From what I’ve smelt of En Voyage Perfumes so far, Shelley Waddington is a key member of that wonderful loosely affiliated coterie of American independent perfumers who are really very good at what they do. Her work moves me, I always feel something and that’s a great achievement these days, when so much sniffing can lead to disappointment combined with a growing sense of ennui. The En Voyage perfumes I’ve smelt to date are wonderful creations. I loved the over ripe, bewitching and to be honest quite out there Frida that really captured the artist brilliantly and included it on my list of 2015 Perfume Favourites. This year Shelley released Rainmaker, coinciding with her relocation from California to the Pacific Northwest and says this about the perfume.
“I wanted to provide a fragrance of beauty and attraction that would in turn become a Rainmaker for the wearer … Plus I like the quirky reference to the clouds above Portland, some of the best rainmakers in the world.”
Rainmaker EDP : En Voyage Perfumes : Nose : Shelley Waddington : 2016 : Notes : Top : Rose Leaf, Silver Pine Tips, Wild Citrus : Middle : Incense, Patchouli, Iris, Rhododendron : Base : Mossy Rain Forest Notes of Cedar, Fir, Redwood Needles, Petrichor, Oakmoss and Amber
This is a very different perfume from the quirky Frida. Rainmaker takes on a more serious tone with a touch of dark velvet stitched through the layers of woods. This is a classically strong, take no prisoners perfume. Rainmaker is bracing as it first wears on skin and packs a patchouli sucker punch. The rose or rose leaf is what I notice when I first spray, although the patchouli is there very quickly. It rises through loud and clear like a beacon shining a path to a safer place. Everything blends smoothly here, it feels like the perfume is tightly constructed. I love the use of petrichor in the base. I didn’t know what this was (and isn’t that the great thing about perfume, you learn new titbits every single day) but with a little help from Google, I now know that it’s the earthy smell when rain falls on dry soil. According to wikipedia, the word is from the Greek petra (stone) and ichor (the fluid in the veins of the gods). I’m imagining this more than actually smelling it in the perfume but I love this story and it really helps to imagine wearing Rainmaker in a forest with the mulchy, earthy fumes as well as the woods.
The woods are without doubt very prominent in Rainmaker. You can smell them throughout the development in varying shaded tones of pine through to cedar. The deep woods suggest a glorious mossy forest with an amber glow to the perfume that comes out to play in the latter stages. There is also a metallic tang straddling the woods and patchouli that adds a textured sheen. As the fragrance wears, it becomes much softer three hours in and that full force softly exits.
Rainmaker is a perfume that immediately exudes strength and a sense of action. When I inhale this fragrance I imagine walking through rain, maybe mud but definitely in the thick of nature surrounded by trees and wet earth. It’s not for the faint of heart this one and I have to say Rainmaker took me out of my comfort zone a little. This is for those who like strong, robust perfumes with a bit of an earthy vibe. Think of the force of nature that is PJ Harvey rather than the candy, pop fluff of Katy Perry and you will get the the ambience of this perfume.
PS : One thing to note about Rainmaker is that I dabbed it the first few times and did not get the full benefit. When I sprayed Rainmaker it amplified and came to life in a more beautiful way. It bloomed and made me sit up and pay attention. So my advice is to spray not dab!
The Low Down : A strong, robust perfume to wear when you need to make something happen. Think walking through a forest in the rain with purpose and enjoyment.
For Where To Purchase : Please see the En Voyage website for further details. 1oz is US $90 and 0.5 oz is US $70, while samples can be purchased for US $6.
Notes : Images : Sample by Megan In Sainte Maxime, Woman walking in forest by Craig McDean from British Vogue, September 2015.
Disclaimer : Sample gratefully received from En Voyage. Opinions my own.