You won't get a lot of drama or eeriness from Mark Buxton's Sleeping With Ghosts. Instead, this is a truly lovely and well-crafted fruity-floral. A friendly and well-meaning ghost, I guess, very wearable, with just enough hooks and twists to distinguish it from other perfumes in this much-maligned category. But does a fruity-floral belong in a top perfumer's exclusive line?
The main attraction in this Mark Buxton is the transition from a frothy pink thing into a slightly bitter and earthy fragrance, with a delicious vanilla base. The sunshiny peonies that were just picked along with a basket of ripe quince are left on the kitchen table where a fruit and spice tart is cooling. As the sky darkens, storm clouds gather on the horizon and roll forward quickly, and the downpour begins. The aromas of the garden intensify with damp earth and grass, and the marigolds that have previously been baking in the sun can now be smelled through the open window.
Unlike Jessica who reviewed Sleeping With Ghosts for Now Smell This, I actually want a lot more leather than I'm getting here. The ghosts do not deliver on this promise, keeping the fragrance far more cute and cuddly than I expected (more Caspar than the ghost of Captain Gregg). Now that I think of it, one of the options I would pick for my utterly imaginary bespoke perfume could be a tagetes and leather scent, darker than the glorious Nikki de St. Phalle, but perhaps touched by a thick non-foody vanilla in the base. Sleeping With Ghosts is not that. It's too easy-going and fruity, and even the vetiver in its dry-down doesn't fully redeem it from the pie filling when I'm promised ghosts and some paranormal activity.
Notes: tagetes (marigold), quince, peony, leather, vetiver, vanilla.
Mark Buxton Perfumes- Sleeping With Ghosts ($195, 100 ml EDP) is available from beautyhabit and markbuxton.com. The sample for this review was sent by PR.
Photo of Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison from The Ghost And Mrs. Muir, 1947.