Sweet William is the latest addition to Ineke‘s Floral Curiosities collaboration with Anthropologie, and like the other fragrances in the collection (Angel’s Trumpet, Scarlet Larkspur and Poet’s Jasmine), it is inspired by old-fashioned garden botanicals. “Sweet William” is the informal name for Dianthus barbatus, which Ineke describes as a “clove-scented” flower with a spicy, woodsy scent. The fragrance includes notes of peach, cinnamon, clove, cumin, cedarwood, sandalwood, patchouli and Bourbon vanilla.
I’m a longtime fan of clove-y fragrances and carnations (another dianthus species!), so I gravitated towards this Floral Curiosity more than any other in the group. As it turns out, Sweet William is one of my favorite Ineke perfumes so far, but I wouldn’t call it a clove fragrance, and it’s certainly not a carnation-like scent. Its actual smell on my skin is nothing like what the list of notes had led me to expect: I don’t detect any cinnamon or cumin or patchouli, for example. What I do smell at first is a greenish, sweetly balsam-piney scent that reminds me of the bayberry and juniper candles for sale in Colonial America-themed gift shops. It’s a smell that I happen to enjoy; I just didn’t anticipate it as part of Sweet William.
Sweet William gives off noticeable sillage during its first hour or two, and it has excellent lasting power: I applied one spritz to each wrist when I left the house in the morning, and at the end of the workday, I could still smell it on my skin. (That’s very unusual for me.) It remained consistent throughout the morning. By mid-afternoon, however, it had turned less aromatic and green, and more powdery-woodsy, with a warm peach note emerging at last. The woods in Sweet William’s base are soft and musky, turning into a faint skin-scent by early evening.
I’ve never really found a fragrance to love in the original Ineke collection — I think the fragrances are consistently pleasant, and I recommend them often, but they’re just not my style, somehow. And the rest of the Floral Curiosities didn’t make much of an impression on me when I “visited” them in Anthropologie, but I’ve gone back repeatedly to my Sweet William sample vial. It’s a slightly unusual fragrance that suits my winter mood, perhaps because of its holiday greenery associations. The packaging is nicely done, too (as usual for Ineke and for Anthropologie’s collaborations) — that travel size would make a nice gift.
Ineke + Anthropologie Sweet William is available in 75 ml Eau de Parfum ($68) and 15 ml travel spray ($28), via Anthropologie.