Fragrance Reviews Euphorium Brooklyn Usar EDP

Euphorium Brooklyn Usar EDP

08/23/16 06:53:43

by: Jodi Battershell

Euphorium Brooklyn's Stephen Dirkes is having a busy year. In addition to re-launching fragrances Cilice and Usar in Eau de Parfum format (and Wald is next, slated for September), multiple art events in Brooklyn this spring, a turn at Sniffapalooza Spring Fling (as reported by our dear Ida), a residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute and preparations for the upcoming Tranoï New York Parfums Expo in September, Stephen found the time to enter his short film in the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival, where Case #432, Euphorium Brooklyn's short promotional film for 100 Tweeds, was an official selection of the Festival and a nominee for Best Visual Effects, Best Art Direction, Best Creative Concept and Best Sound Design. 

CASE #432 from stephen dirkes on Vimeo.

All of above achievements are even more remarkable when we consider this perfume house was founded less than two years ago!

The first three releases from Euphorium Brooklyn were in oil-based formats, which certainly suits the Victorian period in which this perfume house has its fictional backstory. There is definitely appeal to oil-based formats, in my opinion: lower sillage, skin-moisturizing properties, enhanced longevity, a certain roundness and fullness that it brings out in the heart notes and base notes. That being said, I generally reach for eau de parfum format if it is available, and moreover, an atomizer bottle rather than splash, so I'm excited to see these beautiful scents in my preferred format.

Usar fragrance bottle with a slice of lime


Stephen and I discussed the subtle tweaks he made to Cilice for the alcohol format when I attended the Euphorium Brooklyn Voluptuary Set launch in February. Such adjustments are often necessary when a perfume changes format, as certain ingredients perform better in alcohol or oil (or lotion base, or candle wax, etc), and/or require a different quantity to achieve the same effect. I found the EDP formulation of Cilice very similar to the oil-based formula, but with alcohol giving the fragrance notes a subtle lift.

With Usar, Stephen took the opportunity to tinker a bit with the formula, resulting in a lighter, more tea-like effect. If you love vetiver, no need to worry: Usar still has plenty of it. As with the oil-based format, you can smell the gorgeous vetiver note throughout the life of the fragrance, but the mood of the scent has shifted slightly.

Usar Eau de Parfum 50 ml atomizer with ginger and lime slices

The oil-based formula has a darker, earthier quality. The effects of the ginger and lime are dampened somewhat by the oil format, and the fragrance has pronounced woody and rooty aspects on my skin. It is smoky, a bit heavier and more somber overall, making it a great scent for Autumn and Winter.

In the EDP, a new addition—Cassia, which has a cinnamon-like aroma—enhances the ginger and lime. I can smell the sweet sugar in the top notes now, and the beautiful opening recalls a freshly-brewed cup of spiced tea. There's even a bit of a clean and classic 'barbershop" scent to the opening, likely due to the lime. About 20 minutes in, the EDP format begins to resemble the oil format more closely, but with a more lighthearted feel. Those roots have pushed up through the soil and are basking in the sun. The woody notes are softer and sweeter, with ambergris cushioning the overall effect. Usar EDP has a levity not found in the oil format and is easily a perfume for all seasons.

Bottom line: While I'm drawn to the dark, earthy aroma of the oil version, the EDP feels like a more developed and sophisticated perfume. If you're sampling this for the first time, I recommend starting with the EDP. If you enjoyed Usar in the oil format, you'll find the EDP familiar and possibly more wearable and suitable for more occasions and seasons than the oil version. Both versions last 10+ hours on the skin.

Choice is a beautiful thing!

Usar 30 ml EDP bottle


Notes: Jeruk Nepis (Javanese L ime), Ginger, Clove, Vanilla Bean, Palm Sugar, Hajimon (Sumatra Benzoin), Usar (Sundanese Vetiver), Cypriol, Gaharu (Komodo Agarwood/Oud), Ambergris

Thank you to Euphorium Brooklyn for the opportunity to try the new Usar EDP, and I look forward to exploring the dense forests of Wald EDP this Fall!

Usar is available in 15 ml and 30 ml oils and 30 ml and 50 ml EDP atomizer bottles, along with sample sizes in each format, exclusively at Twisted Lily, with international shipping available to most countries.

All images: Euphorium Brooklyn.


Jodi Battershell (NebraskaLovesScent or "NLS") is a lifelong Nebraskan who transplanted herself to Philadelphia after a lifetime on the Great Plains. An appreciator of fine fragrances since childhood, she tried her hand at natural perfumery and fragrance-mixing for a number of years, ultimately concluding she was better suited to appreciating the fragrance creations of others. She is pleased to finally be putting her English degree to use as a writer and editor for


Previous Fragrance Reviews Next


Add Your Review

Become a member of this online perfume community and you will be able to add your own reviews.



New Perfumes

AbundanceChristy Organics

UrbaneChristy Organics

SatisfactionChristy Organics

AmberChristy Organics

TranceChristy Organics

IX Ambre OttomanRPL
IX Ambre Ottoman

ExoticaMaison Du Sage

Noir WoodMaison Du Sage
Noir Wood

Prima VeraMaison Du Sage
Prima Vera

Velvet AngelMaison Du Sage
Velvet Angel

DesireMaison Du Sage

Aqua NeroMaison Du Sage
Aqua Nero

Green MuskMaison Du Sage
Green Musk

Rose BrillantMaison Du Sage
Rose Brillant

AmberloveMaison Du Sage

Blue MoonMaison Du Sage
Blue Moon

Rose MillesimeeJovoy Paris
Rose Millesimee

VelorumTiziana Terenzi

VetyverBahoma London

Imperial OudBahoma London
Imperial Oud

ErebusBahoma London

ChurchillBahoma London

K2Bahoma London

No. 5 Tropical JungleThe Trend by House of Sillage
No. 5 Tropical Jungle

No. 4 United We StandThe Trend by House of Sillage
No. 4 United We Stand

No. 3 Beauty & GraceThe Trend by House of Sillage
No. 3 Beauty & Grace

No. 2 Hot in CamoThe Trend by House of Sillage
No. 2 Hot in Camo

No. 1 Polka Dot DanceThe Trend by House of Sillage
No. 1 Polka Dot Dance

Black OrrisBahoma London
Black Orris

Bois de RoseBahoma London
Bois de Rose

Popular brands and perfumes: