Indie natural house Aftelier has launched Sepia, a new unisex fragrance:
Sepia is a tint, a watercolor wash, an atmosphere, a memory. Exploring California’s Gold Country ghost towns over the last years, I have consistently been struck by the desolate beauty of their ruins, and wanted to recreate the mood of these lost worlds in scent. I am drawn to the remains of their previous life much more than to what I would have seen when they were new and pristine. What remains is experienced in the whispers of what came before. Sepia is about atmosphere — the ghostly presences, the patina and beauty of what remain after something is ravaged by time: the dignity of decay. In the aromatic world, could there be anything to better communicate the elegance of decay than ambergris and oud?
Although the many intense aromas that make up Sepia -- cocoa, coffee, cepes, tobacco, oud, strawberry, and pink lotus. -- would normally be pronounced, they are in this case tightly balanced to smell like they have been aged together for decades Yellow mandarin (a rare and very floral citrus) melds seamlessly with the blood cedarwood (intense ruby red oil from the heart of the wood) to create Sepia's elegant deep woody citrus opening note. At the perfume's heart, neither the coffee nor the cocoa lend a gourmand note, but create an earthy and dark counterpoint to the full-bodied pink lotus -- with a hint of spilt wine from the strawberry. Musky flowering tobacco in the base echoes the opening of the rich blood cedarwood. The murmur of cepes, married with the ambergris and oud, creates an atmosphere of aging elegance. Sepia, with its soft, sheer, almost ghostly presence, becomes warmer as it lingers on your skin in a diaphanous veil.
Sepia was created during the Letters to A Fellow Perfumer series on Nathan Branch's blog.
Additional notes include jasmine and labdanum.
Aftelier Sepia is available in 30 ml Eau de Parfum spray ($150), or in 2 ml ($45) or 1/4 oz ($150) Parfum. Samples are also available.
(via press release)
Update: see a review of Aftelier Sepia.