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Black March – The art of transformation – March 17, 2014 New Fragrance Listing

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I got up this morning, shuffled to the window, raised the blind and looked outside. Rain, wet leaves, wet trees. “Black March” I muttered and turned to go downstairs to the kitchen to make coffee.

It’s been a long, cold winter here in Ontario, but all winters come to an end and it’s with the ending of winter that spring begins. Black March, by Christopher Brosius, the creator/nose behind niche house CB I Hate Perfume, captures this transformation perfectly – which is the intention behind his Metamorphosis Series.

On the CB I Hate Perfume website he says:

“What art can better express the idea of transformation than the art of perfume?

Perfume is all about change – transforming over time and transforming on our skin. Our perceptions of perfume change day to day, hour by hour based on how we feel and where we are. One thing becomes another and a new being is revealed. Life is all about Change!”

Black March, or to be technically correct, #402 M2 Black March, is the second fragrance in the Metamorphosis Series and was inspired by English poet and novelist Stevie Smith’s cryptic poem ‘Black March’. You can read it here.

In the poem death is not feared or dreaded. It has a friendliness, with eyes “As pretty and bright/As raindrops on black twigs/In March” and in the last lines says: “I am a breath of fresh air/a change for you.”

Of Black March, the perfume, Brosius says:” I have thought about a perfume that reflects this poem for years. Now, it's finished. Both the poem and my perfume contain a secret that you must discover for yourself as that's the Metamorphosis of Black March.”

I’m not gonna go all Poetry 101 on you, and trying to discover the secret in the poem or the perfume sounds like more work than I’m willing to do right now. I just want to wear and enjoy Black March.

It opens gently with fresh and green with a hint of a soft floral note. Soon, a strong, clean aquatic note appears – it smells like rain. In a little while it starts to smell of wet twigs, branches and bark. Then, it starts to smell of dirt – not earthy, just mossy, clean, rain-soaked earth.

Black March isn’t constructed like other perfumes, with definite notes per se. Instead, it is a series of accords that create an experience: the death or winter– the snow has melted, plants, trees and the ground are just thawed – and the tremulous beginnings of spring – a rain fall, the smell of wet leaves, wet trees and wet earth and a hint of the flowers to come.

I have been captivated with this fragrance since I first smelled it and wear it in spring of course, but also in summer because I love the way its tender freshness confronts summer’s heat.

Black March, like many other CB I Hate Perfume fragrances is available in two concentrations: perfume absolute, which is oil based and water perfume which is, well, water based. I prefer to wear the water perfume for Black March as it better suits the concept, and for me it’s just easier to wear, especially in warm weather.

As for the secret hidden in Black March, well, I have some ideas, but I’m taking them to my grave - you are going to have to try Black March to find out the secret for yourself.

Today, we’re adding Black March to our Decant Store. Decants are $4.00.

Black March is Unisex