Launched in 2016 by British niche line BeauFort London, Fathom V is part of its 'Come Hell or High Water' collection. This is one of the most dramatic and exciting fragrances I have smelled in years.
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. Fathom V has a dark beauty that is haunting and romantic and draws people in whenever I wear it.
Notes: juniper berry, tangerine, black currant, green leafy notes, earthy notes, thyme, lily, jasmine, ylang-ylang, ginger, cumin, black pepper, mimosa, patchouli, vetiver, moss, salt, frankincense, Atlas Cedar, amber.