Washington Tremlett Clove Absolute

Climbing School was this last weekend.  I wasn’t even sure I’d make it to the two-day outing, but I did, and I even rappelled down, which was something I thought I’d never be able to do. I wasn’t mindlessly afraid, just apprehensive.  The rock was really sharp, and I slipped just a little in one place and tore up my leg, which didn’t seem like anything happened until I looked down at it about an hour later and was horrified.  I’m very afraid of heights. Rather, I’m afraid of edges.  So backing over an edge, even with a rope on, is jaw-droppingly terrifying.  The climbing part isn’t as bad as long as I can stop wherever I want to and come back down.

The one thing I’ve figured out about fear for me is low, slow pressure works.  Not high pressure because I won’t get over it in one day or one weekend or one week, and I’ll buck the thing or person applying the pressure.  But if I keep on really low level pressure and continuing to try, even when I don’t want to, pretty soon, I’ll be a lot further than I was before.  I’m fairly optimistic about the climbing thing in helping me conquer my fear of heights, or at least the irrational fear of edges.  It’s like yoga. I’ve been trying to do a crow pose for months, and I kept getting into position and trying, but never got frustrated because my feet wouldn’t come up, just would keep trying.  Last week I got into the crow pose, expecting the same thing, and magically my feet lifted, and I was completely in the pose.  Then I got so jacked, I fell right out of it, but I did it again and again.  Over time, with pressure, you can change anything into what you want.  Well, except perfume, which just is what it is, but always different for everyone.

Washington Tremlett’s latest entry in the perfume market is Clove Absolute.  Notes of Lemon, Heliotrope, Rose, Incense, Clove Absolute, Patchouli, Vanilla Absolute, Cistus Absolute, Musk make up the perfume.  Great list of notes!

This goes on strong, a pretty straightforward combination of mostly clove and incense.  As it dries down, it seems much more incensey and sorta, well, soapy?  I normally, at minimum, like clove perfumes, so I was prepared to have love with this, and I just can’t make up my mind if I’m even in like with it.  There’s just something that seems to not balance quite right.  It never seems to go completely over into an incense perfume with abandon, which would make it gorgeous, nor does it full on do a clove perfume.  I don’t hate it, I just can’t seem to figure it out.  There’s almost a barbershoppy feel to it, guess that’s also the soapy thing I’m getting.   It does seem to trend more traditionally masculine.

It’s nice, I’d wear it, but I think I’d have my brow furrowed most of the time it was on trying to figure it out.  I’ve tried it twice now, thinking my first reaction could be because I was smelling too many things.  But now.  You know, it’s just not me, but I think it would  smell really great on a guy. And I have a feeling some of these notes would go better on someone else’s skin or nose that didn’t pick up that soapy smell.

But I will give away the remainder of my sample vial of this to one lucky commenter.  Just drop a comment to go in the drawing.

The winners of the Pure White Linen Pink Coral samples are:  Tiara, Junebug and Guatami.  Just send a note by hitting Contact us over there on the left, remind me what you won and I’ll get it mailed out to you.

  • Joe says:

    Very late to this party, but I was EAGER to try the WT Clove Absolute and it was a huge disappointment on me. It just wasn’t that nice… sort of “clovey”, but nothing like huffing on a jar of cloves from my spice rack. I also wanted more lemony zing.

    For anyone wanting delicious clove goodness, I highly recommend Ava Luxe Kretek, of which I am craving more after draining my sample.

  • Arwen says:

    I almost got into a “split” of Clove Absolute. The notes seemed like something I would LOVE, but the split fell through and I got a sample instead. I was very disappointed. I love the top notes, but then it just smelled like “Old-Spice” on me. I don’t even want a decant.

  • Theresa says:

    This sounds like it could be really interesting though it’s hard to imagine wearing it in muggy DC weather. Please enter me in the drawing!

  • Natalie says:

    No need to enter me in the drawing — clove makes me ill (bad high school memories of clove cigarettes) — but I just wanted to say that you are amazing for facing your fears head-on. I’ve been learning how to swim (at age 40), and tackling new and terrifying things definitely keeps you young. Nothing like abject panic to get the blood flowing!

  • carter says:


  • Tara C says:

    I liked the Clove Absolute, but not enough to purchase. I usually reach for Noir Epices when I have a spice craving.

    And climbing is totally out of the question. Yoga is all I can handle!

  • Nina says:

    Crow pose is more about balancing than arm strength. The secrets to staying up are 1) lift your head up and look forward (and smile!), rather than looking down at the ground in front of you, and 2) squeeze your legs tightly against your arms. Yeah, I’m a yoga teacher who loves perfume, which is an unfortunate combination because most yoga environments are scent free. (Regarding clove, I was given a sample of Eau Lente from Diptypke and found myself loving it.)

  • Aparatchick says:

    When I first read about this, I thought – Hooray! Cloves! Incense! But I’ve been hearing the word “soap” mentioned a lot, and I’m not a fan. Still…definitely worth trying.

    And Patty, how awesome are you? I’ve done some rapelling (years ago 🙂 ) and let me tell you, I check and double check that rope; then I pray. Have you ever seen the type of rapelling which involves walking down a building facing forward (and so looking at the ground)? Terrifying, I’m sure. When are you and March going on the Amazing Race? I can see it now – rather than Jon and Sue, Bickering Couple or Bob and Bill, Fraternity Brothers, it would be Patty and March, Perfumistas.

