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We Wear The Mask

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This poem – this song – is one that has moved me since my childhood, and it’s so incredibly difficult to translate it into scent. I don’t know if I am capable of doing honor to Dunbar’s words; all I can do is craft something that is akin to how much this makes my heart clench. The scent I have chosen is a soft lavender with dry woods, carrot seed and iris, sandalwood smoke, and wisteria.

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I guess I will dive in and write the first review, since I've worn this nearly every day since it was released!

 

In the bottle this is a staid and solemn lavender, with a mellow smoky quality that ends up seeming almost creamy to me -- that's probably the sandalwood. Or maybe that's just how the overall savory nature of this blend reads to me. 

 

I paused over the carrot seed, because while I appreciate the role it plays in the storytelling, it's just not a scent I find myself drawn to, or want to embody. However, it's VERY subtly blended into this perfume. I know the note well but I'm not sure I'd track it if I hadn't read it was there.

 

Fresh on the skin the iris and wisteria notes step out and kind of sing through the grey lavender haze. Still doesn't read as terribly flowery to me, the smoke and lavender holding court. Reminds me of BLACK HAUS, except that blend's leather etc. is so distinctive that you'd never mix them up.

 

As it dries I get almost a beeswax scent, that's still definitely the smoke and sandalwood uplifted by the thin floral notes. It smells very much of the natural world, in a way that's meant to tug at the human heart. Decent throw and wear length!

 

While I know the concept of the scent isn't terribly romantic, it has a terribly mysterious and emotive quality that I can imagine accompanying romantic feelings -- the peril, as well as the comfort. Completely genderless, in a way I personally find very affirming.

 

It's been hard to pick a fave out of this collection, I don't think I could have consciously done it, but like I said, this is the one I have ended up reaching for over and over. I can't wait to read other folks' impressions!

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Paul Laurence Dunbar was from and is buried Dayton, OH and his legacy is a huge part of local history here, and I immediately ordered a bottle. This beautiful poem is unfortunately more relevant than ever. 

 

My words are not sufficient to describe this perfume, but I can't stop huffing my arm whenever I wear it, and I've been wearing it lot since it arrived. Initially a sweet wisteria and lavender, then the sandalwood appears and keeps it from being too herbal or floral. The notes are so well blended that they mingle and waft, but with a big throw. This doesn't morph on me after drydown, just softens, but it lasts forever. When I wear it to bed, I can still smell it in the morning. If I wave my arm at full length in front of my face when first applied, I am enveloped in a soft cloud of the most beautiful, and yet somehow sorrowful, scent. Heart clenching indeed. This is amazing.

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We Wear the Mask doesn't feature a very promising set of notes for me, but... the poem.  Plus I'm interested in getting a better handle on carrot seed.  Lavender never lasts on my skin.  Unsurprisingly, We Wear the Mask opens with lavender, darker than most, but my skin devours it promptly.  What lasts is the very elegant blend of lightly smoky sandalwood, wisteria and iris, and the curious, slightly bitter tang of carrot seed.  Iris and wisteria are not on the short list of florals I enjoy wearing, but the blend is haunting and has a kind of austere beauty, with neither floral nor wood notes predominating. (The iris does not go powdery on me, if that is a concern for some.)  I can't decide whether to keep the decant because it expresses the verses so aptly or to pass it on to someone who would wear it more often.  

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We Wear the Mask

 

In the bottle: Lavender and carrot seed! It's lovely!

 

Wet: I was on the phone when I put this on and described it as beautiful light unisex cologne. It's still very lavender and carrot seed forward with those lovely, dry woods. The iris and wisteria are way off in the background, for which I'm grateful. I wouldn't say I smell smoke, but there is a sexy, smokey layer.

I would literally climb someone wearing this. Climb. Like a sex dancer pole. I've been searching for someone who smells like this my whole life, and I didn't know it. Mmphh!

 

Whatever, I don't need to say any more, this is one of the sexiest scents I've ever smelled. Jeez! I might get a bottle and decant the whole thing and just give it to people I'm... dancing with.

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