Scented Snippets New Fragrance Review: House of Matriarch The Longing, The Beauty of Bespoke

New Fragrance Review: House of Matriarch The Longing, The Beauty of Bespoke

02/14/17 11:55:18 (3 comments)

by: Ida Meister


Many of us have pondered: what would it be like if someone we admire created a bespoke perfume just for us?

If we placed ourselves in their capable hands and gave them their head, coupled with our fragrant desires?

Perfume reviewer Joseph Sagona of Brooklyn, NY did just that.

LIMITED EDITION release of the bespoke fragrance created for pillar of the fragrance community, Joseph Sagona. The Longing is an ultra-gourmand unisex fragrance with oriental undertones and a velvety amber finish. 

Top Notes: Plum, Jasmine, Butter, Agarwood, Vintage Boronia
Heart Notes: Vanilla Orchid, Gardenia, Orange Blossom, Honey, Vintage Osmanthus
Base Notes: Leather, Amber, Vanilla, Benzoin, Sandalwood, Ambrette Musk

Each bottle and sample comes with a copy of Joseph's beautiful poem: 

Meditation image




A spiritual chant I hear echoing in the distance

a mystical rhythm that pulsates through

every fiber of my existence

a sensual dance of an erotic essence

Flowers of the divine soothe the darkest of souls

fruits picked from the fragile shrub

as pure sweetness unfolds

an everlasting beauty that longs to behold

A tussle of sweet honey slides down your wet lips

dewy skin is a temptation I cannot resist

a balmy musky climax of love

tenderness and butterfly kisses

A longing for your aroma and fragile touch

is a blessing of pure heavenly lust

a warm purple hue that blossoms through

in my vivid dreams of you

Joseph Sagona, 2016


Joseph Sagona is a baker with a gourmand penchant [think maple, vanilla, chocolate,  butter, strawberries,  plums, apricots; he cited these among the flavors which draw him in], a poet, a music lover, and a wonderful perfume reviewer: an all-around sensitive, perceptive, and sensual soul – as one can sense from his writing.

[He's been writing poems, on and off – since he was 15, but stringing words and sentences together since the age of eight. Nowadays Joseph shares his many reviews on several perfume forums online.]

Now we can smell it as well, thanks to perfumer Christi Meshell of House of Matriarch's aromatic alchemy.

Cristi Meshell, House of Matriarch

This bespoke process began quite unexpectedly last summer:

“Well, what happened was, that I was waiting for a package and I contacted her and said, “I need the tracking number, do you have it?” -  and she said, “Yes, it's out for delivery!” She then says: “Why don't we create a fragrance together based on the waiting, the anticipation, the longing?”

“I sent her the notes I wanted and the rest is history. This was last July. The original sample she gave me was lovely, there were no changes except she added three additional notes that she felt was needed, and it really made it much better.”

Those three notes?  Butter, vintage boronia, and vintage osmanthus. The earthly delight of the unctuous wed to the floral/leathery.

Well... you probably want to know what The Longing smells like.


If you are familiar with Christi Meshell's work [I've written extensively about it], then you might anticipate a tenacious, longlasting intense fragrance, one with a lion's share of naturals and potent basenotes: you'd be correct. That it is. Christi doesn't stint on the good stuff, ever.

[Joseph told me that he was nervous when he found out that I'd purchased a bottle, blind. He needn't have worried. I told him that other than having purchased two of John Biebel's prints – or buying a friend's book, that this was about the only way I could afford to 'support the arts'. I try to put my money where my mouth is, whenever I can manage.]

To quote Joseph: “It's all over the place”.  As if this is a problem.

The Longing bottle

We have many facets of the prism, hues at play here. Ms. Meshell's leathers don't monkey around -  they are real, in earnest, fully-fleshed and smoldering. There is oud in The Longing and the power that it leaves in its wake weaves throughout the perfume like a serpent in the Garden of Eden. The bridesmaids dancing attendance in the dark are lithe and luscious: vanilla orchid, gardenia, jasmine, orange blossom, plum blossom; it all appears rather innocent, if it's only notes you are contemplating.

How dangerous could butter be? Vanilla, benzoin, sandalwood, amber? Surely ambrette, that delicately equine musky aroma wouldn't harm a fly.

Not until you gather them together at dusk, that is. It is then the mischief commences.

The fruits and florals mesh so beautifully with all our sweet things – honey included, of course. But honey is animalic, too – and preys upon those blossoms, sharing this quality with oud and an intense leather accord. Boronia and osmanthus may be fruitily floral, but their leathery underbellies show.

Even gentle benzoin, with all its grace, possesses a leathery tone. Everything conspires to accentuate/ punctuate everything else. The components are in cahoots.

I suspect that vanilla and butter exist to soften and temper, round out, add that 'mouth feel' one seeks in fine pâtisserie.

For all its rumbling in the jungle, this IS a gourmand chameleon perfume which changes form many times throughout its extensive development.

It is well and truly named: darkly erotic and ravenous, like its poetic namesake. If you are seeking wistful longing, this is not it.

Cristi Meshell, House of Matriarch

The Longing  craves the beloved, that fleshly/celestial/tantric entity just beyond lover's grasp.

It might have been called The Hunger.

After all was said and done -

“It was an amazing experience I will never forget. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

Did our perfumer charge him any fee?

Not a sou. <3

How's that for friendship?


You can purchase samples from, if you're curious about it. Joseph Sagona receives no fringe benefit from it, either:

20% of sales from THE LONGING will be donated to The Humane Society in Joseph's name. 

Image of author

Ida Meister 


Ida (chayaruchama) has been an avid collector and sniffeuse for over 40 years. She adores consulting and collaborating with niche, budding and independent perfumers. Her hypervigilant nose has been of great help in her profession as a neuroscience/ oncology nurse, where she often smells fear, suffering, stress, and can identify most micro-organisms, medications, stages of disease, and has written about the amygdala. As a Senior and Natural Perfumery Editor, Ida has participated in many blog events with natural and mixed media perfumers and other writers. She has also been a teacher, translator, opera singer, dancer and caterer.


Previous Scented Snippets



The few I've tried from this line I love. They are quite unique and rich.


I've been wearing my sample all day, I just bought myself the full bottle!!
She's done it again... the same thing happened with Kazimi.
Love this one, very sexy.. very, very sexy.


There are so many wonderful folks in the perfume community and some amazing things happen when they put their heads together! The Longing sounds gorgeous, Ida!

Props to Mr. Sagona for suggesting such a decadent combination of notes!


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