Do you have a favorite genre of reading material that you turn to when you’re stressed—or simply need a break from reading about current events? My bedside table is home to several books of fiction and poetry, of course, but I also enjoy reading about perfume: from notes to formulations to the various histories behind iconic blends (did you know Chanel No.5 was released on the 5th day of the fifth month of the year?).
As someone who spends more time on Fragrantica than Facebook, I’ve made some enticing scent discoveries (before even engaging my nose!). Today I’m sharing the latest of these discoveries: three indie perfume houses that you *must* explore if you love niche fragrance, indie beauty—or just desire to wear something different from conventional blends. In addition to descriptions of each line, we’ve featured a single perfume that sounds especially impressive and perfect for this time of year when most of us crave something that marries rich sophistication with a moody sexiness.
3 Indie Perfume Houses with The *Most* Alluring Fragrances
Situated in Los Angeles, this perfume house offers complex, unisex fragrances designed to work with, rather than against, the human body’s natural chemistry. Their guide for chooses a fragrance based on your lifestyle is especially interesting.
Silent Films by Goest Perfumes
If you’re inspired by all things vintage, consider trying Silent Films, an eau du toilette described by the perfumery as “Mysterious, Powdery, Brutal, Nostalgic.” Brutal! With notes of old-world lavender, vetiver, mint, musk, and smoke, this special fragrance eschews safe fruits and florals, daring to evoke the narcotic beauty of the silver screen “where black is very black indeed, and white shines out like silver.” *Goosebumps*
Based in Montreal and manifested by perfumer April Lea, LVNEA fragrances uses traditional French perfumery techniques to create mysterious yet familiar blends that challenge the wearer—in the most beautiful, sensual way possible—to embrace his or her dark side while subverting traditional performances of gender.
“Scent can be a useful tool for the individual as a means of empowerment. I like to formulate and wear a lot of scents that have long been seen as traditionally more masculine—a deep smoky pine scent, a spicy leather, or damp woods. Rejecting the current constructs of what are seen as feminine or masculine scents can make one feel powerful,” Lea explained in an interview.
Bois de l’Obscurité – Eau de Parfum by LVNEA
With notes of guaiac wood, agarwood, patchouli, black amber, blackened spices, botanical musk, this pure plant perfume conjures deep woods seeped in darkness, a turning inward, and “lost fragments of the night,” according to the perfumer.
The brainchild of self-taught perfumer Julia Zangrilli, who is also certified in raw materials from the Grasse Institute of Perfumery, NOVA’s phthalate-free fragrances are as nuanced as their wearers. The line makes a special use of musky notes, proving that this versatile base can be addictive and endlessly provocative.
Chakra Eau de Parfum by NOVA
Don’t let the name fool you—Chakra is more opulent, self-assured empress than patchouli-laced yoga studio. This unisex fragrance combines notes of Moroccan and Bulgarian rose with smoldering tobacco, leather, musk, and wood. The result is polished, modern, and confident. Chanel who?
What’s your favorite fall/winter fragrance? Are you a fan of indie perfumes? Let us know in the comments below!
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Photo: Goest Perfumes, LVNEA, Catbird