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Slowdive – Earthy, honeyed, exotic, and totally unique

Slowdive - courtesy of

When Gwen and I met last year with Hiram Green during one of his visits home to Toronto, he said he was almost finished working on a new fragrance that he thought we would probably like a lot.

“What’s it smell like?” we wanted to know.

“Sorry, can’t give you any clues – just wait for the end of the year” he replied. He wouldn’t give us even the tiniest hint.

Hiram Green, who now lives and works in The Netherlands, is a self-taught independent perfumer who creates exclusively with natural materials. Each fragrance that he’s released since he started in 2013 has a “special” component that gives an intense lush opulence which elevates the scent to a level of extraordinary beauty, and sets it apart from the niche pack. His note lists are quite simple, intended as a guide rather than a detailed recipe, which adds to their uniqueness. Moon Bloom is about tuberose and…exotic spices; Dilettante is about orange blossom and…summer raindrops; Arbole Arbole is about velvety woods and…ripening olives.

Slowdive made its splash into the Perfume Pool at the end of 2017. Eager to finally learn its story, I went to Hiram’s website and read about it:

Slowdive is a warm tobacco-themed fragrance that captures the mood of those languid afternoons when the sweetness of the Indian summer air is almost palpable.”

Ahhh…I know that feeling, I’ve breathed in that scent…driving through southern Ontario in late August, car windows open… fruit farms, tomato fields, vineyards, acres and acres of ripening hay and sweet corn, rows and rows of tobacco, the horizon shimmering in the dusty heat…the air is golden and full and sweet and life is good…

I imagined how wonderful Slowdive would be, certain that Hiram had a similar scent memory of late summer in Ontario, so I clicked the Buy button. But when the bottle finally arrived and I got to smell this new  fragrance, I was shocked! Shocked in the best of all possible ways, because Slowdive was much much more than I could ever imagine.

Slowdive is about tobacco blossom and…bees! Beeswax, and pollen, and   honey. But not sweet or cloying or syrupy honey, this honey still belongs to the bees!

Sweet citrusy orange blossom and neroli are right up top, but their floral waft is quickly overcome by a strange accord of fresh–cut green stems, golden pollen, and earthy grass notes mixed with aromatic herbs. I smell a faint licorice note, like licorice basil. And then the bees arrive to gather pollen from the tobacco flower, opening the blossoms and releasing the distinctive sweet/earthy intoxicating floral scent. I can almost hear the lazy buzz in the summer heat.

Tobacco flower blends with the notes of golden honey and pale beeswax,and wafts of fermenting fruits, which sweetens the coumarin hay-like notes of the tobacco. This is the heart of Slowdive, an exotic accord that pulls me in again and again for big whiffs, and I realize I almost want to drink it. This smells like the most delicious deep amber-coloured liqueur, aromatic and boozy, not too sweet or thick, just honeyed. I have the sensation of languid golden warmth, of relaxing in the sun with a faint breeze that cools the skin, sending wave after wave of relaxation and contentment from head to toe.

The dry-down in Slowdive is soft exotic notes of creamy tuberose edged with honeyed resins, which create an anchoring effect when entwined with the fragrant tobacco flower. The bees are still buzzing but the honey/floral effect is restrained, and the fresh hay nuances from the tobacco maintain a lightness to the end.

Slowdive EdP bottle -

From the note list, you might expect Slowdive to be supersweet, a dense, thick, gourmand-type scent, best suited to cold weather, best on female skin. Because it’s made from natural materials, you might assume that it is short-lived with poor sillage. None of that is true. It works well on both male and female skin, and the distinctive soft scent lasts for hours…it was still there on my wrists the next morning. 

Hiram’s description of Slowdive as a tobacco-themed fragrance is only part of the story of his gorgeous new scent:

“The fragrance opens with fresh and flowery top notes of neroli and orange flower before tobacco blossom and beeswax take over. This heart –  rich and deep, with hints of dried fruit and creamy tuberose – is delicately anchored by a base of honeyed resins that give Slowdive its soft and exotic touch”. Hiram Green website

For me, it’s the deliciously natural glazed honey and beeswax combination that tweaks my nose and brain and wins my heart in Slowdive. It’s the most unique interpretation of honey that I’ve experienced in a fragrance.  It’s intoxicating, it’s pure bliss, the perfect expression of “those languid afternoons when the sweetness of the Indian summer air is almost palpable.”

So I’ve concluded that the “special” component that elevates Hiram’s natural scents to a level of extraordinary beauty, the thing that sets them apart from the niche pack, is quite simple. It’s not truly just one thing, but it starts with the desire to create. His creative vision, talent, a lot of hard work, and his persistence have resulted in five beautiful fragrances that are now in the perfume world. I suggest that you try each one of them, and you won’t go wrong if you start with Slowdive.

Slowdive is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $8.00 for 1 ml.