The House Of Cherry Bomb is a Brooklyn-based perfume line by Maria McElroy (of Aroma M) and Alexis Karl (Scents By Alexis, which I really need to review soon because her work is breathtaking). Alexis and Maria share a studio in Brooklyn's DUMBO neighborhood (you can read more about the place in these blog posts by Tinsel Creation and Indie Perfumes) where their work can be sampled and purchased (see details below); the perfumers also created two fragrances that are exclusive to the atelier: Cardamom Rose and Tobacco Cognac.
Cardamom Rose is quite different from the punk rock atmosphere that characterizes the House Of Cherry Bomb. I'd say that it combines Maria McElroy's aesthetic of faraway lands with the big city sensibility of Cherry Bomb. The result is a modern and delicate perfume that goes beyond the two obvious notes of rose and cardamom. It tells a story of travel to a charming location where the air is fragrant with the spices that were just used in making the dishes that were served to you in exquisite antique plates on a table decorated with beautiful just-cut roses.
The rose is recognizable but very light here. Rose-phobic will not be suffocated by it and might actually enjoy how understated and elegant it is here. It makes me think of silk charmeuse: the delicate lightness with a substantial texture of this weave. This is the kind of rose the perfumes used for Cardamom Rose, and it lets the other elements of spice and a very light smoke shine through and add a slightly darker layer under the floral opening.
While there is an almost foody reference to the spice facet of Cardamom Rose (a Moroccan pudding? an Indian dessert?), it is not sweet at all. There's nothing loukhoumish about this House Of Cherry Bomb creation and it never veers into "yummy", just warm and inviting. If I were to continue with my fabric reference I'd say that this silk charmeuse is an antique rose color with warm brownish undertones. It's a perfect color for the warm season but also a delightful accent to the black and gray of a winter wardrobe. It puts some much-needed color in my cheeks.
Cardamom Rose by the House Of Cherry Bomb (about $40. This line is wonderfully affordable) is an exclusive to the Aroma M Atelier located on the 10th floor of 68 Jay street (#1007) in Brooklyn. The studio is open to the public on Mondays and Fridays between 1 and 6 PM (also by appointment, and you can contact them by email firstname.lastname@example.org which is excellent if you're an out-of-town visitor who doesn't want to miss all that NYC has to offer perfumery-wise). The sample for this review was supplied by the perfumers.
Photo: Model Jessica Stam by Solve Sundsbo for Vogue Italy, 2008.