impression of a vintage classic perfume, before the days of watery musks and fruity floral abominations. This is perfume for a woman who knows herself, and cares enough to treat herself very, very well.
[4.5ml is $70, 15ml is $180]
The third and final perfume I'll be reviewing (today, anyway, I've got more!) is Vanillaville (demi-absolute). There is a smoky, tea-like, rich herbal signature that Liz has in some of her fragrances that frankly, I am powerless against. If her Meerschaum is your sort of thing, you'll definitely want to try Vanillaville.
From the website: "a rustic leathery vanilla with overtones of pipe tobacco, including sweet fennel, pink pepper, coffee absolute, cinnamon, cepes, rectified birch tar, sandalwood, amyris, floral accord, benzoin, almonds"
If you're anything at all like me, just reading the notes list is enough to make me weak in the knees. Vanillaville is smoky, sweet and rustic indeed. This is not the kind of scent that needs to be treated with kid gloves, it exists on the same plane as Le Labo's Patchouli 24 (Annick Menardo), it's rough and tumble, giving the impression of a fine smoky tea and a leather saddle. This is not by any means a traditional gourmand fragrance; Vanillaville is so good, it hurts. It hurts so much, that you're probably going to want to buy it not only for yourself but for all your friends. Do it.
[11ml spray is $30, 35ml spray is $80]
Samples of all scents are also available at lizzornperfumes.com.
Samples were sent to me for review by the perfumer.