I have a confession. I get rather excited when a Hiram Green perfume is released. I suppose that makes me a fangirl even though only three perfumes have passed by my nose to date including this new creation – Arbolé Arbolé. I’m really in love with Hiram’s orange crush Dilettante and last year’s limited edition Voyage was pretty damn good too and one of my favourites from 2015.
Hiram Green makes beautiful perfumes first and foremost that also happen to be natural. He has a little trick up his sleeve. He’s very skilled at making his perfumes last on skin. Many natural perfumes fade away fairly quickly without the synthetics. Not Hiram’s. I’m not sure how he manages this, maybe I need to ask him. So I did and this is what he said.
“I was often told that it was not possible to make natural perfumes last longer and with a greater projection. Not wanting to accept this, I began experimenting to see if I could make better natural perfumes myself.
Although I cannot speak for other natural perfumers, I imagine that one of the key differences is when I set down to make a perfume, I think not only about the smell, but how I am going to achieve scent projection and longevity. Unfortunately, there is no one secret ingredient that I add to make it all happen. Just years of experimenting and trying to find better solutions.” (Hiram Green)
The new perfume is inspired by the poem Arbolé Arbolé by Frederico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936), an important Spanish poet and dramatist. In the poem a young girl is picking olives while a succession of men try to persuade her to depart with them to various Spanish destinations. She ignores them all.The final passage from the poem reads :
When the afternoon had turned
dark brown, with scattered light,
a young man passed by, wearing
roses and myrtle of the moon.
“Come to Granada, muchacha.”
And the girl won’t listen to him.
The girl with the pretty face
keeps on picking olives
with the grey arm of the wind
wrapped around her waist.
Tree, tree dry and green.
Arbolé Arbolé EDP : Nose : Hiram Green : Year : 2016 : Notes : Patchouli, cedar wood, sandalwood, tonka, vanilla.
I can tell you that with one sniff of Arbolé Arbolé I wanted to buy it. I just think that this perfume is going to make me feel snuggly this winter and at the same time optimistic. It’s cosy but not too inward looking. It’s an easy wear perfume with a few changes, but nothing that feels overly dramatic.
The patchouli instantly wins me over. It’s not ridiculously camphorous or earthy. Nor is it one of the stripped naked versions, hungry for love that usually pass for patchouli in most mainstream compositions these days. Arbolé Arbolé‘s version is gentle yet still has the good parts of the patchouli with a smear of grunge. Quite quickly the perfume smooths out and Hiram uses the word velvety in the marketing prose and yes that’s exactly how it feels.
There’s a delicate floralcy furnished with a waxy rose tint that smells absolutely divine, before transitioning to a woody snuggle of scent. It feels like there’s more sandalwood than cedar with nothing harsh in sight. The vanilla and tonka sweeten things up slightly but this is a natural smelling sweet, not a loaded bucket of sugary ethyl maltol or whatever chemical concoctions are being used these days. Tonka and vanilla are high up on my list of lovelies so I’m perfectly content with this evolution and it miraculously stays this way for quite some time, becoming a touch powdery later in the development. There’s a soft natural sheen to this perfume that it shares with Voyage, with a similar vanillary slightly flat texture. It’s not a loud perfume, it hums along rather quietly after a while but is long lasting and always beautiful.
I find that music evokes memories of times and places more evocatively than perfume. Perhaps I just lack well formed scent memories, or else my nose just wasn’t paying attention. Anyway Arbolé Arbolé makes me reminisce of carefree times and floaty, comforting dream pop. I’ve been making playlists and listening to old favourites this week and was fixated on anything with Elizabeth Fraser‘s spaced out otherworldly voice. She’s known for her music in the 80’s and 90’s with the Cocteau Twins, and her cover of Tim Buckley‘s Song For The Siren with This Mortal Coil. Her most recognised song though is the otherworldly Teardrop with Massive Attack. This exquisite work makes you feel comfortably blissed out and is also what Arbolé Arbolé does for me. This is another must try from Hiram Green.
PS if you want to find out a little more about Hiram Green, there’s a short interview with him, a Fragrant Hommes piece that you can read here.
The Low Down : A happy blissed out perfume that feels soft, gorgeous, addictive and a must try.
For where to purchase : Please see the Hiram Green website for further details. He has a 10ml size for 39 Euro and a 50ml bottle for 135 Euro that currently comes with a 10ml bottle for free, so if you’re keen to buy, now is the time to do it.
Notes : Images : Featured by Mario Testino in Vogue UK, Sample from Megan In Sainte Maxime
Disclaimer : Sample gratefully received from Hiram Green. Opinions my own.