Yin and Ylang is a bewitched spring morning in a forest clearing. Soft rays of sun move slowly over the carpet of small yellow and white flowers that grow from the rich mossy soil and old wood debris. The light twinkles just so, making the scene feel fresh yet eternal. There's no knowing how this day will unfold. Maybe it'll be an ordinary one, maybe there'll be magic.
Yin and Ylang is the newest perfume from Sonoma Scent Studio, composed by perfumer Laurie Erickson based on an idea by Michelyn Camen of CaFleurBon. It's labeled as a floral and, indeed, is brimming with petals. But from the dry bergamot opening that feels like the most calming and satisfying cup of Earl Grey tea, to the crunching of twigs and small brunches under your feet, you know instantly that there's a lot more to Yin and Ylang. The flowers are steeped in honey and smell slightly animalic, yet fresh and alive, like they're still growing from the stem. The moss is green and tactile, and smells incredibly real and 3D.
As floral and delicate (at times) as Yin & Ylang smells, I don't see it as particularly feminine. There's something about its warmth, its crisp and dry parts and the obvious woodiness of the dry-down that I think would appeal to men. Yes, I know- flowers! tuberose! aldehydes!-- it doesn't exactly spell cowboy, yet the very natural character of the perfume (92% natural ingredients) and the outdoorsy feel it has about it are enough to make a man smell like that special place in the forest. and that's a very good thing.
Notes: bergamot, blood orange, soft aldehydes, beeswax absolute, ylang complete oil, jasmine sambac absolute, tuberose absolute, rose damascones, ginger CO2, Mysore sandalwood oil, oakmoss absolute, amber, patchouli, vanilla and musk.
Sonoma Scent studio- Yin And Ylang ($55, 17 ml EDP, other sizes and samples available) can be purchased from sonomascentstudio.com.
Image via alegriphotos.com.