Wood and smoke notes go dangerously well together. The thickness of both-- fir and fire-- in Norne by Slumberhouse, an indie perfume house from Portland, Oregon, is almost menacing as the fragrance first hits the skin. It's incredibly dark and so shockingly realistic that it makes this city girl feel lost in the forest for a few seconds.
As Norne and skin get used to each other the picture is filled with mid-tones and subtle variants. Pine joins the fir and perhaps other conifers, the smoke turns into incense and there's an incredible richness of textures: moss, needles, and crunchy leaves. Norne feels dry, yet there's that thick forest air facet that's alive and humid. But above all, this Slumberhouse creation by perfumer Josh Lobb is an evergreen and incense composition, and lovers of both will be thrilled to at least sample Norne as it's hard to find a fragrance so evocative.
It's no wonder that Norne takes you on such a wild ride into the woods. Made of 100% pure natural absolutes it's as real as it can be-- I'd say that this can be a dangerous getaway for those outdoorsy types who think they don't like perfume and prefer to hike than to go shopping. There's nothing perfumy or ornamental about Norne. It's a raw yet sophisticated fragrance that represents an emotion just as much as a location.
Norne has a very masculine appeal yet women who love these notes will enjoy it very much. I find it very attractive in the juxtaposition of solemnity and lushness, making Norne a beautiful daytime fragrance for times one has little patience for fussiness. Or for people. Wearing this fragrance creates a serene bubble that may be the best cure for Monday mornings.
Norne by Slumberhouse ($125, 1oz) is available from http://slumberhou.se as well as from Parfum1.com. Also, Indiescents still has the older style bottles priced at $75, which is an incredible deal. Samples also available for purchase.
Art: Gustav Klimt, Fir Forest I, 1901.