Once a year during the month of December Christopher Brosius offers his limited edition Gingerbread perfume as part of his CB I Hate Perfume line. Gingerbread is meant to evoke the warmth, comfort, and cheer of the holidays, welcoming you into a bustling kitchen.
Gingerbread opens with an unmistakable smell of melted butter: a little fatty and somewhat nutty. The blast of spice that follows is quite busy and not necessarily easy to swallow. While CB doesn't mention clove among the listed notes I could swear it's there in spades, together with allspice. Everything from the ginger to the nutmeg is fresh and just ground. I like clove and spice in general but there's something overwhelming and too medicinal in this blend. I'm not quite sure what to make of Gingerbread until things settle and some sweetness finally appears.
The dry-down of Gingerbread is where things finally come together. The cinnamon is more dominant, there's a hint of vanilla that softens the fragrance and makes it compatible with human wearing. Once this stage hits there's no more jarring rawness and Gingerbread becomes more hospitable, more like a... perfume, I guess.
The absolute is an oil that doesn't project much but has enough presence in my immediate surrounding. It lasts for 4-5 hours on my skin, which presents the dilemma of reapplying and sitting through the Attack of the Cloves before I get to enjoy my Gingerbread.
Notes: Chinese Ginger Root, Indian Nutmeg, Cinnamon Bark, Tahitian Vanilla.
CB I Hate Perfume- Gingerbread ($15, 2ml perfume absolute) is available from cbihateperfume.com and from the artist's Williamsburg, Brooklyn gallery.