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Cannabis Santal – Good fragrances are always in style….March 23, 2012 New Fragrance Listing

Image - Wikimedia Commons - Hash Museum in Amsterdam - by asdfmvoie

Saturday mornings at my house start with a big breakfast, along with bowls of milky café au lait, eaten slowly while reading a few newspapers. That’s how I discovered this article in Saturday’s Globe and Mail Style section:

“Style really has gone to pot this season. Marijuana motifs have sprouted up on luxe items of all sorts, including Jacquie Aiche’s snakeskin ganga clutch and Lucien Pellat Finet’s rainbow-leaf cashmere sweater. Blame fashion’s current fixation on all things seventies. Celebrities such as Miley Cyrus and Rihanna have also played a part in positioning reefer as a style meme: The former has been photographed in sativa-inspired earrings and boots; the latter’s look often includes a nod to her smoky pastime (for instance, the Raf Simons sweatshirt she was recently snapped in). Even The Body Shop’s latest Soap On A Rope, made from hemp-seed oil, comes in a cheeky, weedy shape. Turning over a new leaf, it seems, has never been more fashionable (or less controversial).”

I put down the paper, left the table, went to my perfume cupboard, pulled out my bottle of Cannabis Santal, from personal care products line fresh, and sprayed to my heart’s content in celebration. Now that all things ‘weedy’ are in style, maybe this largely overlooked frag will finally get the attention it deserves. But my need for fragrance goes deeper than what’s on the style pages of any newspaper, magazine or blog. I have loved this frag from the moment I first smelled it on my skin.

It opens with citrusy, bitter bergamot sweetened by juicy orange and lush, succulent plum. It’s fresh and light, and a contrast to what comes next – a heart of sweet dark, earthy patchouli side by side with an aromatic cannabis accord that is warm, spicy and a little camphorous. It’s not the smell of ‘weed’, the dried stuff that’s smoked, but the plant terpenoids cannabis contains. Terpenoids, Wikipedia says “contribute to the scent of eucalyptus, the flavors of cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, the yellow color in sunflowers, and the red color in tomatoes.”

A note of opulent rose gives the heart a floral sumptuousness that rounds out the patchouli and cannabis pairing. At the base, a note of chocolate, bitter and dark, echoes the patchouli, while aromatic vetiver adds a deep, woody, earthiness. The green woodiness gives the impression of sandalwood. Vanilla sweetens it and tempers the bitterness so that it doesn’t get harsh, while musk adds a warm sensuousness.

The drydown is floral and woody, warm and sensuous with a delicious sweetness that defies the ‘masculine’ designation it’s been given.

I love my Saturday morning newspaper reading ritual and seeing what’s hot and what’s not in the fickle world of fashion. It’s a bit of fun but I take it all with a grain of salt because good fragrances, like good design, are above the vicissitudes of style and fashion.

I know Cannabis Santal is.

Cannabis Santal is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $4.00 for 1 ml.