Amanda Feeley (Absinthe Dragonfly) recently sent me some samples of her Esscentual Alchemy botanical perfumes, and I was immediately interested in the variety and inventiveness of the scents. I also noticed a lot of complexity in many of them, which is rather rare with all-natural fragrances. Some perfumers prefer to let the simple beauty of nature speak for itself, and often, it works out well for them. Amanda decided to use nature's bounty as only one building block in her scent structure, the rest is clearly artistic originality.
For the Love of Bees was one of my favorites of the bunch of fragrances I tried. It made me smile the instant I first inhaled its slightly sweet and skunky, earthy and floral aroma. The notes include five types of vanilla bean tincture, hay, broom flower, black currant, beeswax, ylang ylang, blue chamomile, honeysuckle and carrot seed.
The hay is a strong player in this composition, and I'm delighted with this particular representation of the note. It's one of my favorite notes in perfumery, and I love how it forms the heart along with the beeswax and honey aspects. I was surprised to learn that so many different tinctures of vanilla were used, because I can't really pick out vanilla on its own, it serves to help along the lovely honey accord. The drydown ushers in a very delicate tea-like effect that I attribute to the blue chamomile.
I have a huge association with bees; it was the nickname I called my cat Maggie (who passed away last year)- she was The Bee, and everybody knew it. So, to have such a beautiful fragrance called 'For the Love of Bees' seems like a fortuitous thing to me.
Being surrounded by this perfume wafting gently from every pulse point gives me a sort of giddy thrill, I feel Lilliputian, a tiny interloper in the land of giant bees, prostrating myself before them for a drop of honey before I retire to my bed of soft hay for a nap. It is truly a gift when a perfume can create such vivid imagery in the mind, it is like reading a really engrossing novel. The story of the perfume is contained within those precious drops, waiting for an audience. I feel grateful that I was able to carry on its mythology.
For the Love of Bees is available in a 10ml bottle for $75, and other sizes and samples are also available on the Esscentual Alchemy website.
[sample was sent to me for review by the perfumer]