Share it

And the voice of fragrance came to me early in the spring of the year.

It spoke, “Criminal Elements.”

I replied, “Tell me more.”

It said, “The Other Side of Fragrance”.

I said, “My money is yours.”

Soon thereafter, their sachet of fragrance samples crossed my threshold. Before I opened it, dear reader, you must know what upstanding blokes and sheilas comprise this Aussie outfit. I ordered the sample packet through Paypal, without realizing the default address was my former residence, and not my new married one. The package was returned to AUS all the way from here and they asked for my new address, and sent it there. Wow!

So what is the other side of fragrance like? It is a strange place, however, your mileage may vary. Six scents they sent me; six shall I review.

Hollow begins with the bright sparkle of aldehydes. After five minutes, wafts of blackcurrant arise, joined by a vegetable-green, damp, fern. Well and good. Then the Renuzit shows up – nasty camphoric room deodorizer. Fortunately, the scent only threatens to go all-out toilet deodorizer, with something mercifully restraining its dread advance. About 30 minutes in, it has become an aroma of the swamp with blackcurrant and a few tendrils of aldehydes – swamp flowers is how I’d sum it up. The contrast between the swamp and the flowers is disquieting, and the picture evoked is one I do not care for, mostly because I care nothing for the swamp. However, I respect the craft in creating this olfactory experience.

Anthler is a simple experience: cumin/storax with spice. It smells like a chemist’s old basement. It is linear but not engaging.

Sepal goes on like an explosion. It contains flowers (gardenia?), leather, cigarette smoke, then musk, then gardenia again with the cigarette smoke. It’s aggressive, almost raunchy but in a femme rock-and-roll kind of way. It passes through the land of aromatic toilet deodorizer but ends up soft, feminine, flowery, and slightly creamy. Sepal is the guide for an odd journey, but one which proves pedestrian by its end, as if a mysterious caravan merchant led to you to the local Wal-Mart.

Hearth is smoke and ashes, autumn woods combusting, it lasts past midnight, and remains easy on your sinuses. No long review is needed because Hearth does one thing and it does it well. I’ve tried many smoke/fire/burning woods scents and this is what the rest dream they could be. Purchase-worthy.

Pyrus is resiny and reedy, slightly woody, yet watery and aromatic. This is novel. Refined, close, heavy – I expected to enjoy this, but it left me feeling noncommittal and blase` instead.

Glimmer opens with motor oil, cinnamon, and storax. Yes, motor oil with all the grease and the grime. Unfortunately, the scent subsides and turns sweeter, and I realize that vanilla has arrived. Dread, hated vanilla! Quickly the scent turns oriental, heavy, thick – clouds of vanilla billow around me. I feel buried alive in some has-been Hollywood star’s wardrobe. It becomes grimy, skanky, oppressive, and choking a few hours in. I did not care to prolong the experience, so I washed it off soon thereafter.

Criminal Elements produces strange and novel fragrances, but only one of them I found appealing. This is a better outing than my experiences with Imaginary Authors, and others have had better experiences, so take this is merely one journal entry among many, a guide to those feeling with blind men’s fingers through the other side of fragrance.