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Itasca – In my dreams… - March 3, 2014 New Fragrance Listing

Photo - Wikimedia Commons -  Light coming through sequoia trees, Muir Woods, California

I am crouching at the water’s edge. I am waiting, rubbing my thumb along the ragged sharp stone tip of the spear I hold in my right hand. I am watching the bison drinking from the lake and keeping an eye on the other hunters around me. The air carries the smell of the pine forest – red pine, jack pine, and white pine - to us. It is quiet, so quiet we hear the bison stop drinking and when he lifts his head, we move in with out spears raised….”Itasca”, I mutter as I slowly drift to consciousness.

This is a variation on a recurring dream of mine. Sometimes I’m in a North American forest, a Nordic forest, a mythical forest or a eucalyptus forest. Sometimes I am a hunter or a tracker or just bewitched. I think these dreams are a message from my unconscious that I am of the forest, belong to the forest, crave being in the forest. I think this because I am unconsciously drawn to forest scents.

If you asked me to name the kind of fragrances I like, I would say floral or orientals, or fresh scents. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t say “OMG! If it smells like the forest I love it”. I don’t consciously seek them out and yet the evidence on these blogs tells a different story: Ormonde Man, Harricana, Black Amber, Six Scents, Series One No. 3 – The Spirit of Woods. These frags are all about the forest - different kinds of forest, granted, but the forest none the less.

So, maybe it’s time for me to acknowledge my love of forest scents, call a spade a shovel, come out of the perfume box and shout from the tallest pine: “My name is Gwen and I love forest fragrances”. It’s time to consciously follow my forest dreams and lately they’ve featured Itasca by Lubin.

One of four fragrances in Lubin’s Métalliques collection, Itasca is a variation on Lubin’s Vétiver fragrance. Itasca is named for Lake Itasca, a small glacial lake in north central Minnesota that’s the official source of the Mississippi River. In 1891 Itasca State Park was established, preserving the land, lakes and rivers in the area as they were when Native American hunters ambushed animals at watering sites, killing them with stone–tipped spears.

The Lubin website says Itasca was inspired by childhood stories of Davy Crockett and the Native Americans with whom he shared the same love and respect for unspoiled natural America.

Hmm. Davy Crockett doesn’t feature in any of my dreams. Why would he? The dude doesn’t register with me on any level. But maybe having a guy in my forest dreams isn’t such a bad idea. Note to self: visualize Jon Hamm in buckskin for ten minutes each night before falling asleep. Now, back to Itasca….

Itasca opens with a citrus note of honeyed, orange smelling neroli along side fresh, green, mentholated juniper berry. Both slightly bitter, they complement each other perfectly. An earthy note of ‘stinky’ marigold, a plant native to North America, appears and gives Itasca a sense of place. Mandarin sweetens and tempers the bitterness while grapefruit gives it a delicious tang. As it blooms, clove and nutmeg – two of marigolds best friends - give Itasca a spicy warmth rounding out the earthiness of the marigold. Geranium flower contributes a floral note of lovely rose. Clary sage adds an herbaceous note while Tonka bean, shows its clove aspect and adds a warm vanilla sweetness. At the base, which for me, is the best part, it gets piney, woody and resinous from red pine, cedar and balsam, their greenness heightened by vetiver and bitter myrrh all of it sweetened gently, by amber.

The drydown is dry, piney, green and aromatic with the woods mellowed out enough to allow the florals and fruits to come forward in such perfect harmony that makes Itasca such a dream to wear.   

Today, we’re adding Itasca to our Decant store. Decants are $4.00.