Pineward Velveteen Perfume Review

I know I’ve gone on in bits about Pineward Velveteen, and it has been difficult to put together my thoughts.

Notes of ambergris, cypress, vanilla, clove, labdanum, fir.   It is warm and cozy, with a layer of darkness underlying it that is intense in a way I find hard to describe – it distracts me from all that cozy.  Making it very hard to find a place to file it under in my perfume mental filing system.

I made a quick comparison to Estee Lauder Cinnabar in a prior post, and I wanted to check that! The opens on both are very close. Cinnabar blows off – at least the current version does – all the best dark parts of it too quickly and lightens.  The other problem child…

Pineward Velveteen deepens, intensifies with that crazy almost-malevolent darkness swirling through it.  One of my favorite books of all time is The Velveteen Rabbit. I don’t know if that formed any part of the idea behind this fragrance by the creator, but it helped me in how I think about it some.

A stuffed toy that is not real, wants to be, love the boy, is next to the boy through a near-death illness, then gets destroyed when the boy is well because it was contaminated.  But the Velveteen Rabbit is eventually granted the wish to become a real rabbit.

There is this closeness to Velveteen that sometimes feels suffocating because it is yearning.  Not loud, just this soft insistence that IT IS THERE.  My arm moves, and I smell it, and it is comforting, always next to me, and there is this little thread of darkness that won’t let me just relax with it.  JAR Golconda was a lot the same. Different smell, lovely, intense, and would never let me rest.  I think of it as the dark parts of us –  the uninvited malevolence that lives in us that is always startling to me when I run into it in a thought, a dream, when I’m really angry.  We live our life fighting that darkness, pushing our Sisyphean goodness boulder up the hill while our selfish, rotten rocks keep making us stumble and slide back down right as we get to the top.  If we ever get there, can we become real humans?

Just when I think I understand the emotional feel of this perfume, it vanishes into another half-formed thought. See Exhibit A and B above.

So there you have it. I love it, but I brace myself when I put it on because my humanity seems too near and so very far away.   Pretty sure I have not described it well, either.

Pineward Velveteen lasts for hours, so this is not a short day! But I did find a trick. I fell madly in love with Stora Skuggan’s flibbertygibbety pefume, Mistpouffer.  The way she crafted the immortelle in there is so charming. Once I spray that near Velveteen, I am sure I will not be tossed in the trash, and I must be real.

So my missing hummingbirds this year finally showed up. I had one that buzzed by every now and then, maybe two.  All of a sudden I had hummers checking the empty feeders, like a couple at a time, so I made the syrup and filled them up.  OMG, I have seven feeders up and a flock of ruby throats fighting around each. I’ve moved some in a different sight line, hoping to get them to share, but one just perches on a little perch next to a feeder and chases off everything that comes by, sometimes two and three at at time. And he is SO little!  I can stand in my kitchen right next to the window and watch him scanning the perimeter for interlopers.  Well, I’m glad they finally showed up on their way back south.

I’ll do a drawing for a sample of the Pineward Velveteen and the Stora Skuggan Mistpouffer. I feel like these two need each other!  How are you winding down your summer?


  • grizzlesnort says:

    A year from today my lease is up and I take down my shingle. Winding down the summer now and then a year to wind my practice down. I’m so excited at the prospect, so ready, it doesn’t feel like a winding “down”.
    We have Rufus hummingbirds in summer here and the Annas that overwinter. We know they can survive without us but when it freezes, we are in and out the back door bringing in the frozen feeders and setting out liquid ones. They are oblivious but we feel better. Intrigued by your perfume descriptions so please enter me in your draw.

    • Patty says:

      Wow, that is exciting! We just get the one variety of hummer, though I have heard of one other sighting this year, can’t remember which other hummer it was. Well, congratulations on the year away!

  • VerbenaLuvvr says:

    We waited all year for hummers to visit but with the extreme drought here and lack of flowering enticement, maybe they took a detour? 🙁 The rest of the year is winding down the garden, just tomatoes and a few peppers left. It is cooling off and thinking of winter always makes me sad, it is my least favorite season. The Pineward series do sound cozy tho!