  • Musette says:


    Kudos to you! You continue to amaze me, with your feats of derring-do (and I consider yoga to be derring-do as well:-).

    The only clove I’ve worn is Agraria Bitter Orange, which has that clove/orange/tea, just like a cool sip of Constant Comment. In that iteration, the clove just lifts the orange up a little and boosts the tea. Your WT notes do smell barbershoppy – not a bad smell but –

    oh, what the heck. Throw me in the mix. If I win and I fall in love with it, I’ll know who to blame!


  • kathleen says:

    I do not enjoy heights, and as with Tammy above, didn’t know there was an edge-phobia, til you mentioned it, but I most certainly have that, too. Good on you, girl, you must be very proud.

    I shied away from the Clove Absolute, as it reminded me of something I used to get in London to put on a cold sore. I’ve not sniffed it, just the impression it gave me.

    I’m waiting for you to bring in the Washington Tremlett Iris Absolute. That’s the one I think will be fantastic.

  • Janet says:

    mmm, cloves and incense, I’d love a sample!

  • tammy says:

    Oh, darn, I have been lemming this for awhile now, being a huge clove fan, and all, but now I am not so sure. Doesn’t seem to wear well on ladies? But it can’t hurt to try a sample!

    I am all admiration for your climbing….I obvioulsy have edge-phobia, too! Didn’t even realize there was such a thing as edge-phobia til you mentioned it here. I don’t like heights at all, but you’re right; it it totally the edge bit that gets me. I get queasy even seeing a high edge on TV or in the movies.

    Always learning something new here, thank you!

  • March says:

    PS I just caught the end of your paragraph.

    CROW POSE?!?!?!?!

    I bow down at your awesomeness. I’m too angry and impatient to do yoga.

    • Natalie says:

      “Too angry and impatient to do yoga” — you could put that on a bumper sticker (I’d buy one)!

  • March says:

    That soapy thing! You too! I see Elle has already weighed in…. I had a similar wth experience with it. I mean, I love clove. And look at those notes! But it definitely goes in and out of smelling weirdly like shaving cream to me, and it’s not a *bad* smell, but not a smell I want to wear as perfume. You know, as opposed to crypt. Or skank.

  • Melissa says:

    Once again, I am completely impressed by your determination to conquer these various physical challenges. I seem to be challenged by simply getting up and going to work, but that’s another story!

    I’m undecided about Clove Absolute, having only tested a drop on the back of my hand. My first, limited impression was positive though. Unfortunately, those teensy samples vials no longer cut it for me, nor does dabbing in most cases. I have taken to ordering two samples and dumping them into those little 2 ml spray atomizers. A good spritz is the only way for me to give a scent a decent try.

    So, when I get around to dumping my two little samples into the atomizer, I’ll test it on myself and my son. Maybe it’s better on a guy’s skin?

  • Elle says:

    Congrats on the crow pose! And good luck w/ the climbing! Hope your leg is OK!
    I was *so* sure I’d love WT Clove, I almost ordered it unsniffed. The list of notes made it sound like it had been custom created for me. But I exercised great restraint and got a sample first. SOO doesn’t work on my skin. Rudely insists on going off in a men’s shaving cream direction. Sob!

    • Musette says:


      Have you tried Agraria Bitter Orange? It’s a really lovely clove – not barbershoppy at all – but you have to like the smell of Constant Comment tea cuz that’s exactly what it smells like. I think it’s the perfect ultra-hot summer scent, when you don’t want the typical citrus.


  • Louise says:

    Great progress at climbing school!

    Figuring out just the right way to push and prod ourselves is way over half the job, I think. I don’t climb so much, but do some long, fairly tough hikes, and am very clear on the little self-talks I need to keep getting in extra miles, and through rougher terrains.

    My experience with the Clove was much simpler-it was stinky on me. nm. :))

  • Lee says:

    Maaan, I haven’t abseiled (our version of rappelling!) since I was a teen…

    Unlike you, I have to jump right in. I tend to be pretty myopic – if I can’t do it now, I’m not going to slowly attempt it later. A pretty male attitude, I’ll warrant, and not particularly good for your health. In fact, I sound like a jerk typing it.

    With yoga, it can be different, but that’s cos it forces you to inhabit different territory.

    • Musette says:


      I don’t think you sound like a jerk at all – I think you sound like me (hey! wait…huh?…ummm…) Anyhoo, I tend to do that as well, once I’ve done the whole class/practice thing. I remember, 20+ years ago, when I was getting back into motorcycling after a long hiatus (after a nasty little crash in my teens). I did the class, aced it, got myself psyched up to get my bike. Got my bike.

      Uh. Now I have to ride it the 50 miles back home. Way diff from in a closed course class. Uh. Well, I figured it was then or nebber – so I just sailed out of the parking lot, leaving my riding pal behind – when he caught up he was all pissy until I explained that had I not left RIGHT THEN there was a 1 in 2 chance I wouldn’t have left at all!

      and it was freezing! who buys a bike in NOVEMBER? in the Midwest?


  • tmp00 says:

    As someone who is rather height phobic I have to give the props! Rappelling down is something that would happen I don’t quite know how. Release of those teen photos in drag? Credit rating? Recent eBay searches? Bring it on..

    Okay, got it, Threaten to break a bell jar and I’m getting McG on it…