Phoenix Botanicals, Vanilla And The Sea

Originally published on 21 January, 2017

Vanilla And The Sea Perfumed Oil
Irina Adam for Phoenix Botanicals (2016)

Inspired by a winters walk along the ocean, Vanilla And The Sea (VATS) is the latest gorgeous offering from Irina Adam for her artisanal company Phoenix Botanicals of Brooklyn NY, a 2016 Art & Olfaction nominee.

“If once you have slept on an island
You’ll never be quite the same;
You may look as you looked the day before
And go by the same old name,
You may bustle about in street and shop
You may sit at home and sew,
But you’ll see blue water and wheeling gulls
Wherever your feet may go.
You may chat with the neighbors of this and that
And close to your fire keep,
But you’ll hear ship whistle and lighthouse bell
And tides beat through your sleep.
Oh! you won’t know why and you can’t say how
Such a change upon you came,
But once you have slept on an island,
You’ll never be quite the same.”
-Rachel Lyman Field

Living on an island as I do, winter walks on the beach are often a daily occurrence. The cold bite of the air, the smell of low tide and salt water, and the damp fabric of my coat all add up to create an olfactory goldmine that is quite frankly unforgettable. An oceanic floral amber, VATS perfectly captures the idea of a waterside stroll, complete with the metallic tang of seaweed drying on the rocks, the petrichor smell of a chill winter rain hitting the sand, the warmth of sweaters, jackets, gloves, and hats replete with a whiff of overheated skin under layers of cashmere, cotton and wool. A beautiful dream of winter.

Of course if you’re like me then the bluster of winter weather also brings thoughts of warm days on a beach, and for sun seekers VATS does not disappoint, for on the other side of this magical
perfumed -oil looking glass is a warm stroll on Ke’e Beach, a stretch of golden sand on the North Shore of Hawaii’s Kauai Island.

Here you find the same aroma of a winter beach but now surrounded by blooming tropical flower scents of narcotic and languid tuberose, sweet, bright and zingy citrus and the smell of sun-kissed sand tinged with a dab of salt-water tide pools and a soupçon of sun tan oil.

Same content, completely different context, and therein lies the magical beauty of Vanilla And The Sea. It contains that often elusive perfume quality that transports you to unexpected and surprising locales and discoveries by constantly morphing and shifting as you wear it.

In perfumer Irina Adam’s words….
“Refreshing mandarin & neroli breezes dance away to reveal warm vanilla and tuberose, which turn into a musky amber. Lavender absolute is the salty sea spray onto a base of seaweed, moss, and deep ocean ambergris.

An atmospheric blend shifting between wilderness and comfort.
Experience the ocean wind, refreshing with a citrus accord, salty with lavender absolute and seaweed – while ensconced in a warm wool of tuberose, vanilla and amber.”

Featured notes: Mandarin, Neroli, Tuberose, White Rose, Vanilla, Amber, Lavender, Seaweed, eco-friendly Ambergris, Sandalwood. Organic Jojoba oil.

-Robert B. Herrmann, Contributor

Disclaimer: I received my sample from Phoenix Botanicals, thank you so much! The opinions are mine exclusively.

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