Goldfield & Banks is a niche Australian perfume company whose scents evoke aspects of Australiana. There. I finally figured out how to approach this scent review! lol! My struggle has nothing to do with the scents themselves – they are lovely – but that I can’t immediately connect to their historical scent references.
Then I remembered: that’s the whole POINT of perfumery, isn’t it? Well, maybe not the WHOLE point – but it’s an essential one for anybody who is interested in exploring the impetus behind scent creation. Really, how many (how many?) books and papers have been written about the process behind such vaunted creations as Chanel No5, Guerlain’s Shalimar, et al. I wasn’t there in France with Coco or Guerlain and while I’ve been to Grasse it’s not like I have an intimate relationship with it.
Once I remembered that, I got over my Winter-jangled nerves and settled in for a perfume ride Down Under. Awhile back I was sent 5 carded samples* Southern Bloom, Pacific Rockmoss, Blue Cypress, Desert Rosewood & Wood Infusion. Portia beautifully reviewed Desert Rosewood on Australian Perfume Junkies here so I’m going to skip that one (it’s gorgeous, btw) and review a couple of the others.
Southern Bloom “honours the rare and enchanting native scented flower, the Boronia, during its short September “Spring Bloom” … off the coast of Bruny Island. Well, the first thing I have to say is, I am always taken aback – and have to orient myself – to the seasonal flips below the equator. The second thing I have to say is, this is a gorgeous scent! Boronia (of which I knew nothing, prior to researching for this review) has two Tasmanian genera: hippopala (velvet Boronia) and citriodora . I’m not sure from which one the absolute is distilled – ‘velvet’ is mentioned but per some official-looking Australian horticultural site hippopala is a certified ‘threatened species’ – either way, I’mo leave that to them to figure out – let me tell you how it smells. It. Smells. Glorious! I can’t tell you anything about Boronia scents because I’ve never smelled it but this is a lush, slightly plummy-plush floral with a solid (but not overpowering) woody undertone. It reminds me of being in the garden on a hot August morning, tying up flower branches and moving broken tree limbs after a windstorm. I can’t believe I’m saying this but the musk basenote really ties this all together. It really is beautiful!
Pacific Rock Moss (representing South Coast New South Wales). It’s pale blue. So you know I had to sample it. It’s a marine-based scent, which is not one of my favorite notes, but it’s done well and evokes a sunny marine, rather than the dankness that calone so often brings to the water-party. The notes on this one are ‘Coastal Moss Australia- Lemon Italy – Sage France – Geranium Egypt and Cedar Wood Virginia’ – I sprayed it on a card and was pleasantly surprised to find that the drydown is quite pretty! I could definitely see myself admiring this on someone who’d been wearing it for 20-30 minutes (and that’s no faint praise, btw – even my vaunted No5 is pretty blasty upon first app. most perfumes undergo a metamorphosis from application to drydown, some for the better, some for the ‘eh’. Pacific Rock Moss definitely for the better!)
Wood Infusion (representing Fraser Island Queensland) is, weirdly enough, the one I most adore – and the ‘weird’ is because I fully expected to ‘meh’ that one. Comprised of Brazilian Sweet Orange, Australian Exotic Woods, Italian Iris, Lavender, Agarwood & Musk, upon first sniff it has that Classic Guy Cologne smell – but give it 10 minutes and it morphs into a luminous tableau, like coming upon a vintage Sam Maloof chair in a sunlit Arts & Crafts home. I would wear this – a LOT!
This is a lovely line – A Discovery Set (as well as travel sprays and full bottles) can be found at Luckyscent
Surrender to Chance has samples of Pacific Rock Moss
Goldfield & Banks…obvs! 😉
But ONE of you fabulous commenters will be lucky enough to get carded samples* of the five mentioned above (there is also White Sandalwood but I don’t have it in the Little Velvet Pouch, which only means I probably lost it (sorry – it’s been a LONG Winter). Tell me a story about Australia – have you ever been there? I haven’t and am conflicted about it – one the one hand there is a stunning grandeur about the place – and on the other, it’s chock full of stuff designed by Nature to kill the living daylights out of you. But Portia is there, so it would be worth the trip. Except there might be a giant constrictor lurking at the airport (or the baking shed at the Great Australian BakeOff)…or a crocodile the size of a VW bus……