Blog post by Gwen

Fathom V – green and greener and greenest

I discovered Fathom V from British niche line BeauFort London, the old fashion way: I smelled in a shop. Fathom V is part of its Come Hell or High Water collection.

According to the BeauFort London website, the inspiration for the fragrance was a passage from "Ariel's Song" in Shakespeare's play The Tempest:

Full fathom five thy father lies;

Of his bones are coral made;

Those are pearls that were his eyes;

Nothing of him that doth fade,

But doth suffer a sea-change

Into something rich and strange.

 A 'sea-change into something rich and strange'? An intriguing premise to base a perfume on.

Fathom V opens with a shot of juniper berries – fresh and camphourous. A note of rich, juicy tangerine rides along and gives the top a burst of brightness before tangy, black currant appears adding an animalic edge. And then it changes. Green leafy notes and earthy notes join the mix creating the effect of being in a greenhouse or florist's shop - I smell plants, soil and water. This phase is cold, deep and dark, and that potent verdant smell that is captivating.  This is green on steroids – and driven by an aquatic note that makes me feel current- swept and tide-tossed As it develops, a note of thyme boosts the greenness and links it to a floral heart of aquatic lily, sweet indolic jasmine, rich, creamy ylang-ylang and green-faceted mimosa. The flowers are warmed by rich spices: ginger, cumin, black pepper. This is lovely and a sharp contrast to what came before it. If the first phase was like being in the deep, dark tumultuous ocean, then this next phase is like being cast upon a warm shore. And then it changes. The base is deep and dark, green and earthy. The green re-asserts itself again with earthy, green vetiver and moss, with its characteristic scent of decay. It smells marshy and murky to me. These are joined by sweet, earthy, patchouli, green, piney Atlas Cedar. A dark, smoky note of Frankincense weaves through the fragrance as does the smell of salt-sea air. Sweet, resinous, amber finishes the fragrance.

The drydown, is herbaceous, earthy, woody and smells of salty skin and is unexpectedly romantic and seductive. It can be a challenging fragrance for some people for sure, but it does have its own dark, haunting beauty. Labelled as unisex, it does have some 'masculine' aspects, but that doesn't stop people from leaning in when I wear it.

Fathom V is a fragrance of contrasts: light and dark, warm and cold, calm and wild based on a play about magic and magic is about metamorphosis. The way nose Julie Marlowe creates and manages these transformations in Fathom V is masterful and exciting one of the reasons Fathom V won an Art and Olfaction Award in 2017 in the Independent Category.

It’s this kind of excitement that drew me to niche fragrances in the first place.

Check out Fathom V in our Shop.