Scentbird, Inc., New York, NY 10001
Inspired work in the scented world arrives not only from designers with million-dollar budgets, but also from perfumers in lab coats who fill up yellow pads with complex chemical interactions. Science nerds, as it turns out, make phenomenal perfume artists.
Take perfumer Stephen Nilsen, and his work with niche line Commodity Goods. Stephen fell in love with perfumery as a young man after reading an article on the subject in National Geographic magazine, and years later earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. After working in the flavors industry, he wound up in New York City and began a proper career in perfume.
Orris showcases both Stephen’s passion and his practical expertise. His care for the individual notes and their personalities in this perfume shines in delightful ways.
There is carrot seed mixed with coriander in the top notes, for a sweet, soil-rich but spicy opening that leads down into a dry and herbal heart with touches of lily white floral.
The base is where the orris note shines up through the entire composition, with its powdery, sidewalk chalk feel. Madagascar vanilla and a very subtle hint of rooty vetiver deepens the powdery facets, making them richer and fuller in the nose.
What makes Orris so much fun to wear is how Stephen keeps playing with this orris note in the perfume, and playing it off of sweet earth, or sweeter vanilla. Carrot seed is an unexpected top note choice, and it’s a joy to discover how a carrot and decadent vanilla pods have so much in common to our senses.
Orris and iris notes can be very flat in perfume if used too much, as they lay down the powder and kind of smother a scent, but not here – Orris from Commodity Goods just smiles the whole way through with a gentle sweet and discreetly complex demeanor. It’s also a marvelous year-round option that will only show more of its charms as the weather changes.