Originally published on http://www.cafleurebon.com 12 May, 2017
New Perfume Review: Euphorium Brooklyn Butterfly (Stephen Dirkes) 2017
Like the soft caress of a feather on your cheek, Euphorium Brooklyn’s new eau de parfum Butterfly, lands on the skin as sleekly and weightlessly as the sheerest chiffon scarf, a scent to make you smile and revel in joy.
Since arriving on the scene two years ago, self-taught perfumer Stephen Dirkes has created stunning and unique perfumes (Pétales, Cilice, Suédios, and Chocolatl among others) using only the very finest ingredients; precious oils, tinctures, and absolutes, and the results are a range of scents as interesting and compelling as Brooklyn itself. His studio is based in the Greenpoint neighborhood of northern Brooklyn, and the neighborhood itself was partially the genesis for this newest bright and lively perfume.
As Mr. Dirkes describes it…“Located in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn’s northern most waterfront cradled by the New Town Creek and East River, Euphorium Brooklyn has long been an oasis of decadence in the midst of an industrial wasteland. From early 18th century settlements and the development of 19th century boat building & chemical industries, the waterfront somehow escaped development. In these “wilds” of North Brooklyn, stands of milkweed, grasses, and wildflowers flourished and have remained largely intact until the present.”
“Situated on the migratory path of the Monarch butterfly’s incredible journey from Canada to Mexico and back, the butterflies discovered the rich flora on Greenpoint’s water’s edge for themselves, establishing a marvel of nature with seasonal clouds of butterflies signaling the start of summer in this otherwise grey industrial corner of New York City. Butterflies are sustained by a wide variety of colorful and fragrant nectar flowers and weeds of all types. Most unique is their relationship to the milkweed plant. Highly toxic to most animals, claiming the lives of horses that forge on milkweed, the butterfly is able to utilize the milkweed’s toxins to protect itself. With an ability to safely ingest the toxins and move them to their exoskeleton, the butterflies themselves become toxic to predators to defend themselves and also lay eggs to become larvae on the milkweed plants to protect the next generation. BUTTERFLY Eau de Pafum is based on the fragrant plant life that sustains butterflies and their habitat. Although perhaps a peculiar starting point to develop a fragrance palette, butterflies have done a remarkable job of curating a wide range of fragrant floral, mint, grass, & herbaceous notes for a perfumer to work with.” -Stephen Dirkes
If you’ve never had the opportunity to see a Monarch butterfly migration, it is experiential in the same way as seeing the northern lights for the very first time, stunning, unbelievable and absolutely unforgettable. While growing up in Northern California, one of the “requisite” fourth grade field trips was to go see the monarch butterflies as they over-wintered along the coast. As our school bus trundled down the hill towards foggy Bolinas Bay, we drove past Eucalyptus trees completely blanketed with Monarch butterflies. The sight of hundreds of thousands butterflies covering the trees, is jaw-dropping and at times a bit unsettling in a scary-movie way, especially to a kid.
Opening with a cool arctic blast of mint tempered by the earthy and slightly bitter oakmoss, Butterfly is a scent that is very easy to wear for both men and women, and sometimes “easy” is exactly what you want to reach for in the dog-days of summer.
Butterfly is both cooling and refreshing, slightly reminiscent of the alcohol-stinging slap of a barbershop aftershave, but much richer and complex from the floral notes of lilac and geranium. The oakmoss is ever present and if that’s a note that has heretofore scared you away, in Butterfly it is as skillfully mastered and blended as anything I’ve ever tried.
The laurel adds a slight camphorous vibe, and the brook water (yes you read that right) keeps the whole combination bright, clear, and sparkling, providing that airy and slight tickle that you would imagine feeling if a Monarch butterfly landed on the palm of your hand, its orange and black wings glistening as they slowly open and close, unfolding in a ravishing jewel-like display. Butterfly by Euphorium Brooklyn with its unearthly and ethereal beauty is going right to the top of my full bottle buy list and just may be my go-to fougére for summer 2017.
Notes: Violet, Lilac, Lavender, Geranium, Marigold, Wild Mint, Mountain Laurel, Hyssop, Milkweed, Scarlet Sage, Artemisia, Sweet Clover, Grasses, Moss and Brook Water
Disclosure: Many thanks to Twisted Lily and Euphorium Brooklyn for supplying the sample. Opinions are my own.