Monday, 4 September 2017

Eiderantler, a fougère visualised.

Winning a prize draw is thrilling. Even when it’s just a little sample that’s affordable to buy in the first place. There’s something about seeing your name appear on a winners list that feels deliciously victorious. 

The fortuitous win of a sample set from The January Scent Project lifted my scorched mood, as that morning I’d awoken to discover that part of my outbuilding roof had been stolen. Creator John Biebel’s generosity went someway to rebalance the bad karma instilled by the cretins that pinch anything made out of desirable Yorkshire Stone around these parts. I’d planned to spend the rest of the day sitting out back in a deckchair with a rusty rake in hand in case they returned for the rest of the roof. I saw sense and shelved my plan. 

theft hole

good karma package

The January Scent Project is a line of three unisex fragrances created by John Beibel, an Artist from the USA who is well known amongst the fragrance community for his regular columns at Fragrantica. Each of the three fragrances has a corresponding artwork which has been published in the form of gorgeous little postcards. 

John describes the concept:

“The "vintage" artworks for the perfumes was a really fun side project that I wanted to include as part of the creative process. The idea that I could envision the scents in a different time context was so appealing, and it kind of plays on both the timely and timeless, if you know what I mean.”

I know what he means.

My favourite of the three scents - Eiderantler is certainly ‘timely’. It feels neatly into the current resurrected trend of the aromatic fougère genre and yet could easily invoke a spirit of the seventies when airy outdoorsy scents such Alliage and Diorella graced our tanned outdoorsy skin.

Eiderantler is described as an ‘Ivy fougère’. Fougère translates as ‘fern’, a term used to categorise fragrances that contain green notes associated with nature, they tend to feature lavender and coumarin (a derivative of tonka bean). Here are the notes for Eiderantler:

Lavender, green leaves, moss, pink pepper, lavandin, champa leaf, ivy, elemi, fir cone, hay, oak wood, cashmere, vetiver, and musk.

Ivy is essentially an abstract composition, a clever combination of ingredients that create a cool and crisp atmosphere reminiscent of dewy woodland foliage.

What struck me about Eiderantler is it’s vibrancy. Lavender rich scents have a been a trend in recent years with Chanel - Boy (an elegant version of Brut) and Guerlain - Mon Guerlain (muggy sugared lavender) being perhaps the most discussed releases. Both of them feel ‘dull’ to me. Not dull as in boring, but dull in the true sense of the word in that any sparkle or radiance has been eroded. Eiderantler feels sparkly and volatile. It hasn’t been mugged by the blanket of tonka bean that so often occurs in a fougère  I asked John how he created the sparkle effect and received a wonderfully detailed answer:

“In answer to the question about "sparkle" I attribute that to a few different things. There are a number of small elements in the perfume that add a nice touch. In this case, a small bit of ultrazure, a mixed aquatic/air molecule that has a very bright and faceted quality, and other small bits like templin fir cone (which is like a bright pine lemon), pink pepper (which has a lot of sparkle.) There are some key ingredients that help this all along too, primarily champa or champaca leaf. It's related quite closely to magnolia and to the magnolia flower (also known as champaca flower, usually imported from India.) it shares a fairly primary component that is found in a number of greens and flowers called linalool. It's an incredible substance, which has a scent somewhere between lemon, pepper, orange flower and very gentle wood. That, I believe, is at the heart of the perfume and helps it keep its sparkly quality.”

If his paintings are indicative of personality, I imagine that John is a sparkly man. Whilst his artworks vary significantly in subject matter and medium, the character that links each of them is an energetic vibrancy. These hurried brushstrokes and clashing colours certainly speak of a man that fizzes at great speed!

City Afternoon, John Beibel 2016

I shall stow away my sample of Eiderantler until the 29th of October. The occasion upon which the clocks move forward in the UK. When the first dark night of the season closes in I shall spritz myself with Eiderantler and be transported to a forest where dappled light graces my skin.

You can discover The January Scent Project by clicking here
If you love to sparkle you might also enjoy reading about Clinique Wrappings and Perles de Lalique. 


  1. What a beautiful review madame! No such better person to write a review on this fragrance. Whilst i have not sampled this one, i get a lovely sense of it just by reading your review. It sounds happy and hopeful like you were when you entered the comp. So glad you won and sorry about your roof (wasn't me guv!) x

    1. Hiya Pats,

      Thanks for your kind comments. It is indeed a hopeful feeling scent, very much reminiscent of that point when the greenery returns in the spring.

      I think you'd have enjoyed Joseph's reaction to the roof disappearance. We stood atop the outbuilding (retired toilet block) and peered down the hole together. Joseph looked down, then back to me, then down, and back to me again. If he could have said 'eh?' he would have done. I'd have chortled if I wasn't so cross.

      Ironically, the only place around here that you can buy one single piece of replacement vintage Yorkshire stone is from a burglar in the right pub x

  2. I stopped entering into draws (I rarely see anything I really want to try, so I'm reluctant to do anything that is usually required to enter) but I remember the feeling from the earlier years of my hobby of seeing your name in the "The winner is" line. Congratulations!

    It is awful that somebody stole from you: sending bad karma thoughts towards the culprit. But let's decide that it was the worse of what would happen to you for a long while.

    I haven't heard of the project and will wait to read more positive reviews before I think of paying for samples but I like the color of the juice, the notes and your description - so the first + for this perfume is noted :)

    1. Hi Undina,
      Thanks for stopping by. It was really nice of John to send samples from the USA. It's quite hard to get hold of American brands over here so it was a bit of treat. I hope you can get a whiff of it soon. I think you'd like it.

      Talking of greenery, are you still wearing Climat regularly? It seems to be much more easy to buy it at the moment. I see many 'new' bottles in the traditional EDT box on Ebay, but I thought it went to new packaging several years ago. I wonder why so many have appeared and if they are authentic?
      Love to Rusty x

    2. I am still wearing Climat but at this point I have all possible versions of it (but the original vintage probably). EdT was re-released by Lancome several years ago. I have never tried the original in EdT (it wasn't available when I grew up; we had only parfum) but this recent release is much-much less interesting than most of the versions I've tried. I suspect, that people are re-filling old(er) bottles with new juice and sell them as "vintage." Partially, it's the reason why I didn't go for any of vintage offerings on eBay.

    3. Oh dear. It's very sad when oldies become 'pasties'. I'll stick to Wrappings for my aldehydic floral brightness then. Thanks for the tip x

  3. Bummer about your stolen roof. I have a York flagstone patio and would be furious if someone tried to dig that up. Hope you have got it fixed and are able to move on.

    Re John Biebel, he does indeed sound like a sparkly man! What a nice idea to save his scent till the dark days of autumn descent. I thought for a moment there that he had the same name as a friend in Blackpool's boyfriend, but just checked, and he is John Bilbie!

    Like the new blog theme - it is new, right? Simple is nice and simple!

    1. Hi Vanessa,
      No new blog theme, I wonder if it's gone wrong?! I'll have to check from another computer.
      I've 'fixed' the roof with a piece of polythene tentatively anchored by some bricks. It's a rustic look (and fitting with my shabby chic style which is just kind of shabby as I can't stand flaky paint, Cath Kidston goods or their fellow polka-dot nonsense!).
      Nevermind, at least I have a cupboard full of perfume and a gorgeous cat!