I’m always slightly envious when I learn of a perfume that someone has made just for their significant other, their special one—a fragrant love letter. Examples include Vilhelm Parfumerie Dear Polly (from founder Jan Ahlgren to his wife Polly), Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 + Iris (by perfumer Geza Schoen for his partner Sophie), and now Perfumology Blyss (from founder Nir Guy to his wife Lyssa).
Equally, I find that when I wear these perfumes, they make themselves known as not being for me. They are nice, but not made for me.
I’ve been sampling the Perfumology range recently and found all 5 (Sudu Te, L’Ima, Clutch, Grange, and Blyss, all by perfumer Justin Frederico) to be original and interesting. In most cases, I experience them as fruit forward—particularly in the case of Clutch, which is meant to evoke the sensation of rubber on the road with smoky and leathery notes but drives into my nose as tamarind. For all the phantom fruits I’ve encountered in the other 4 perfumes, however, real fruit has arrived in spades with Blyss.
The liquid attracts by sight before scent, with a light amber color that looks inviting. Blyss opens like a magic apple with an overdose of natural sweetness and pear nuances. It fills my brain with color associations of reds, pinks, and yellows all blending wonderfully together. (I couldn’t find such a romantic image in my photo collection that wasn’t a picture of flowers, so I settled for the above photo of apples for the taking at a conference I attended in Madrid, Spain, almost exactly 5 years ago.)
Top notes listed are green apple, plum, and Italian orange, but combined these make a Gala or Honeycrisp apple to my nose. Its skin is palpable and tinted with a red gradient. It’s bitten into at the peak of ripeness, and its sweet juice drips down the chin. The flesh has a powdery texture that transports the aroma molecules smoothly, but not in a creamy way like vanilla might. Blyss steers clear of those feminine-gourmand clichés.
Just as fresh juice dries into something sticky on skin, Blyss then concentrates into its floral aspects, most notably rose and ylang-ylang. Jasmine is listed too, but it’s still overpowered by the fruit. My guess is that Hedione fulfills this role to a large extent, keeping the fragrance diffusive throughout its development.
Blyss settles like a cordial dissolving in a beverage, swirling toward the bottom of the glass while releasing a tang that rises into the headspace. However, the aroma doesn’t want to be bottled as a cordial; it wants to stay in the air. Something akin to musk grants its wish and provides continuous lift. This may well be a conspiracy between the aforementioned Hedione and the orris root in the base, which I don’t distinguish on its own but seems to provide a matte foundation.
If you are determined to inhale deeply through the fruity-floral miasma, you may find a classical ambery base. Even deeper, in the very last layer, is a mild-mannered patchouli.
I was pleasantly distracted by the smell of Blyss throughout the day, although it proved once again that fragrant love letters contain secret messages that I cannot decipher as they are not meant for me. Still, I will say that Blyss is full of life, and I can believe that it is full of love as well.