A few weeks ago, some of us got together for impromptu sniffage at Arielle Shoshana’s perfume haven in the D.C. ‘burbs. Unless I’ve missed something, Arielle is running the only niche gig in the area, filling a void left by the not-so-recently-departed Art with Flowers in Tysons. I had a great time chatting with Arielle about her customers’ shopping habits, interests, behavior, etc. because I am Miss Nosy Parker, and Arielle was very patient with me. She has her inventory grouped roughly by type – spicy, citrus, fresh, etc., which is a great way to sample.
Arielle has her own scent in the store, quite striking, built around two things she loves – passionfruit and saffron (we both took a moment to fangirl squeee over L’Artisan’s Safran Troublant, which she also stocks.)
Here’s a blurb: “Perfumer Cécile Hua used a proprietary CO2 extraction technique to create the first natural passion fruit extract in perfumery history.” So I guarantee you that you haven’t smelled this before. Complete list of notes: Passion Fruit, Grapefruit, Rhubarb, Mandarin, Peach, Saffron, Pink Pepper, Cardamom, Magnolia, Sandalwood, Ambroxan, Vanilla, Vetiver Bourbon, Iris, Musk.
It’s delicious. It’s mouth-puckering tart fruit at the top with a twist of citrus; then it warms up a bit with the peach, and it gets smoother and creamier over time. I don’t own a thing that smells remotely like it. How much you like it probably depends on your tolerance for the passionfruit, which (like boxwood) is not entirely polite, and not for everyone, and never really goes away, although after the first half-hour or so the scent has calmed down considerably.
Robin at NST found it a bit more …. shocking isn’t quite the right word but I’m going with it; and also kind of a hoot, here’s a link to her excellent review. Anyway, if this sounds even remotely appealing, do yourself a favor and try it. If nothing else, you won’t be standing there going, jeez, I’ve smelled this a million times.
Arielle Shoshana is 3.4 ozs and quite reasonably priced at $125. Samples can be had for a nominal charge directly from Ari, here’s a link to the page. Full disclosure that I was going to do a sample giveaway but I’ve managed to lose mine somewhere in the house, lol. These things happen.