I am having a hard time accepting it is the second week in August.
We’re about to enter another (for here) heatwave. I can’t recall the last summer that was like this. Probably before I moved to this country – or maybe never. Maybe when Henry the VIII had six wives.
Anyway. Watching the economic news has convinced me I won’t be buying any full bottles of perfume for a good while. So, what did I do? I bought some samples. I don’t have a big enough stash to ‘shop my stash’ and a person’s still got to perfume (and so far my trawls of local charity shops have come up empty).
I got the samples from a London shop called Roullier White. It’s one of my go-tos for samples and it offers all kinds of other stuff besides perfume (cleaning products, home accessories, etc) but it still has a reasonably varied and interesting perfume offering.
So, I went through the listings and settled on two (really, I did) fragrances I really felt like trying. Sent off my order and received an email either later than day or the next saying they had X but not Y and would I like to choose something else? Which I then did. And then I got another email saying sorry, our mistake, we do have Y after all. But as a thank you for ordering and showing flexibility (they didn’t say that second thing) we’ll send you four samples in total (ie, I’d given them two alternatives to Y) and you’ll pay for two. How’s that for customer service???
I think I’ve said in the past that I really like Hiram Green as a house. I own a full bottle of Dilettante (beautiful, lush orange blossom thing which was discontinued a couple of years ago – not good) and a 10 or 15 ml (I can’t recall which – and they no longer appear to offer the smaller size – again, not good) of Slowdive (honey and bees wax and hay on me and beloved).
So, first I had a look at the HG stuff to see if there was anything to pique my interest. Low and behold, there was Hyde (the name seems to be a play on animal hide and Mr Hyde, ie, changeable), a leather-centred fragrance. So, popped that in basket. Then, picked number 2 (I’ll write about numbers 2-4 together at a later date, as they are all the same house) and checked Posse to see if it had been reviewed. It appears not. Hmmm… (I did re-read Portia’s post on HG Lustre from 2020, but that’s also now discontinued: http://perfumeposse.com/2020/05/14/lustre-hiram-green/)
Hyde was released in 2018. I don’t know how I missed it but I did. Anyway, as noted above it’s a leather perfume. So, if that’s your jam (as Musette and alityke say) …
Just to say here that I do love birch tar as a note. I find it easier in Le Labo Patchouli 24 though vs, say, Tauer Lonestar, even though I admire that in very small doses and mainly on fabric.
Hyde is heavy duty. Let’s just get that out of the way. You might not think that from the notes list, but, well (as the Mark Baum character in The Big Short says), you’d be wrong. Lemon, bergamot, birch tar, cassie, labdanum, vanilla and oakmoss.
On me, this starts lemon and bergamot fresh which before I had read the notes list read mint/menthol in my head. Don’t know why. That chemistry thing. This phase doesn’t last very long. The fragrance then does this fall off a cliff thing and for about 15 minutes I smell grilled meat. It’s weird (and I want to say unpleasant but it’s not, it’s just weird). But after that first half hour we’re into leather territory and that’s what it does for a good many hours: beautiful tanned leather, sticking your nose into the shoulder of a horse. With hay for good measure. Which appears to be the cassie (according to the Eden Botanicals site, this smells “rich, sweet, warm, green, honey-floral … with pronounced powdery and soft cinnamic-balsamic undertones…”)
Hyde dries down to a leather-vanilla sweetness, which is much better than it sounds, with enough astringency from the oak moss to keep things pleasing. I could still smell it on my wrist following days (ie, I wore it for several every other days).
Longevity is, well, long.
I really admire this. It’s really well done. And I enjoy wearing it when I wear it. It would never make it on to a full bottle list for me simply because it’s a leather that I feel wears me rather than the other way round. I think if I were to add a leather to my list it would be Knize 10, which is lighter and in which the florals are a lot stronger on me.
Interestingly, on my son, Hyde is woodsmoke. That.Is.All. Just really beautiful woodsmoke.
It’s offered in the lovely smoothly rounded heavy Hiram Green bottles (see pic of Dilettante and my small Slowdive bottle). Streamlined and classy. On the HG site, 50ml is €169. In the UK, it’s £135. In the US (I only looked at Lucky Scent), it’s $175. Regarding Australia, the HG site lists The Garden of Spring, which, when I click on the link brings me to someone’s Instagram page…
Have you sampled this? Do you like leather (you can answer that any way you want)?