What’s better than a rainy day in the city when you are all snuggled up warm and cosy staring out of an apartment window and watching the cars crawl by below, mug of tea in hand?
Lemon, bergamot, green tea, black tea, guaiac wood, vetiver, dry woods, musk.
Let’s start with a word of warning: don’t smell Rainy City straight out of the bottle. It will put you off and won’t give an accurate impression of the scent itself. Whilst this might be true of all perfumes, it is especially true here. Instead, spray Rainy City on skin and what you will get is immediate sprinkles of citrus on a dry, woodsy background. Wait a moment or two more and a lovely balanced hint of geosmin (that warm earthy smell you get after a rainstorm in summer) peeks through. Geosmin can overwhelm a composition if not used carefully, but here the suggestion of it gives the impression of wet tarmac and concrete, but there are also hints of greenery lurking about in the mix. This isn’t a city which is totally devoid of any organic life, there’s a sense that there are plants and grass just out of focus in the background.
This clever little opener really sets the scene: it’s late summer or early autumn in the city, it’s been drizzling all day but it isn’t very cold, instead the buildings and air have enough warmth in them for the rain to feel tepid and pleasant. Still, despite all that, you are dying to get indoors, into some comfortable, dry clothing, and make yourself a cup of tea.
One of the things that marks Rainy City out as a fragrance is it’s oddly flat composition. It’s as if the perfumer is somehow painting us a picture rather than immersing us fully in an olfactive scene. Whilst in some cases this might feel like a flaw, here it most definitely feels like a design feature, like we are being shown an impressionist painting of a scentscape and allowed to observe it. As a result, there is something wonderfully calming and romantic about Rainy City. You can enjoy all the wonderful connotations of that visage without actually having to get wet.
As the scent wears, the citrus seems to come back again, and the green and black tea notes show themselves. The warm mug of tea has a slice of lemon on the site. The fragrance gears up on the coziness, the tea notes soothing and calming. Maybe it’s because of our Yorkshire heritage, maybe it’s because we drink a lot of tea here, but we find something consistently wonderful about fragrances that incorporate a tea accord into their structure. Doing so triggers an automatic sense of relaxation and comfort. It’s like someone has come and dropped a snuggly blanket over our knees, in perfume form.
The aquatic, rainy notes seem to claim the base of the fragrance as their own. Rainy City is delicate, and unusually that seems to show itself most in the base where we get a real sense of the rain coming down, heavier than drizzle now, this is beading on the windows and running down in hypnotic rivulets.
The scent also becomes a little cooler as it ages, and it felt to us like there was something similar to pine needles in the base to give it that expansive coolness of a rainy day. The fragrance still remains both delicate and balanced though, perfectly poised in that one moment of ease, watching the rain, cup of tea in hand.
When we wore this, we couldn’t get away from the sense that there is something deeply nostalgic and romantic about it. This isn’t the blazing raunch of Meek Passion, it’s something much quieter, much more lasting, and it’s really rather sweet. We found that by the time we had worked through a whole sample of it, we had most definitely fallen under the Rainy City spell.
The other stuff
Rainy City is a rather delicate, aquatic fragrance, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have staying power though. We found that this was moderate, but better than expected for something so pretty. It lasted until around lunchtime or early afternoon from an early morning application.
The projection of the fragrance is limited though, to handshake distance or under.
In terms of the gender of who this scent is aimed at, it really could be anyone as it felt very unisex and ageless, much as the rain itself is.
We felt that Rainy City would wear best in the spring and autumn, when the weather outside stands a half decent chance of matching the scent itself. Well, it certainly does if you live in our part of the world.
Mint are an enigmatic brand with wonderful presentation. They make perfumes which are towards the high-end of the continuum but which are often bold and challenging. They steer away from dull or conventional and produce scents which are fascinating in their strangeness, often very wearable but with kinks and quirks that make them feel as unique as the people that sport them.
Their bottles are covered in a mesh knit cover that allows hints of the colour below to peep through. They’re truly luxurious and unique. The bottle is housed in a metal tube canister to keep it safe, but it has the added bonus of also keeping out the light, meaning your precious perfume will stay true for longer.
Rainy City is available from Bloom Perfumery London, where it is priced at £190 for 70ml EdP. Bloom very kindly provided us with a no-strings-attached sample of this scent. We would like to thank them for their generosity.
You can also buy Rainy City from the Mint online store.