Scented Snippets Scented Snippets: En Voyage Perfumes by Shelley Waddington/Something Old, Something New – Or, How To Feel Like A Bride Again

Scented Snippets: En Voyage Perfumes by Shelley Waddington/Something Old, Something New – Or, How To Feel Like A Bride Again

08/07/13 17:40:32 (5 comments)

by: Ida Meister

Recently I’d taken on the task of perfuming a non-perfume-wearing Pakistani bride, a dear friend who is particular in every one of her tastes. It was challenging and ultimately satisfying—and somewhere along the way this process became entangled with other seasoned members of the Perfumed World.  ;-)  Suggestions led to posts, posts led to revelations, and revelations led to sampling. [Sound familiar to any of you?]
"Niagara Falls" by Arthur Parton
Close friend and trusted aesthete Lucy Raubertas of Indieperfumes must be held largely culpable, with Shelley Waddington of En Voyage Perfumes following in the rôle of the Enabling Emissary. It was Lucy who employed this thrilling watercolor to illustrate her Scent Of the Day: A Study In Water [from the Primordial Scents Project created by Monica Miller of Skye Botanicals, aka Perfume Pharmer].
I went “Oooh!” Lucy hinted: “I’m sure Shelley would send you a sample.” Shelley replied, “Gladly” … and here we are. Several samples later, and only minutes after receiving them and greedily anointing myself—I’m compelled to write about The Three. I was generously given artistically carded samples of A Study, the new Zelda, and the earlier Carmel Series [which I had somehow missed]: out of all of these, the three that sang to me begged to be reviewed—so I am happy to share my passion with you.
"Leila" by Itzchak Tarkay
First impressions: The package sent me was hand-addressed in a script that was Clear, Non-Generic, and full of Character. That might not be significant for many, but to my forensically-obsessed mentation it revealed a certain dignity and sense of purpose. The clarity did not sacrifice personality, and the writing spoke of generosity and confidence. So much for the package!
The perfumes: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” is a time-honored bridal adage in the United States and Great Britain: it is the custom to at least nod to this convention. In my favorite trio Carmel Bohême qualifies as "something old," having been an earlier creation. Zelda is "something new," and A Study in Water is both "something borrowed" [Primordial Scents Project and Lucy] and "something blue": the most limpid pastel aquarelle imaginable. If I were renewing my vows [and I may yet do so!], I’d likely as not wear all three at once, in different locations—feeling and smelling divine from any angle. 
An Amber Floral
[from the Carmel-by-the-Sea Collection] (per the En Voyage website)
Top notes: Sweet Orange, Plum, Muguet
Heart notes: Enfleurages of Gardenia and Tuberose, French Jasmine
Base notes: Honey, Patchouli, Frankincense, Labdanum, Amber, Sandalwood 
Mood: Colorful, unpredictable, original, outrageous, edgy, tumultuous
Complex, rich, envoûtant: Carmel Bohême is a graceful animalic floral which feels like a chypre/oriental, to be truthful. It’s devilishly hard to classify, and I’m not convinced that categorization matters. Its lucid vivacity leans toward the demimonde and would be equally at home on a Grande Horizontale or an art student. I am neither and find myself entranced yet at my ease in the artless sophistication of Carmel Bohême which is eloquent, not flamboyant. The base anchoring exquisite enfleurages of beloved white blossoms is expertly, seamlessly blended. One might anticipate an overwhelming sweetness from the topnotes listed, but you’d be wrong; never is there a cloying moment, from start to finish. I love it for its unflagging intrigue.
A Neo-Oriental perfume for women
Top notes: Spiced Italian Bergamot, Spices, and Iranian Galbanum
Heart notes: Creamy Magnolia Blossom and Garden Florals
Base notes: Smoky Amber, Vintage Musks, Vanilla, Balsams, Sandalwood and Vetiver, Cedarwood, and Mousse de Chêne
Much has been said, much has been written about Zelda. I regret to chime in that It’s All True. I dislike hype, including my own. When everyone carries on about a perfume, it’s like a novel or film: I will dig in my heels and go out of my way to avoid it, until I’m good and ready. I’m not proud of this character trait, it’s simply that I don’t enjoy having others dictate what my beliefs and tastes "should" be. Shelley asked me if I’d sniffed Zelda, and I admitted that I hadn’t; NOW I’m off to purchase my own.
Is Zelda a Flapper Era perfume? [Is it crucial?] Zelda has a hefty Jazz Age booziness which I adore, it’s spicy as all get-out on me [I’m thrilled], and creamy, smoky as a boîte that Hemingway and other ex-pats might have frequented. It most certainly could have accompanied a viewing of Kiki de Montparnasse! One of the most seductive perfumes I’ve smelled in a long time, I could see myself emptying bottle after bottle of it, no problem. If the tragically beautiful Zelda Fitzgerald smelled like this, all well and good. If not, that’s just fine by me—I will joyfully drown myself in it. Just try and stop me. No one yet has been arrested for Inebriation While Wearing Perfume.
Femme Watery Floral
"A Study in Water was inspired by the element of fresh water. My goal in making this incredibly sheer, wet, and innocent fragrance was to retain the elegance, longevity and sillage of the most excellent of classic perfumes."—Shelley Waddington
Top notes: Muguet, Lime, Green Apple, Bergamot, Dew 
Heart notes: Floral Waters, Green Leaves, Orange Blossoms
Base notes: Sandalwood, Guaiac Wood, Cabreuva, Water Notes, Musk
Mood: Refreshing, cool, wet and sexy
What is intimated is what astounds. I would venture so far as to say “this is what many other, very famous fragrances MEANT to be.” That’s simply one woman’s opinion, but I don’t think it’s hyperbole.
Limpid, deft brushstrokes of palest atmospheric hue, the pastel of an angel’s wing which brushes against the cheek, cool and feathery. Debussy in a bottle. I have a little dab vial, but I envision entering a mist of this as it tarries upon the skin caressingly, unlike water itself which evaporates and leaves no trace save the slightest film of mineral or salt [if that]. For me, Shelley’s water is dovelike and playfully amorous, no raging vengeful maelstrom. In tints of tint she paints little drops of  liquid Bonnard to lighten the spirit and please the senses.
I have enjoyed other fragrances from En Voyage, but for me it is the pleasure of The Three. 
Thank you, Shelley, for enabling me to discover new scented soulmates.
Ida Meister (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.


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I also tend to shy away from the scents that get a lot of hype - and now, darn it, I have to try Zelda. And maybe Carmel Boheme, except that tuberose and I do not get along well. Still, it sounds so wonderful...


Flora, why does it NOT surprise me, that we share tastes [after all these years !]?
And Nebraskagal, yes, Zelda is just your speed. Would I lie to you ? [singing Annie Lennox ;-)]


I had the pleasure to test all the scents mentioned in Ida' s article(Zelda included) in July and i was amazed by their enchanting smell and sillage, taking in consideration these are natural perfumes .Excellent work ,Shelley!!!


Zelda sounds like a must-try for me! Another En Voyage favorite is Peche noire from the Odyssey collection.


I have not yet tried A Study In Water, but I heartily agree with you about Zelda and Carmel Boheme. Shelley's perfume's are so distinctive, and they just radiate joy.


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