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……
I would love to go there. I’d like to spend a month since it is a long flight to get there.
Have a lot of australian friends and friends who’ve lived there and/or married Ozzies…but have never been myself.
Ive never been to Australia but I grew up in Texas and that counts for something, right? — drought, lots of animals and plants that want to kill you, lots of sunburnt white people, and magical enthralling things that appear in the desert nights….
Woo Hoo! Wood Infusion is the one I have a bottle of Musette. Scent Twins!
G&B are really pushing the envelope down here, impressive lineup and all so wearable, while not smelling off the rack.
I haven’t met them but everyone also says they are super nice guys, totally frag committed and are doing their best to offer unusual variants on old tropes.
Glad you enjoyed them,
I have never been but going to the Mardi Gras is on my bucket list.
I have not been to Australia, either, but visit vicariously through the National Geographic Channel and Portia’s posts! I remember seeing a show recently about feral bunnies there.
I have never been to Australia- it’s on the bucket list,which would hopefully include a sniffing meetup with Portia! My mom had the opportunity and I loved her trip memories. I haven’t tried this house but it sounds lovely .
For me Australia will always represent my darling friend Portia whom I love dearly. A story about Australia? Well, that was the one of two choices of which country my parents were choosing to immigrate to. Sure wish they would have picked it-LOL! I would have loved to live down under.
I have been to Australia and I LOVED it! We flew into Sydney, spent a lovely day there adjusting to the time change, then flew up to Cairns, which is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. We did some diving and some tropical forest hiking (where we were nearly eaten alive by LEECHES), then drove down the coast over the following week or so, stopping in various coastal towns and islands before pulling into Brisbane. We spent a civilized day or two there (a nice change from the rather wild lifestyle of the previous week!) before flying back to Sydney, where we spent a couple more days before going back home. It was one of my favorite trips ever, and I’d love to go back and explore more of the continent. What exciting wildlife! We saw some spiders the size of my palm, but really, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll meet something that will kill you if you stick to cities and well populated towns 🙂 I highly recommend a trip. I sniffed all kinds of interesting plants while I was there, but I’m not sure any of them were boronia :-/
DNEM I have already tried three Goldfield and Banks perfumes. Crocodile Dundee awakened my interest in Australia. It is one of my favorite movies. The scenery is fantastic and I have always wanted to visit Uluru. Oh, and they have opals! I love Southern Bloom. It’s different and beautiful. White Sandalwood is my second favorite sandalwood ever. Desert Rosewood is lovely too. Makes me think of California chaparral.
The closest I ever got to seeing Australia was by watching Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter and Musette…I agree with you in that Mother Nature has invented any number of ways some serious body damage can occur by the critters that live down under!
All of these scents sound lovely!
I’ve never smelled Boronia, and apparently Nikki says she can’t smell it in there, but it is a lovely scent nonetheless and I am happy to own it. I also have Desert Rosewood and a decant of White Sandalwood. A very nice line!
I’ve never been to Australia, BUT on a trip to Europe, I had the pleasure of about 20 Australians in my travel group. I have never laughed so much in my entire life, before or since. This group of people did their nation proud. Fun loving, adventuresome, capable of drinking any number of representatives of other countries under the table, and just unbelievably funny and great “mates.” I would dearly love to go to Australia some day…and of course, there is Portia.
Nikki, have you tried the Grandiflora Boronia perfume? Wondering if that one is any more accurate to the flower.
Yes, I’ve tried that but found the same. Lovely scent but I couldn’t pick the Boronia in it. I’m starting to believe that perhaps it is impossible to replicate Mother Nature
Your trip sounds fabulous. Good company can really make a difference.
I haven’t been to Australia but would love to experience it some day. The season flip boggles my mind too! Winter in July and December in summer!
I live in southwest western Australia where Boronia is native area (and used to be harvested for the perfume industry). Actually there are many Boronia species but the one renowned for its scent and essential oil is Boronia megatigma. It. smells. incredible. There is nothing like going for a run or a ride in the bush and smelling it. It is like nothing else.
I bought ‘Southern Bloom’ with high expectations as I have been hunting a Boronia perfume for many years. But sadly….although it is a lovely scent, I cannot detect the Boronia I know 🙁 My hunt continues.
I have not been but have a friend in Canberra, and, of course, the divine Portia Turbo! I am dying to try Southern Bloom!