Jane Cate, the nose behind A Wing And A Prayer Perfumes, is responsible to one of my most favorites Mystery Of Musk perfumes, Tallulah B2. It's no wonder her newest creation for the Outlaw Perfume Project, Notoriety, is a standout. A stunning full bodied floral chypre, perhaps the most amazing thing about Notoriety is not how good it is, but the fact that every last essential oil and absolute used in its creation is now on IFRA's restricted and prohibited list. This beauty, along with so many others, is what we're about to lose if nothing is done to stop the madness. What are these dangerous and notorious natural raw materials? Bergamot, rosewood, rose, wild rose, lavender, violet leaf, carnation, geranium, oakmoss and amber. Seriously.
Jane's muses for the perfume were three free-spirit women from days gone by who achieved notoriety. Etta Place, Isadora Duncan and Lillie Langtry. It is the latter who captures my imagination and connects me to this perfume. There's something about the distinct Victorian scandalous story and the royal romance. And Lillie Langtry's friendship with Oscar Wilde. Who wouldn't want him as a BFF and mentor?
Rose, violet, carnation and lavender could often be found at 19th century perfumed products. They can all be distinctly smelled in Notoriety, feeling feminine and a touch powdery. But the main story here is the rose on its many complex facets. It is very far from the various modern and synthetic interpretations of rose perfumes (sharing this quality with another Outlaw Perfume, Rose Of Cimarron) and far more interesting. At first I thought about Notoriety as a warm and cozy rose, but venturing outside on a cold(ish) day had awakened the oakmoss and the unique smoky amber (I'm assuming ambrette seed) and exposed the full range of the perfume. It is, indeed, a chypre, tinged with something green (probably from the lavender), velvety and deep.
Now for the giveaway- a 1.7oz bottle of Notoriety EDP by A Wing And A Prayer Perfumes (wingandprayerperfume.com). One lucky winner will be chosen among those who comment on this post to answer this question:
What perfume ruined or discontinued due to IFRA regulation do you miss the most?
Photo of Lillie Langtry on stage as Cleopatra, 1891, from vintageephemera.blogspot.com