In my many, jumbled boxes of photos lie many, many photos of rivers. Most of them are bends. I have always loved bends in rivers – even if you pass that bend several times a day, if you allow yourself you can reimagine and reinvent what’s around that bend each time you look at it. One of my earliest river loves was the Ohio River, a beautiful, winding ribbon through the Ohio Valley. I’m hoping it’s what inspired Liz Zorn to create Rivertown Road…..it’s as beautiful, winding and lyrical as the Ohio. Actually, I’m lying through my lyrical teeth. I am not getting the Ohio River at all. I’m getting Riverside Drive. And that’s a beautiful thing. I love Riverside Drive, probably more than I love the Ohio River. At least on Riverside Drive you can grab a cab to Cartier.
Billed as a masculine (“absolute pour homme”) this is easily and beautifully wearable by anyone with a nose for elegance. Liz bills it as being inspired by rivers, river towns and river people. And I get just the opposite. The first sniff, right off the spritz, is a bit blasty – the lavender needs a minute to settle down and let the bay, lime and bergamot make the necessary social introductions. I know, it’s sounding very much Old Bay Rum – but hang on – once the lavender lets those three introduce themselves, they extend a hand to help violet out of the town car. That’s right….for all the talk of rivers and bends and river people, what I get is a very elegant couple exiting a car at the Sherry-Netherland. On a man, I would like to catch just a passing whiff of this as he leans over the back of my chair to whisper that he’s sorry he’s late for cocktails but he had to stop and pick something up (oh, gasp!, it’s a red leather box!)…as his fingertips brush my bare arm….this is a lovely scent, did I mention that? The thought of smelling this on a man I was aquiver for…gah! it makes my liver jump around somethin’ awful!!! This is a perfect scent for a man who is completely at home in his own skin, whether that skin is in a Savile Row suit or in firefighter’s gear. For a woman – at least this woman – it combines the cool spareness of lavender with the dirty warmth of the violet and jasmine into a butchy-femme genderbending delight. I keep thinking of this as a Ginger Rogers perfume – I imagine her wearing this in Top Hat, whilst riding in Central Park, not in her trademark feathers and satins. I’m not ‘pretty’ so who knows what kind of vibe I’m sending with this thing – but it’s making me feel like I could’ve been Ginger, maybe, if I’d paid more attention in tap lessons. Maybe…? But no matter if it’s Pierce or Ginger, the setting in always urban – and very elegant. Sorry, Liz. I was hoping to take a ride on a raft on the Ohio. Instead, I’m in a roadster on Riverside Drive.
Notes from the Soivohle website:
Opening Notes: French Lavender, Dominican Bay, Key Lime, Bergamot
Heart Notes: Dry White Violet, Seville Lavender Absolute, Jasmine Sambac, Green Roses, Saigon Cinnamon, Mimosa Absolute, Tobacco Absolute, Carnation Accord, Foin Coupe Absolute, Tonka Bean Tincture
Base Notes: Tolu Essence, Animalic Musk, Cedar Wood Oil, Sandalwood, Frankincense, Hatian Vetiver, Beach Ambergris, Liquidambar, Nutmeg Absolute, Oakmoss Accord, Aged Patchouli
Fragrance Type: Herbal/Fresh/Green Chypre
Note: this fragrance rides the fence between Chypre and Fougere
A few days ago Tom mentioned that he sees the future of perfumery in niche and indie perfumers (my paraphrase). I think Liz Zorn’s work is at the vanguard of that future; Rivertown Road is a classic example of what happens when a perfumer is able to follow the direction their artistry and passion takes them . In doing so, they create scents that can stand alongside many classics. I am not a rubber-stamp fangirl, really (there are several Zorns I cannot love) but I think hers truly is a talent to treasure. Here’s hoping she and the rest of the indie/niche perfumers continue their craft for a long time to come.
sample: Liz Zorn sample with purchase
photo/ Pierce Brosnan: who the hell knows where I got this. All I know is, it makes my gums hurt with lust every time I see it!