Imaginary Authors is another of those brands that build a whole concept around their perfume. In the same way that Olfactive Studio take a photograph or a destination and use that as their inspiration, Imaginary Authors start with an author they have imagined (who would have guessed that?!) and a book that the author hasn’t really written.
They then use an imagined story about an imagined author and an imagined book and from that draw inspiration for a scent. You following this? It can get a bit weird and a bit too conceptual for our tastes. At the end of the day, all we really want to know is does it smell good, and should we buy it?
We’re giving them imaginary points for excellent names.
The brand appeared around 2012, with Every Storm a Serenade being added to the line in 2016. All the fragrances in the line are described as unisex and the nose behind them is Josh Meyer.
This fragrance starts big. As soon as you spray it you are completely transported; away from a two-bed semi in Swindon to the raging Baltic coast on a windswept day. The swell crashes on the rocks at your feet, misting your face with it’s briney chill. The wind threatens to blow right through to your bones and the only things that grow here are wind-blasted trees and scrubby grass.
There are two notes that immediately punch through; salt and ozone. The salty sea air note in this fragrance is so prevalent that I can taste it at the back of my mouth when I inhale. It’s that powerful. The strong ozone backing that up really conveys the exhilaration of standing at the edge of the sea on a stormy day. There’s really no getting away from those notes in this scent, they are right there at the front and linger through to the end.
None of the marketing material we researched on this scent described it as a linear fragrance (that is a scent that reveals itself all at once and doesn’t change much from start to finish) but we felt that it was fairly linear in it’s development. There is some development there, just not perhaps as much as you might expect.
Once the fragrance has warmed up a little, there is a slightly oily, faintly burnt smell to it, which is very pleasant. It reminded us the smell of an oil lamp perhaps, lighting up the deck of a galleon making for safe harbour to weather the storm. It brings a hint of reassurance, of safety, amidst this perfume maelstrom.
Pine comes through as well (or Danish spruce if you read the perfume notes) and this just gives a smattering of green hints, dry, hardy greenery but greenery nevertheless. At times I could also get the slightest hint of the seaweed that I could imagine clinging to the hull of the ship. Very fresh, very enlivening.
Finally, there is a wonderful note of eucalyptus in the heart of this perfume too, it comes through with a whisper and is handed very delicately. Strangely, this gives the fragrance the quality of being both expansive and vast (like the sea), but close and intimate at the same time (the boat weathering the storm). This contradiction made the fragrance really interesting to wear and stopped it from feeling overwhelming.
More of the same in the base, with the addition of an unctuous resin that reminded us of both tree sap and also charcoal post burning. It had a slightly oily scent, vegetal and burnt which again was very pleasant but which was still competing with salt, fresh air and ozone notes to come through.
The overall impression of this fragrance is that it takes “clean” and “fresh” to a whole new level. This is bleached wood on a beach scoured by sea-winds for years. There is nothing warm and fluffy about this scent.
The other stuff
The longevity of this scent was very good indeed, being very detectable still by the evening. The projection of the scent (as in the cloud of it that surrounds you as you wear it) is also excellent. This is definitely a loud and “shouty” perfume that people will know you are wearing for sure. If you wore it, you would definitely leave a trace of it on your imaginary lover’s imaginary pillow.
Although this fragrance is described as unisex, we felt that it sat most comfortably at the male end of the spectrum. We also thought that it would appeal best to adventurous types who love the sea due to the notes it uses and the references they draw.
Due to the fact that this is quite a cold scent, it would be a lovely burst of refreshment on a hot Summer day. We can definitely imagine high-powered executives wearing it to business meetings to show that they have a secret rugged and outdoorsy side… even if that is only imaginary.
Every Storm a Serenade is available from Bloom Perfume London, who kindly supplied us with a sample. It is also available direct from Imaginary Authors. This fragrance is priced at around £90 for 50ml EDP.