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Hide; Breaking Point

Hide; Breaking Point

Hide is a deeply personal perfume to me, albeit one that was never designed to be ‘pretty’, or even ‘likable’. Please be aware that various themes surrounding mental health will inevitably be covered in this post. Every person has their own experience with mental health, and I can only speak to my own.


The inspiration

I am no stranger to a therapist’s office; it is one way of dealing with complex topics that I first started addressing around 14 years old. I was first prescribed anti-depressant medication at 15.

It has, of course, been on and off. Periods of relative ‘normality’ punctuated by breaking points. Thankfully, as I have grown, matured, and learned more about myself, I’m better at noticing the slow decline towards breaking, and addressing it sooner with less embarrassment.

I’ve been free of medication since around 2017, and the courses of therapy are tending to be shorter and less frequent. It would be naïve to think that things will be ‘ok’ forever, but this isn’t my first rodeo, and I’m better equipped than ever to ride this bull(shit) through the storms that will come. 

Why did I start this post in this way? Two reasons: 1, I am an advocate of speaking openly about mental health and its challenges. 2, It was one of those ‘breaking point’ moments in 2020 that led to the creation of Hide.

Through late 2019 and 2020, I had been battling with diagnosed PTSD, and associated EMDR therapy. I didn’t feel like myself; in fact, I didn’t feel much at all. PTSD is an exhausting condition. At its worst, I was experiencing upwards of 6 flashbacks per day, unfortunately triggered by day-to-day occurrences; one of the most debilitating triggers was receiving unexpected messages/phone calls (no matter their content). This endured for months, and even after bringing it under control through therapy, its effects were still seen.


An artistic photo of Hide, Niche perfume by Redolescent, with a dark shadow



During this time, I planned a short holiday to Wales with my mum, the same holiday which inspired Merge. We couldn’t do much because of Covid, but we could spend time together and enjoy the Welsh coast. When we walk, we don’t tend to plan; we just follow the most interesting trail in front of us. This day took us to Cwmtydu Cove, a small, stony beach on the west coast of Wales. I distinctly remember that it was low tide, and I was able to wade out to another narrow part of the cove with a sheer rocky overhang and viciously sharp rocks. I stood alone in awe of the power of the sea, all too aware of how fragile I was. I took in the smells, the sound, and the feeling. I have always felt at peace being near the sea, but this felt imposing, almost scary.

We decided to walk with the dogs up a steep cliffside path covered in brambles. And, it was steep! We almost gave up several times, but the allure of what could be around the next bend kept us going. We joked several times that around each hairpin the path seemed to only get steeper! Arriving at the top we were greeted with sheer drops to the rocks below and uninterrupted views out across the sea.


A steep cliffside path with brambles alongside

A steep ascent


A sheer cliffside with a steep drop into the sea

The sheer cliff edge


After a while, we came across a bird hide, perched on the cliff edge, unassuming and unspecial. Unspoken, we decided to take a seat, and take a moment to rest. We sat in silence as a light fog rolled in, obscuring our view. It felt like we were sitting at the edge of the world. As I looked across and saw my mum, a spark of warmth peeked through the bleakness I had been feeling. I felt thankful. Thankful for the time I was spending with my mum, and for the support she has given me through the years.


A window looking out into the bleak sea mist

A window to emptiness


I don’t know whether it was the mental exhaustion combined with the physical effect of the climb, or something else, but in that instant my body and mind found it’s energy through gratitude and hope for the future; a turning point, hiding at the edge of the world.


The creative process

Grounding is a technique which is often employed to help with PTSD (and other anxiety disorders). I used tapping as part of my EMDR therapy, but found myself unable to do that inconspicuously when out in public. I have always found the purposeful smelling of fragrances quite grounding, and wondered whether I could create an imagining of that moment in Wales as an invisible, wearable, grounding mechanism. Something which would pull my attention, blast through the fog, and focus my mind on a moment of gratitude and positivity. The task was clear.


The inspiration place for the perfume Hide. A bird hide sat along a cliff edge.

The hide itself


I wanted to capture the thorned brambles of the cliffside ascent, the bracing sea air, and the weather-worn bird hide itself. I pulled together some of the harshest materials I could, and pushed them to their limits. The rulebook was out the window with regards to ‘typical levels’ or the usual balancing of the fragrance.

The brambles came through with Blackcurrant Bud Absolute, green and tart. Ionones & raspberry ketone softened the edges slightly to try and tame it into a more ‘blackberry’ direction. The sea air was created with Aphermate and Camphor (that’s why it has that nose-clearing vapour rub effect!). I purposefully left out the ‘beachy’ materials from Merge. We were up on the cliff edge, not by the sea front. There wasn’t a place for seaweed and sand here. The Hide itself plays with a desiccated wood accord, with saltiness given, in part, through Clary Sage. There is also a dose of Blue Tansy (which has an intense blue colour, and in Hide offers it the green hue). For me Blue Tansy is a horribly queasy material, on its own; it turns my stomach, but its medicinal herbaceous-ness was perfect for Hide.


How perfume is made. A beaker with perfume in it showing an intense blue colour

The blending of hide, with the intense Blue Tansy colour


Hide was always functional before fragrance. A medicinal alarm clock, to combat the darkest of days. I found myself wearing it and more importantly, using it as a grounding technique. A discreet sniff of the wrist was all it took.

The working name was always “Hide at the edge of the world”, and it was always meant to be something just for me. I shared It with a couple of friends who actually liked the fragrance itself, and then they offered to buy a bottle. I wondered whether I could use its power for good and share this with others too, and that is when Hide became a part of the launch collection for Redolescent. (The name was inevitably shortened due to needing to fit it on a small label!)

Of course, my relationship with Hide has always been love-hate. I feel myself pre-emptively apologising for its existence when I show it to people, but it has found its niche. It is, by far, the least popular of my fragrances to date; but for those who embrace it, it serves them well. I have cried a couple of times at messages from people who have found Hide and use it as their own personal safety blanket. There are also the uncommon few who just enjoy it for what it is.


Bringing it to life

The cap
was a clear choice for me: the bird hide itself, with all its imperfections. The artist captured the different textures beautifully from the slate-like roof, to the cracked walls. There is one particular crack where the roof meets the top of the wall which I really like. Unfortunately, I only photographed the outside of the bird hide from one angle. I didn’t realise how significant that place would be for me at the time.

A rendering of the bottle top of Hide

A rendering of the bottle top for hide, with the crack detail.



The packaging was quite a quick decision, too. The paper samples I received had a lovely pale blue which felt like it reflected the sea mist and fog nicely. The card inside has a line which I really like “something was lost in that bird hide, but so much more was found”. It is very easy to think of loss as a bad thing, or something to avoid. But in this instance, losing that part of myself was one of the best things that ever happened to me.  


Niche perfume Hide in aesthetic packaging in its signature box with blue band

Hide, the finished product.

Comments on this post (1)

  • Mar 20, 2023

    Thanks so much for sharing the background to Hide and for talking so candidly about your journey. I’ll return to my sample with this extra knowledge and let it reframe the experience. You’re such a talented, brave and artistic perfumer. The world needs more people like you.

    — Tom

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