Phoenix Shaving | John Frum Epic Aftershave & Cologne
About the Note Selection
Some of the scent notes I chose I think are rather unique, or at the very least, not as common, so I thought I would break them down a little in an effort to get you into the vibe I was going for.
Sicilian Cedrat: A citrus fruit that is chiefly grown in Sicily. It is one of the original citrus fruits from which all other citrus types developed through natural hybrid speciation or artificial hybridization. The scent is truly magical, zesty, incredibly fresh and light, similar to lemons and limes with lots of sweetness but softer and more well rounded without the floor cleaner note so often found in citrus.
It wasn’t only the scent that stuck out to me, but also it’s origin. It really seemed thematic when it came to the John Frum story, and worked perfectly as a top note.
Kava Kava: or Piper methysticum (Latin “pepper” and Latinized Greek “intoxicating”) is a crop of the Pacific Islands. The name kava(-kava) is from Tongan and Marquesan, meaning “bitter”. Kava is consumed throughout the Pacific Ocean cultures of Polynesia, including Hawaii and Vanuatu, and Melanesia and some parts of Micronesia for its sedating effects.
I am proud to say, this may very well be the first time it has been used in a perfuming application! The scent of Kava Kava is very similar to Vetiver, green, dirty and earthy. Below I go into more detail on this truly special scent note, which may have had more to do with the structure of this accord than me!
Ambergris: (from wikipedia) Latin: ambra grisea, Old French: ambre gris), ambergrease, or grey amber, is a solid, waxy, flammable substance of a dull grey or blackish colour produced in the digestive system of sperm whales. Freshly produced ambergris has a marine, fecal odor. However, with age, it acquires a sweet, dry, amber, woody, mossy fragrance. In dry-down, there is a cinnamic note, which moves into a smooth ambery musk note.
Ambergris has been very highly valued by perfumers as a fixative that allows the scent to last much longer, although it has been mostly replaced by synthetic ambroxan. Dogs are known to be attracted to the smell of ambergris and are therefore sometimes used by ambergris searchers.
I should mention, Ambergris is one of my favorites and I have used it many times in the past, but not sure how much folks know about it, I thought I’d give a little background.
Being that pure ambergris is understandably expensive, I chose to use Ambergris tincture and Ambergris Essence which is a beautiful reconstitution of Ambergris known as ‘Ambergris T Oliffac’ by IFF.
White Musk: or Synthetic musks have a clean, smooth and sweet scent lacking the fecal notes of animal musks. Synthetic musks in a narrower sense are chemicals modeled after the main odorants in animal musk: muscone in deer musk, civetone in civet, and ambroxide in ambergris. Muscone and civetone are macrocyclic ketones, ambroxide is a cyclic ether.
Animalic Musk: To get as close as I could to actual deer musk I chose to use Animalid, which shares a lot of the same characteristics as standard white musk but maintains that fecal note. Now I know what you’re thinking, but trust me, that note is used in many a popular, historic, and famous fragrance. It functions as a supportive actor and you would never know it was there, but you would if it wasn’t. It is that primal element that adds an unmistakable depth to classic musk.
The Familiar Notes
As for the other notes that make up John Frum, I think most of our customers are familiar with them; Black Pepper, Sea Salt, and Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood. The sea salt was added not only for the relation to the theme of the fragrance but also because it worked so well with the Sicilian Cedrat. In combination they added a real zing and freshness. I think the black pepper can be included in that sentiment with the classic spiciness it delivers, which was a throwback to classic splashes. Sandalwood I just can’t stay away from, but its use wasn’t in vain for it truly grounded the entire blend.
100 Ml Glass Flask w/ Orifice