Thursday, July 27, 2017

Essence of the Park by Carthusia


In winter I like big complicated scents; scents that reveal new layers every hour as if peeling an onion and that speak of spice bazaars, incense filled cathedrals, or pine forests with campfires. In summer though, I like to keep it simple. I like perfumes that conjure descriptive adjectives like nice, pretty, pleasing, or light. It's one of those life dilemmas: this weekend do you feel like diving into a book by Dostoyevsky or Sophie Kinsella?

Carthusia Essence of the Park was a joint project released in 2015 by Carthusia, the small perfumery based on the isle of Capri and the Central Park Conservancy, self-appointed caretakers of Central Park. The story goes that an official from the Conservancy was vacationing on Capri and came across the Carthusia perfume store.  Carthusia perfumes are designed to relate to the flowers and plants of the Mediterranean and it was decided they would be a good interpreter of another park far across the water. Carthusia Essence of the Park was born.

Essence of the Park opens with light and lively greens and herbs. The smell is refreshing and effervescent, as if floating in the wind. I can also catch touches of citrus (lemon, tangerine) and the slight sweetness of honeysuckle. At this point the perfume is very much the sensation of various predominantly green scents growing wild in the park floating toward you as you walk the path. There is artemisia, also known as mugwort or wormwood. It lends an herbal bitterness that makes the scent more interesting.

The first time I tried Essence of the Park it developed very nicely and gave out quite a bit of sillage, lasting the whole day. On the second and third tries I have not been able to replicate these results. When I have differences like that I always wonder, was it something I ate that day? Was my nose clearer? I have no answers but the fact is on the second and third wears the smell was the same but it played out much lighter.

This reminds me a little of Un Jardin Sour Le Toit by Hermes. It opens with a similar green freshness but the Hermes is light green and bright whereas Essence of the Park feels deeper green and a bit moody, as if walking down a tunnel of trees, sheltered from the light of the sun. The florals are magnolia, honeysuckle, and linden blossom. I think both the honeysuckle and the linden blossom feel a little green also, so they blend in well with the greener scents. On my skin the magnolia is very light and doesn't stand out. After an hour the perfume starts to warm up, and by this I mean the smell hums a little as if heated by the warmth of the skin. It's hard to describe but on Fragrantica a couple of other reviewers noted the warmth. At the same time, I think this would be a great perfume to wear in warmer months, first because of its notes and secondly because the green seem like a cool answer to the heat.

Carthusia's Essence of the Park is a mostly green scent with interesting herbal and floral additions, none of which stand out from the main. It gives the impression of various parkland scents floating around and merging into one beautiful concoction. This is not a statement perfume but I found it very relaxing to wear...maybe the green and the connection to nature? The perfume was pretty and undemanding and happy to whisper around me without grabbing attention, and sometimes that is exactly what you need.

Carthusia Essence of the Park can be found at Beautyhabit and CO Bigelow in the US and at First in Fragrance in Europe.

Top photo vintage travel poster. Second photo from the brand. The sample was my own.

1 comment :

Undina said...

This isn't a brand that is on my radar but the perfume sounds nice.

One of the factors that I noticed affects how summer perfumes wear on me is humidity: in high humidity (combined with high temperature) most of the perfumes I wear in summer disappear withing an hour or so - or at least subside significantly. The same perfumes in cooler and dryer weather behave completely differently.