The third perfume in the strangelove nyc collection is the aptly named silence the sea. The perfume house is the brainchild of Elizabeth Gaynes and a partnership with Helena Christensen (yes the supermodel), the creative director and perfumer Christophe Laudamiel. He is the nose behind the classic Amber Absolute from Tom Ford, amongst many other perfumes and is the writer of the five page fragrance manifesto – Liberté, Egalité, Fragrancité, that is definitely worth a read. You can find out more about Gaynes, strangelove nyc and the two other perfumes in the collection, dead of night and melt my heart here.
I was very keen to smell silence the sea in depth. This was a perfume that I had smelt only briefly and wanted to devote more time to. From my perspective silence the sea is an intriguing and interesting perfume oil. These are oils that will make you feel something, you won’t be bored and you will have a reaction. This I believe is a positive and healthy state of being in perfumery as the worst aspect is remaining unmoved and feeling like you’ve smelt a similar version ten times before. Thankfully this doesn’t happen here. The line is also well designed and executed as you’d expect from those involved with the brand.
silence the sea was originally a Harrods exclusive but it is now more widely available both on the online webstore and at selected retailers. Note that the strangelove nyc range comes in two formats, an EDP and the perfume oil. This review is for the perfume oil.
silence the sea : Nose : Christophe Laudamiel : Year : 2016 : Notes : Top : Deep sea accord, White truffle, Asian lime, Angelique root : Middle : Elemi resin, Fresh Frankincense, Natural narcissus, Natural tuberose, Natural leather mimosa : Base : Ambergris infusion (home made), Ouds, Ambrette, Ambrettolide, Ambrox, African hyraceum.
This is perhaps the most unusual perfume in the collection to date, it’s a real shapeshifter. It is one of those fragrances that has made me want to understand it better. To dive down into its depths and grapple with its twists and turns and see where it leads. There are a number of disparate yet connected threads in silence the sea. A clue is in the naming of the perfume, as there is a pronounced marine element but it’s unlike any inflection I’ve encountered. It doesn’t promote the salty beach style of perfumery, nor does it have a sunscreen solar vibe. It is definitely not one of the calone ozonic clones either. The sea element in silence the sea makes me feel that I’m diving deep underwater, and moving amongst green seaweed. It smells at times placid and then becomes earthy and I’ve often imagined being underwater, touching the plants, visualising the marine life and the smell of damp, grime washed over with a salty cleanse. I know this sounds a little odd, but this is an unusual and great scent.
silence the sea also has a fresh angle with luminous lime at the opening that feels like it’s rocked up with a dose of peppered hotness. There is a floral theme here too with tuberose and mimosa, although these don’t play as you may imagine. Here they are very natural smelling and though they could be described as pretty they also have a grungy facet with a pronounced leathered aspect. The oud also feels strong but not as overtly barnyard as in dead of night. It smells natural yet not skanky. There’s a fresh and bright nuance from the frankincense that lends a lightness to the perfume when at times it feels it could tip over to becoming a thick, opaque oil.
An animalic edge also plays a part in silence the sea with ambergris and hyraceum or African Stone (the dried, fossilised urine and fecal matter of a hyrax) that works in a composition to give a combined olfactory effect of musk, civet and castoreum. (See my review of Salome from Papillon Parfums for another perfume that uses this material). The perfume comes together little by little as the separate threads jumble and jostle. They learn to play with each other and the whole effect seems rather mysterious and full of intrigue.
silence the sea feels wild and untamed. It has a looseness to its heart. It takes your nose and body on a bit of a trip so at times you will feel fresh, then you will smell a floral edge that is dark and mysterious, then an animalic angle. Sometimes you will feel everything at once and then they will pull apart. Everything seems to shapeshift.
In terms of how it wears on skin, remember this is an oil so it doesn’t have a large projection but up close it is very strong. It lasts for around 4 hours in an obvious way, but stays around much longer up close. If you like perfumes that are challenging and interesting then this is one to try.
The Low Down on silence the sea : A mysterious deep dive scent with marine aspects, dark florals, oud and ambergris.
Read more about silence the sea on : No other reviews as far as I can see
For where to purchase : Please see the strangelove nyc website for further details. The perfumes are available in two formats – perfume oil and Eau de Parfum. The perfume oil comes in a 1.25ml ($55), 3 x 1.25 ml refill set ($135), 10ml roll on ($390) as well as a 1.25ml necklace ($260). The Eau de Parfum is available in a 50ml ($475) and 100ml bottles ($795). It is also available as a 1.25ml set of the three oils in the collection, with Dead Of Night and Melt My Heart. Note that all prices are in US dollars.
Disclosure : Sample gratefully received from strangelove nyc. Opinions my own.
Notes : Images : Featured images all from strangelove nyc via Instagram and the other image from Megan In Sainte Maxime.