Wow! It is time to release the worst kept secret; the theme for the new collection.
It is, of course, the enchanting world of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Here we will look at “why Alice?” and what to expect from the collection. In a follow up post, I’ll share details of the broader creative process, packaging, sculpted caps, among other things.
So, why Alice?
It started in 2016, around the time my perfume journey also began. I was fortunate enough to work with the wonderful Joanna Vymeris https://www.joannavymeris.co.uk/ on a circus adaptation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; first performed at the ADC Theatre in Cambridge, and later taken to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Alongside an incredibly talented cast; a ballet dancer Alice, trapeze artist Cheshire Cat, acrobat Cards, jugglers, and more… I was honoured with the role of Mad Hatter, and with a tea party scene which transformed with juggling and magic. As a show, an experience, and opportunity, it was truly magical.
Despite a nasty dislocated knee during rehearsal, and then performing the entire fringe festival in a brace and bounding up and down the Royal Mile on crutches… it was one of the best summers of my life!
Hatter on the mile
Photo by Joanna Vymeris
At this time I was also exploring perfume more seriously; I had my first sets of materials to try and make something with. I’d also discovered Zoologist Perfumes at this time, too, and so my understanding of what a perfume is, and could be, had been blown wide open.
So, when returning back to my materials, and seeking inspiration, my mind turned to the fond memories of Alice. I started to wonder how you could capture a story in scent, and represent the characters so vividly, as we had on stage only a few weeks before. Redolescent as a concept was already with me at this time, too, so it all fit together.
It was at this point that I decided that the Alice collection would be the starting point for Redolescent. Now, it turns out, that’s not how the chapters unfolded… but more to that later.
A piece of the set that I definitely didn't steal...
Who will you meet in the new collection?
A trio of characters are ready for you to explore their stories: Alice, Hatter, and QH.
Alice is a young girl who is longing to show that she is more mature than she is. A playful, innocent, blend of young and old. Aldehydes give way to a fantasy-floral accord supported by a subtle chypre backbone. The musk accord at the dry down was intended to be cuddly, like Dinah the cat, wrapped on your shoulders.
The floral accord is an imagining of the ‘forget-me-not’ flower, a Victorian sign of love and devotion.
Capturing the Hatter at his tea party. Earl Grey tea, brown sugar, and cucumber sandwiches are strewn across a messy table. The Hatter himself carries the scent of leather and suede with him; a nod to his artisan background. The fragrance doesn’t feel too formal. It has movement and a bit of spontaneity. Unavoidable, though, is the harsh metallic screech, not only of his voice, but also the smell of mercury from curing the fabric to make his hats.
A boozy, jammy rose layered over spices (cardamom, cumin), set against a rich and animalic heart with lashings of opulence. Purposefully bold, “Off with your head!”
A Victorian royal hall where the guests are a little uneasy. Bouquets from a rose garden, tended without love, adorn the tables. There’s a tension as the hostess’ anger smoulders away throughout the evening. A single misstep could cause an explosion… Regal, bold, and challenging.
Interestingly, I do have an experiment called "White Rabbit" sitting around... that smells like soil, carrots, and Thyme/time (... a good perfume pun!). That one really is mad.
That’s all the teasers for now…
And, to answer the inevitable question… yes, the caps are already designed. Check out the upcoming blog post to see those 😉