The Beauty of Scent, Scrutinized for Pleasure

Friday, June 24, 2011

Opus Oils Les Bohemes Collection: Dapper and Heavy Sugar

Kedra Hart is the creator of Opus Oils and the Jitterbug Perfume Parlour located in Hollywood, California, and she also teaches perfume classes in her Artisan Perfume School. She accepts appointments at the perfume parlour, and besides the dozens of fragrances she offers, also makes amazing perfumed teas (available on the Opus Oils website). Before very recently, I had not tried Opus Oils, but now I can confidently say I am a big fan of the fragrances and teas.

There is a certain opulence and charm with a thread of danger running through each of Kedra's perfumes, and there is something wildly unique about each one. When I sat down to test the batch of samples I was sent, there were several that had me swooning immediately, others took time for me to understand, and still others that resisted my beckoning to them. At the end, I had a big handful of vials that I knew I had to write about, so I'm going to be reviewing them all in stages. This edition will cover as-yet-unreleased scents from the upcoming Les Bohemes collection, meant to evoke the 1920s. I hope for everyone's sake that these are released soon. You can, however, pick up a sample pack- there are 10 vials in all for just $20. A steal.

First up is Dapper. Notes include: violet absolute, orris root, blond tobacco, sandalwood, aged dark patchouli. This is a thoroughly gender-neutral perfume, sweetly purple and velvety with a slightly verdant top- it reminds me of how I'd like a beet to taste when I'm looking at it. There is a tartness to the blend not really explained in the notes list, but I sense it as a dark berry of some sort, perhaps blackberry. The earthiness of the patchouli and orris root anchor the scent to the skin, and only after about 20 minutes or so can I really start to smell the sandalwood. I would personally sell my soul for some good sandalwood, but luckily I don't have to, because that which is contained in Dapper is so delicious and so smooth as it plays off of the candied violet, that I think I'll go ahead and keep my soul and just buy a bottle of Dapper instead. As the drydown emerges, a silky, suede-like musk steps forward, an animalic embrace that stays with you for hours. This perfume is a no-brainer for every season, men or women-- it is a true delight.

Next up is Heavy Sugar, an amber Oriental. I cannot resist Orientals, even in sweltering heat, so I was happy to have a new one to try. Notes on Heavy Sugar include: dark amber, aged labdanum, fossilized amber, vintage patchouli, sandalwood, beach-found ambergris. Right away, this has a very classic feel to it. It's rich, sweet (but not too much), it has a really lovely hint of black tea and maybe even jasmine, but if you're looking for a progression in stages of wear where distinct top, heart and base notes exist, look elsewhere. Heavy Sugar is linear, full of syrupy, powdered kisses, and will leave a scent trail behind you that will make people weak in the knees. Yes, even in the heat. In fact, I tend to feel that rich amber Orientals really bloom on my skin in the summer; the scent particles boiling up and doing a frenzied, fiery flesh dance. Heavy Sugar is memorable for its straightforwardness, its very vintage feel and its cozy, sensual nature. As you might expect, the longevity is excellent. This is a must-have for me as well.

The next review I do for Opus Oils, I will tackle a couple of my favorites from the 100% natural Fetish Collection. 

[Samples were provided by the perfumer for review. My opinions are solely my own, and I was not compensated for my review]


  1. Heavy Sugar sounds just like my kind of thing...
    Thank you for taking a look a this line for us.

  2. Birgit, if I end up getting a bottle of Heavy Sugar soon, I'll send you some. There are so many Opus creations I love, I'm going to have to make some tough decisions!

  3. I've been very happy with the Opus Oils that I have tried. They really are decadent and in "character". I have tried any of Les Bohemes :(

  4. I'm pretty sure you'll love Dapper, Victoria. Probably Heavy Sugar, too. I could bathe in Dapper regularly and be perfectly, blissfully happy.

  5. I love Heavy Sugar! I was suprised as the name had me scared. Yet another lesson I have learned: do not judge a perfume by its name!

    Have you tried any of the layering suggestions on the Opus Oils site? I tried Heavy Sugar layered with Bootleg (which I love on its own!) - as you might say, it's amazeballs!

  6. Joanne: It totally doesn't surprise me that you dig Heavy Sugar! I am terribly in love with Dapper though, I am going to tear through my sample. According to Kedra, full sizes will be available very soon on her Etsy shop of Les Bohemes collection. I have not yet tried layering any Opus scents yet, I'm still in the "trying to get to know them" phase, then I will definitely have some fun playing around with layering!

  7. I just found your blog from reading Kedra's blog. Your reviews are so very well written! Kedra creates such inspirational fragrances and teas, doesn't she? I have been reviewing some teas of hers on my blog as well and always find that drinking them inspires certain narratives in my imagination!!


  8. Hi Betty, thanks for stopping by my blog! I adore the teas I've tried, they're very luxe. I love how some of them correspond with her fragrances, too!