Wild Hunt perfume review

Back in 2007, on the kind of extremely hot Saturday that makes New York in May feel like the 5 boroughs of Hades, my best friend and I went on a hunt for adventure outside of Manhattan. Several million subway transfers later, we ended up at the CB I Hate Perfume Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. There we found, in addition to a respite from the heat and stench of city streets, a small studio whose walls were lined with tiny glass bottles we could open and sniff to our hearts’ content. For a perfumista, it was a version of heaven, both because there were so many scents to smell—water perfumes, absolutes, home sprays, and marvelous accords—and because we were left to get on with it without sales person censure or pressure. So we took our time. Between us, we probably smelled every accord Christopher Brosius makes, and their inventive clarity was intoxicating. And the perfumes! I fell for many scents that day, but the one that stole my heart was CB Archetype No. 4: (forest) Wild Hunt.

The experience of wearing Wild Hunt reminds me of those motion-lapse photography films we used to watch in science class back in the Mesozoic Era, when I was in grammar school. To me, the perfume spans three seasons. It starts off with dirt and mushrooms: sharp, pungent, unmistakable, and barely out of winter. Violets next emerge from the dirt, first unfurling their green leaves beneath green-smelling hedges, then showing their sweet bright faces as spring swings into full bloom. On my sweet-enhancing skin, the violets grow in intensity so that, for a time, the fragrance hits summer amidst sweet, powdery flowers. This is the biggest the perfume gets on me—most of the time it stays very close to my skin, but the flowers bloom for others to smell as well. Eventually, the flowers recede and I smell more of the green leaves and some moss as well. Finally, autumn arrives with damp leaves, dark earth, and rotting branches. This forest floor scent lingers on my skin for a long time, cool and eerie.

For reasons I can’t recall, I didn’t leave with Wild Hunt that day: Memory of Kindness and Violet Empire came home with me. But Wild Hunt stayed on my skin for the rest of the afternoon. It persisted as my friend and I strolled beneath the strident sunshine for what felt like a thousand miles on our way into Queens to visit the Noguchi Museum. (I don’t recommend the 3 subway rides and endless walk to the museum—at least, not during a heat wave—but I definitely suggest you visit, if you can.) Throughout, Wild Hunt cooled and distracted me from the sweaty, stinky, cement city, reminding me, as we stumbled forth on our triboro hunt for adventure, that even New York City was once verdant uncharted territory.

My original experience with Wild Hunt was at the CB I Hate Perfume Gallery; for this review, I reminded myself of its wonder through a sample purchased from Surrender to Chance. CB Archetype No. 4: (forest) Wild Hunt is available online at www.cbihateperfume.com for $17 (perfume absolute 2ml), $100 (water perfume 100ml), and $115 (perfume absolute 15ml).

Photo credit: Caroig, via Wikipedia.

  • dremybluz says:

    Well, last June, we made the horrible trek out to gallery while in NYC. We had planned this as part of our NYC perfume vacation. When we finally got there, the place was locked up and no posted notices. No one in the area could give us any info about the site. Phone calls to the gallery only gave us a recording of the store hours and nothing about their closure. If your business is going to be closed, then you should inform everyone on your website or phone recording …………..it was a wasted afternoon that could have been better spent somewhere else in NYC. Unless you could definitely confirm from the owner that the gallery was open for business, you might not want to waste a journey out there.

    • Sam says:

      So sorry to hear about your rotten experience. There are so many places to go sniffing during a NYC perfume vacation that losing a single day–or even part of a day–on a failed venture is awful. Thanks for the tip to others: make sure to ascertain the Gallery is actually open during the hours listed on the website before going.

      I hope the rest of your perfume vacation was a pleasure!

  • Portia says:

    OMG! You that live near the centre of the action. What an awesome story, my jealousy is only contained by my inquisitiveness. You have given me a new goal. Is the shop still there?
    Portia xx

    • Sam says:

      Yes, I believe the Gallery is still there–its website is up, with hours (Tues – Sat, noon – 6) and directions. If you get a chance to visit it, you won’t be disappointed. It has a great feel to it–not to mention a million or so scents to sniff and wonder at. Here’s the Gallery online info: http://www.cbihateperfume.com/gallery.html

  • Musette says:

    I would love to visit the CB shop. Would love to try Wild Hunt as well. Love that name!

    xox :Devil:

    • Sam says:

      Isn’t it such a great name? Once I saw the bottle, I couldn’t not try the scent! And it lives up to its name, tho not quite in the way I expected. With the word “Wild” in the title, I initially expected something rather riotous, I think. But this is more about being untamed, about wilderness. Very special.

  • Patty says:

    ‘OMG, I loved my time at CB’s shop. March and I went back in 2006, I think? 2007? It’s a magical place.

    Wild Hunt is that mix of strange and fabulous, all tied together!

    • Sam says:

      It IS a magical place! Not just the insane quantity of potions and bottles, but also the feel of the place. I loved how we were free to just take it all in at our pace. Sometimes the place got quite crowded, then it would get quiet as people left. Perhaps it’s part of the “I hate perfume” sensibility; it was much more relaxed than many perfume boutiques.

  • Ann says:

    Oooh, Sam, you lucky girl, getting to visit the CB mothership, so to speak! What fun it must have been sniffing to your heart’s delight. This scent sounds wonderfully appealing with its distinct stages. I’m dying to try it now, but am crossing my fingers that there are no metallic undertones in it — that’s been a deal-breaker for me in several scents with moss-like notes. Thanks for sharing your “field trip” with us!

    • Sam says:

      Hmmm…I didn’t notice any metallic undertones. This one wasn’t as mossy as some scents, perhaps that’s why. I think you might be safe!