On its website Strange Invisible Perfumes describes itself as purveying “botanical fragrances and artisanal products” developed by Alexandra Balahoutis. The site doesn´t go on and on about SIP’s mission, at least that I could see, a fact that pleases me. So far as I´m concerned, their mission is to make something I’d enjoy wearing.
Vine – this is the weird one, right? Notes are black currant, lavender, osmanthus and grapefruit, and it´s a parfum. From their website: “Vine´s whispering decadence is evocative of red wine, black currant and lavender. Provenance: the intricate, sublime yet often cruel duality of nature and the unforeseen appetite of innocence. Character: ambrosia, poised, decadent.”
Um … okay, my balderdashometer just revved (although it didn´t redline – seriously, read that stuff every day and you build up some tolerance.) Anyway, Vine has a fruity, musky scent inside a larger smell that reminds me very much of the Elephant House at the National Zoo. From me, that´s a compliment. It´s an earthy, animal smell, dungy but not really unpleasant. It reminds me a bit of a JAR in its strength, liquor-like smoothness and overall peculiarity – it´s like a warmer, fruitier Ferme tes Yeux (the barnyard one, and apologies if I spelled that wrong). As you go deeper into the drydown I get an outstanding cured tobacco note. I´m giving this two large mammalian opposable thumbs up.
Strange Invisible Perfumes Lady Day – this one I think isn´t on their website, you have to call and ask about this gardenia perfume.
Black Rosette – proving once again that I don´t like rose unless you freak it up a little.Black Rosette is saved for me by the addition of leather and mint.The opening is just … very peculiar.It smells like a cross between artemisia and camphor.It´s medicinal but not unpleasant, I kind of like it.After the camphor fades I get a very leathery rose, but the rose itself is kind of new and green – that florist-fridge-rose smell never leaves, like a rose version of Tuberose Criminelle.I wouldn´t wear it, it´s not me, but I think it´s beautifully done.
Heroine lasted a little less than average on me (4 – 5 hours).Lady Day had a charming way of fading and reappearing suddenly over the course of 8 hours, like being haunted by a particularly lovely ghost.Black Rosette lasted most of the day before riding off into the sunset. Vine lasted, I kid you not, 36 hours on the back of my hand (which means: through many handwashings).I was thrilled, but if you hate it, consider yourself warned.I tried only parfums, and don´t know whether the EDPs wear differently.These had excellent sillage on me, with a little going a long way.I´m impressed with these, and I´m going to explore more of the line on my next trip toNew York.They weren´t quite as bizarre as I expected, which was fine.Vine and Lady Day were a trip well worth taking.If any of you have particular recommendations from the line, I´d like to hear them.