Imaginary Authors create big, high-concept scents. This shining, solar intoxication is their latest offering.
Neroli, rhubarb, honeysuckle, rose water, orange zest, first kiss (~bletch~).
The concept of Imaginary Authors has to be one of our favourites in the industry. Each perfume is themed around an imaginary book written by an imaginary author, and they get super creative and interesting here – many of the books sound like thoroughly riveting reads. If their perfume empire falls apart they should really consider going into writing those novels.
The scents themselves are generally big, bold and full of personality which means that, when you find the one that suits you, they are easy statement pieces in your scent wardrobe. Signature scents if ever we smelled them.
From Imaginary Authors we’ve previously reviewed the ozonic Every Storm a Serenade, the boozy revelry of Saint Julep, and the powdery floral overdose of Violet Disguise. Sundrunk is the latest addition to their line up.
Orange can be a beautiful note in perfumery, softer and more forgiving than it’s sourer cousin, lemon, and less harshly mouth-watering than lime, it’s often a warm, calming and enveloping fragrance. In Sundrunk this is indeed the case, the opening notes are cheerful and uplifting but the softness is mitigated somewhat by the sourness of rhubarb and the bitterness of neroli to give it an edge.
In some of the marketing literature we’ve seen references to orange soda and that’s just what the first notes smell of; the pop and fizz when you snap the ring pull, knowing that cool refreshment will surely follow. It even feels like you get the fizz of the carbon dioxide in your nose from the bubbles as you inhale the fragrance and it’s easy to imagine yourself on some California beach sipping a soda as you watch the surfers in the evening sunshine.
There’s something about the way that the scent ages, the way the rhubarb note becomes more prevalent, which made us think of swimming pools. The conjunction of the orange and rhubarb together which gave the scent a slightly chlorinated edge. Not unpleasant, but a bit like the scent of skin after you’ve been in the swimming baths and haven’t yet had a shower to wash all the chemicals off. It’s an interesting juxtaposition between that and the softer top notes, but in keeping with the vibe of summer sun, sea and sand that threads through the perfume from start to finish.
As the rhubarb really gets going the chlorine-edge fades and the sour herbal note really starts to shine. We’re noticing more scents with rhubarb in them on the market recently (Sirio by Talismans and A Tribute to Edith by Parterre are two which immediately spring to mind) and this lovely, under-used plant brings a really luminous quality which is utterly delightful. In Sundrunk it feels as if it is referencing the glow of skin after a day spent under hot sun.
Let’s talk, for a moment, about the accord of ‘first kiss’. Despite the fact that this is a nauseating nothingness, in Yorkshire, where we grew up, first kisses usually smelled of alcopops, puffs of cigarettes and regret. Not exactly something you want in your perfume, and not as romantic as the marketing blurb would want you to imagine.
Putting our cynicism aside for the moment, the base of Sundrunk continues in a similar vein to the top and heart notes, more orangey, sunny, sour goodness backed by a faint wash of florals which only peep out from time to time. There’s also something a little salty hovering around the edges to further enhance the seaside summer nuance. Like salt in your hair after you’ve taken a dip.
Sundrunk isn’t an overly complex scent, but that is no bad thing. It’s fairly linear in its composition so what you get all the way through is a cheerful, summer vibe. It feels youthful and exuberant and just a little bit angsty now and again. But, given the distinctly autumnal vibe of the weather currently, who wouldn’t want to be reminded of being a young person on an American beach right about now?
The other stuff
The sillage and projection of some of the Imaginary Authors scents are substantial, and whilst Sundrunk’s is good, it is lesser than some of its stable-mates for sure. Sundrunk easily projects to around handshake distance, and this was true most of the times we tested it.
The longevity of Sundrunk was also great. It lasted fairly consistently until late-afternoon or even later, following a 7am application. We were very happy with both the sillage and longevity of the scent.
In terms of the gender that this is aimed at, we felt that it would comfortably sit with most people who like a citrus scent and we could see this crossing both the male and female ends of the spectrum. If pushed, we would say that it was perhaps marginally more feminine, but only marginally.
As the marketing blurb suggests, it would be obvious to wear this scent in the summer months, but we have to agree that it is a great choice now the weather is getting cooler. In wearing it you can almost convince yourself you are back on that beach again, enjoying life, and not swaddled in six jumpers and a pair of boots. Try it and let us know what you think.
Sundrunk is also available from the Imaginary Authors web boutique.
Bloom Perfumery London very kindly provided us with a sample of this scent with no strings attached. Check out their full, extensive range of niche scents via their website.