Ineke's Sweet William, the latest release in her Floral Curiosities collection for Anthroplogie, is probably my favorite fragrance in this series. Not that it says much, considering the other three fall apart on my skin to the point I can't actually review them. Soliflores do that sometimes, and I'm fully aware it's my loss. Luckily, Sweet William remains alive and well, and develops the way a perfume is supposed to do when I wear it.
In Sweet William perfumer Ineke Ruhland actually created a warm fruity floral that doesn't cater to the lowest common denominator. The initial blast is juicy and sharp, not necessarily to my taste: it's a spicy peach compote spiked with some booze. Sweet William fills the room and projects in a way that makes the husband protest. The effect softens as the spices lead the way to their floral relatives. Sweet William, the flower, is a species of Dianthus, the family that includes carnation, and there's no mistaking the slightly peppery clove-like scent. The note list also includes cumin and cinnamon, and I wish they were better represented in Ineke's creation. But I get that the emphasis here is meant to be the gentle flowers. You know, the pretty things.
The dry-down of Sweet William is a soft and cushy wood-vanilla. It's not sweet at all and remains much closer to the skin than the initial sillage suggests. After a few hours of wearing it, Sweet William becomes a "you smell nice" thing that doesn't demand too much attention. While Ineke and Anthropologie launched it as a fall fragrance, I see (and smell) it more as a warm weather perfume. It's light and gentle enough despite the spice content, and blooms better to its full potential when there's enough heat around.
Notes: Peach, Cinnamon, Carnation, Clove, Cumin, Sweet William, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Bourbon Vanilla.
Ineke- Floral Curiosities : Sweet William ($68, 2.5oz or $28 for 0.5oz travel spray. How wonderful is that?) is exclusive to Anthropologie, online and in store. The sample for this review was sent for my consideration by the perfumer's PR.
Art: Johan Laurentz Jensen- Sweet William, Forget Me Not, Convulvus and a Canary on a Ledge, circa 1840.