Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Aroma M ~Geisha Noire, Geisha Violet and Geisha Amber Rouge

I'm currently enjoying an exploration of perfumes by Aroma M, a niche New York-based perfume company owned by Maria McElroy, who is also the 'nose' and creator of its perfumes.

I was so inspired by Geisha Green that I wrote an entire review on it, which you can read Here. Not too long after I'd sampled this I ordered a bottle of Geisha Green for summer, and while ordering thought I'd send Maria McElroy a link to the review. She was thrilled with it - and I was thrilled she was thrilled! It's lovely to receive feedback both ways.

Maria generously included pure perfume oil samples of Geisha Violet, Geisha Amber Rouge and Geisha Noire with the order, so I was in perfume heaven for several days. Then it occurred to me that perhaps Maria might like to be interviewed, to which she most charmingly agreed, so watch this blog space for an up-coming interview with Aroma M founder and 'nose' Maria McElroy!

Geisha Violet
Spring Rain by Liitle Pear on Deviant Art
The weather is beginning to lift into something resembling spring here in Scotland, inspiring fresh perfume choices. All those rich ambers and dark vanillas begin to feel a bit stuffy...

What's needed is a metaphorical throwing-open of windows to let in fresh spring air.

So I was delighted to discover Aroma M's Geisha Violet - a perfume which immediately conjures the mood of spring with very pretty notes of violet and lilac.

The combination of violet and/or lilac can tend, in some perfumes, to smell like posh hand-soap, but there's a freshness in Geisha Violet that reminds me of the scent of crushed bluebells underfoot as you walk through woods in May

It makes me think of Dylan Thomas's The Force that through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower (the title at least, if not content of the poem!).

This chlorophyll infused greenness is just what's wanted as crocuses begin to emerge from the dark wintry earth.The sense is of  spring's tender new shoots and flowers, but there's also a softness and depth to Geisha Violet.

I'd never have guessed that this is thanks to the surprising note of cacao, but once I'd read up on the notes of Geisha Violet I could recognise its almost edible subtle sweetness. It's not a note of recognisable chocolate as such, so this is no gourmand; the fresh green/violet hues of spring form the aura of the perfume, but cacao softens and rounds it. And that's very romantic isn't it? - the idea of flowers and chocolate - Geisha Violet would be an inspired choice for Paris under the light rain showers and sunshine of spring, or of course in Japan during cherry blossom season!

Geisha Noire
I've already described how much I enjoyed Geisha Green, but Geisha Noire is probably a close runner-up if not equal.

It gives the immediate impression of a winter/autumn classic. It has been compared to Shalimar, for example, and there is a reminiscent deliciously deep vanilla in dry down - that torched brown sugar of creme brulee with underlying authentic vanilla pod.

But I'd say that Geisha Rouge is less powdery, more spicy in opening (I don't know all its notes but detect cloves and cinnamon). It feels darker, not floral, but it does share the smoke and the smooth tonka bean 'roundness' of Shalimar, and it has a gorgeous, subtly salty animalic ambergris.

It's without doubt a seductive perfume; more sensual than 'bombshell' in style though. The dry down is delicious and it lasts and lasts; perfect for a winter night's tryst, whether in or outdoors!

(Just a small note re' the two paintings above, which to me suggest Geisha Noire. Directly above is Ivan Kramskoi's Portrait of an Unknown Woman, which I remember featured on the cover of the Penguin classic version of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. Above is Lovers in an Upstairs Room by Kitigawa Utamaro)

Geisha Amber Rouge

Where Geisha Noire is sensual rather than obviously provocative, Geisha Amber Rouge beckons us into femme fatale-like territory.

Honestly it's like having top grade warm Manuka honey drizzled onto your skin while nearby someone smokes on a hookah filled with rich Arabian tobacco!

This is how Jessica Rabbit would smell, if cartoons were to have a smell! I love Geisha Amber Rouge's rich decadence, and it's one of the most popular from Aroma M from what I gather, having read many reviews. (Though O Cha is perhaps the most popular, also worn by actress Patricia Arquett!

It's distinctly autumn-hued - and like all of Aroma M's perfumes that I've sampled so far, Geisha Amber Rouge immediately conjures up colours and images - a come-hither aura of deep russet velvets, candles and Turkish smoking dens - lovely on a dark and chilly autumn evening.

I look forward to interviewing Maria McElroy in the next few weeks, when I hope to find out more about what it takes to become a perfumer, and to explore the inspiration behind her beautifully evocative perfume creations!