    • Patty says:

      Pinewards are excellent for winter! Maybe it is wearing them in the heat that was causing the edginess with Velveteen. Murkwood was a lot easier to wear!

  • March says:

    We have SO MANY hummingbirds here! Lots of folks with feeders (I’m in town, in a small-lot neighborhood with lots of houses) as well as landscaping plants hummers like, like penstemon and butterfly bush. I don’t think I’ve seen so many hummingbirds in my life! They dive-bomb the cat across the street, and one comes by every morning to angrily poke at my zinnias before zooming off lol.

    • Patty says:

      I know! I still remember when we went to that spa outside of town, and there were a bazillion hummers outside eating. That was the first place I realized that was possible! They are amazing little things, I could watch them all day, as I look outside and see them fighting over the feeder outside this window. I wish i lived where they were here for longer parts of the year.

  • Jennifer S says:

    Very intriguing the way you describe these. I like a scent that makes you think a bit! I enjoy my hummingbirds for the short time they’re here….always sad to see them go, which will be soon, but yeah. There’s always a little bossy one who thinks they own the feeders lol! I put one round the back of the house that the bossy one doesn’t know about, as he prefers to stay and watch the two out front!

    • Patty says:

      Just to be fun, I set up another little hanging thing next to a feeder, and now I have another bossy boots sassing them all about the feeder ownership. It must be exhausting for them!

  • Caroline says:

    Ooooh I would love to smell these! And I love the names.
    I’m in LA, so we have hummers year round, always fighting over the feeders. Very entertaining for me and my cat to watch.

  • cinnamon says:

    Hmm, definitely doesn’t sound simple and a bit unsettling. I just booked various back to uni stuff for son, which has made me twitchy. And the weather is being unkind — grey, cool, boring. However, we’re due decent sun and warm next week. Fingers crossed.

    • Patty says:

      Fall is definitely showing up here, cool nights, some leaves starting to drift down. I always forget how absolute that one line is. Even if the days stay hot, there is the changing things that happen no matter.

  • Portia says:

    I ordered some from Surrender To Chance to try. CAN’T WAiT!

  • Tara C says:

    Really looking forward to trying those Pinewards, reading lots of positive reviews. Counting down the days until I fly south for the winter. This year really did a number on me.

  • Sarah says:

    Wow, Patty. What an elegant post. Perfume insights written by the likes of an Edith Wharton or Willa Cather.
    Awaiting samples of Bindebole, Boreal, Fanghorn II and Murkwood.
    Remembering a Cedar scent that March wrote about long ago. It was comfort personified especially on those difficult days of yore.
    Kiss the dogs for me.

    • Patty says:

      Well, thanks. It did not seem like that for me, it was a struggle to write!

      I remember that cedar scent, I think it was a room spray? I had some, and then it got impossible to find. Dogs get way too many kisses, they really like the kisses on the head. I didn’t know that until I saw this video they did of the faces of dogs with they get kissed on the head. So now they get more kisses on the heads. 🙂

  • Koyel says:

    I LOVED the Velveteen Rabbit! But somehow, I completely forgot that he turned into a real rabbit in the end. In my mind, the book ended when he was burned. How peculiar.

    Anyway, I really want to try those Pinewards 🙂 Also, I’m of the opinion that summer will never end. I live in CA, so that’s not as far from the truth as it might be.

    • Patty says:

      I know! I seem to forget that part and just get lost in the tragedy of being thrown away. I don’t not remember it, I just kind of don’t think about it. Trauma of the killing of the stuffed rabbit is tough.

      Summer is definitely wrapping up here, cooler nights, heater coming on overnight for the pool. I always forget how quickly we exit 90 plus days and have to wrap up after pooltime.

  • sarah says:

    This sounds lovely!

    We have had a dearth of hummingbirds during the hot dry summer in the Midwest, but I saw one today!