Timothy Han

This is the new-to-me house I mentioned last week. I had done one of these (bought all the samples from a new-to-me house) a month or so ago and the results were so meh and pedestrian that I didn’t bother to review them. This time, however, things are different and I’m pleased that I’m able to get to know these perfumes.

Timothy Han apparently worked in fashion. He got into candles and then “turned his attention” to fragrance. His line includes five EdPs in 60ml sizes, some of which are inspired by novels. So, yes, I was taken by the names of his fragrances.

These are presented in fairly straight-forward squat glass bottles with proportionally tall black caps. As I only have samples I can’t speak to their heft or the structure of the top. The appearance speaks ‘straight-forward’ and ‘slick’ to me, but not in a bad way. The marketing speak is marketing speak. I’ve put UK pricing in parens at the end of each blurb as they differ between perfumes. You can find these at various places around the world (eg, Roullier White in the UK and Lucky Scent in the US – the website lists other countries/shops in Germany, Italy, Taiwan, Spain, Denmark and Belgium).

So, the fragrances…

On the Road (unsurprisingly, inspired by the “mysteries of the open highway”). Notes include galbanum, labdanum, lemon, bergamot, amyris, cedar, patchouli, tonka, oakmoss, gaiac wood, benzoin, birch, vanilla, labdanum and Peru balsam (I think). This is all about birch tar on me. Really really really enjoyed this. Birch tar, pepper, mint (even if they aren’t listed in notes). Stanky and deep. Creosote to the max. It smooths out to a really nice leather, like something you’ve had for a long time (bag, jacket) that retains its original smell but in a softer way. (£120)

Against Nature (“inspire by Joris-Karl Huysmans’ 1884 novel of the same name” … “a decadent re-interpretation of nature at its most ornate”). Notes include pink pepper, lemon, juniper, green, metal, jasmin, ylang, lavender, lacquer, musk, vetiver, amber, sandalwood and patchouli. Definitely not for me. It’s very long-lived on my skin and I wish it wasn’t. Has that boggy/algae pond vibe. Dank, musty, slightly nauseating. That dark green thing that’s unsettling for too long. Doesn’t make much sense given the notes list, but there you have it. It might be wonderful on someone else. (£130)

The Decay of an Angel (inspired by Yukio Mishima’s 1971 novel of the same name). Per the speak, “a rich and exotic burnt floral”. Notes include mandarin, neroli, ylang, frankincense, jasmine, acacia, cade, oudh, cedarwood, patchouli, tonka and labdanum. This is sort of a mix on me of the above two fragrances – ie, it has some leather stank and some bog/algae thing going, but it’s calmer than the first one and not as eye-poppingly pond scum as the second. It’s also not as long-lived as either OtR or Against Nature. I do not get burnt floral at all. Yes, there’s a whisper of jasmine and neroli in there but no weird band-aid from the oudh and I get no patchouli at all. After a while it becomes slightly green-sweet on me, which is sort of weird, but the drydown is simply a soft skin scent, which is something that usually happens on my skin with an amber base. (£160)

She Came to Stay (“a modern fougere”, the house’s first scent). Notes for this include geranium, basil, lemon, clove, nutmeg, patchouli, vetiver, labdanum, oakmoss and cedar. Initially I get cardboard, a bit of geranium and citrus. A bit sweet, but sufficiently sharp to make it all work, and as it moves along the clove comes out, which mutes the citrus a bit and works really well with the cardboard aspect. The drydown is fougere, so not really to my taste, but nice for what it is: sharp, herbal, a touch of lavender. (£120)

Heart of Darkness (Conrad’s novel – dark and tropical per the marketing speak). Notes for this are ozone, rain accord, galbanum, ylang, jasmine, African violet, woods, smoky embers, cedar, sandalwood, guaiac, vetiver, birth tar, leather, moss, amber, musk, earth and patchouli. One of those kitchen sink lists. First off, this has that dank thing I got in The Decay of an Angel, but moderated by powder (galbanum and violet?).   After a bit the ylang and jasmine emerge, but gently. It’s still mostly about the powder. The drydown is gentle powdery musk. So, oddly, the key word on this is ‘gentle’, which is decidedly not Heart of Darkness. (£140)

On the Road is definitely my favourite of the bunch. Can’t see myself buying a bottle given the price. As with many things the line would benefit from smaller sized bottles – as would many. There are also candles for each of the fragrances, but I haven’t smelled them.

So, anyone know this brand, have any of the fragrances?

  • Maya says:

    I remember hearing about this line. I loved the names of the perfumes but was not interested enough to try them. Your review is well done, but I think they’re not for me. And “boggy” is awful.

    • Cinnamon says:

      Thank you 🙂 I think they are worth trying simply to figure out if they line up with what inspired them. But, yes, the boggy thing is just unpleasant and weird.

      • Maya says:

        I have tried perfumes simply because I liked the name and sometimes the story that goes with it. Some of the fun is not knowing where and when and how you will find your next treasure. 🙂

  • Musette says:

    :laughing (but not at you): you were assaulted by Eau du Grenouille! That algae/bog accord is the death knell of so very many perfumes, alas. Even Hermes (in the Eaux series – Jardin? or one of the others) couldn’t pull it off.
    I love the concept of the line but don’t see myself rushing out to try any of them. Thanks for taking a hit for the team!


    • Cinnamon says:

      I don’t understand why the noses/whoever think this is a pleasant accord. simply beyond me. The only really green things I’ve ever loved was a Gobin Daude. Long gone. Overall, the line isn’t bad. Certainly it’s far far better than the other one where I bought all the samples and then just felt cheated they were so nothing. I need to sample something that just sings on my skin. Sigh.

  • Dina C. says:

    Thanks for introducing this line to me — I hadn’t heard of them before.

  • Portia says:

    These sound very interesting Cinnamon, the name sounds familiar and I think I might have heard of or even smelled some but can’t for the life of me remember.
    Now I want to smell them ALL,
    Portia xx

  • Calrayo says:

    Oh, I’m interested in She Came to Stay just because I loved that novel (it’s Simone de Beauvoir). A prickly, elegant lavender/fougere is a good fit. These sound interesting!

    • Musette says:

      oh, you’ve made me nostalgic for well-written books that are elegantly edited. I’ve been slogging through some cheap imprints and…. well… since when did ‘grinded’ become a word? ‘maked’? sigh.


    • Cinnamon says:

      If you can find them round your way they are worth trying.