Derring-Do is the only fragrance from Ineke clearly labeled "for men", but just like most of the other offerings from this line, it's quite gender neutral or simply friendly to all. A frequent complaint about indie perfumes is that they're too different and complicated to garner compliments from other people in one's trail. Personally, I don't find it to be a universal truth but I also don't care as long as I don't smell too offensive to the only noses that matter in my house hold- human and fuzzy feline ones. In any case, Ineke Ruhland, the San Francisco-based perfumer will never be blamed of going too far with Derring-Do. If anything, it doesn't raise much expectations when you first read about notes such as citrus blend and rain.
The thing is that beyond the dearth of high quality, simple and, yes- fresh perfumes on the market (let's face it- most of them are such a hot synthetic mess), Derring-Do is far less boring than it appears at first sniff. The familiarity of citrus and fern notes in the pouring rain is pleasant and not that stomach-turning Calone mess we know too well. It does smell like rain in one's backyard and has that bright new green feel to it. But it's the magnolia note that turns Derring-Do into a more true-to-life experience. Ineke created a newly-blossomed magnolia flower on a rain-soaked brunch. It's not the heady and overripe accord of the tree in its full glorious bloom; we're talking early spring here, a little hesitant and not quite warm yet, but full of optimism.
Derring-Do dried down into a soft woody floral musk and lasts this way for the better part of the day. A man smelling of it will most likely be complimented for smelling nice and friendly, a woman is sure to assert her immaculate personal hygiene. Wearing Derring-Do in the summer is a no-brainer, wearing it in winter is a good reminder of things to come.
Notes: Citrus Blend, Rain Notes, Cyclamen, Magnolia, Fougere Notes, Guaiacwood, Cedarwood, Musk.
Derring Do by Ineke ($88, 2.5 oz) is available at Anthropologie stores and from Henri Bendel in NYC, Woodley and Bunny in Brooklyn, Beauty Habit and directly at ineke.com.
Top photograph: Magnolia In The Rain by Thomas Duffy. Derring Do promotional image from ineke.com.