post here). This post is then a sort of multiple review: just imagine us in a cool, breezy patio, comfortably seated on wicker sofas, chatting cheerfully about the scent while holding a glass of iced tea (or a mint; but I’ll have a cup of Rose water, thanks, so I can stay tuned with the topic).
Among the concepts most immediately characterizing James’ works there’s undoubtedly a formal purity combined with a sense of linearity that make his scents "straight", direct, with no frills, curls or unforeseen, abrupt changes in the direction.
And indeed, this aspect has been taken, starting with the first reviewer, Luposenzapelo, who didn’t receive the vial because he already knew the perfume well: "I know Hippie Rose and its "neatness”, the same you can find in all compositions by Heeley; all of them are extremely clean, accurate evocation of various odours. The scent isn’t that of a red rose, sensual and Mediterranean, but rather an English rose, pale pink, standing out against the backdrop of a green lawn in the morning, still slick with rain". Caterina, the second reviewer, is in complete agreement: "The idea I got from this fragrance is that of immediacy and simplicity. I think it’s well built and easy to understand, rose and patchouli appear almost simultaneously and remain trapped on the skin for a few hours (thanks to musks!). I find all the minimalism and clarity inspiring James Heeley".
If Luposenzapelo and Caterina were primarily interested in the structure of the fragrance, other reviewers focused on the main theme, ie on the olfactive treads. Like Francesco, who is testing his first Heeley perfume and describes it like this: "A fresh rose, enveloping, airy and with a slightly feminine side. I’d say a damask rose or a moroccan rose maybe, immediately coupled with patchouli. This, too, is cool, not too damp, even slightly dry and aromatic with dusty shades. Pretty soon you get an amber note, powerful but not too much, literally crossing the composition with a hint of mild acidity and a sweet and gentle animal note, like the smell of the inside of a woman’s bag: fabric, leather, wrinkled scarves, perfume, perhaps the memory of a man (this fresh and dry patchouli). The name of the fragrance suggests a 70's location, and I like this. I don’t find this nostalgic or vintage; it’s balanced, elegant and perfectly contemporary".
So the "hippy" aspect of patchouli, related to a certain period, type of music and culture, has been caught. Well, it means James was able to evoke a very specific experience! But while Francesco feels it as a modern homage, Mauro has fallen completely in the '70s mood: "And now I'm here, singing “This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, The age of Aquarius Aquariuuuuus! Aquariuuuuuuuuuus!” This is a very luxurious rose, even if I smell more a soft patchouli note, without the usual camphoraceus side. It opens with bergamot, beautiful and bright as the sun, slowly rising, illuminating and warming the still vibrant mood of the night. Patchouli and rose blend in a delicate but solid mix of earthy flavours and honey, none prevails over the other; the sophisticated heart of the scent is then cooled slightly by incense, which makes it a unique elegance. I close my eyes and feel a bandana hat over my long hair, flowers, flared pants, bare feet sunk into the grass, I’m watching the sun rising, arms outstretched toward the sky to give thanks to be here to enjoy such magnificence".
Ok at this point, how about putting on a record? Maybe Janis Joplin, or Carlos Santana?
In any case, all agree on the energizing opening, followed immediately by an oriental journey, evoked by incense, amber notes, spices. Giorgia says: "The first impact is sparkling and energizing (bergamot), then an unusual note of rose pops up, and you are allowed into a rose garden, or the cloister of a convent... a sacred rose initially pale, light, intangible, which after 20 minutes declares herself as the queen of flowers, giving us the full fragrance of Bulgarian rose. A substantial incense supports this amiable personality, helping her remain on the skin as long as possible." and Serena: "The fragrance showcases a note that I've smelled several times but I can’t identify, then the rose shows, complemented with the oriental note and sweetened with incense; there’s something green and crisp connecting all the chemistry, both in the top notes that at the base. The scent becomes enveloping, reminds me of Indian sunsets -unfortunately, only seen in photos- with a warm, lazy and sensual mood. The green note sparkles like bubbles and for this reason, after about half an hour, I get reminded of Champagne by Yves Saint Laurent (now Yvresse). Although there’s no peach here, Hippie Rose fragrance reminds me of Champagne, it gives me the same feeling. I close my eyes and still see the sunset, the flowers of a garden warmed by the sun and smelling the night (...) Everything is well structured and very evocative, but the flowers perfume succumbs a bit to the stronger oriental notes".
In the end, it seems that Hippie Rose git favourable opinions, and if someone appreciated the structure or the main theme (ie the notes used and the way they were complemented), someone else was seduced by the precise evocation of places and situations. Great job by all the reviewers, your words and your enthusiasm managed to make a good talk - albeit at a distance- and a 360° exploration of the fragrance!
And thank you, James for this experience!