A photorealistic portrait of the perfect summer’s day as a rain cloud rises up and promises the kiss of rain.
Angelica, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, vetiver, bourbon vanilla, musk.
It’s midsummer’s day. The sun has baked the earth all day, right from sun up. The heat hasn’t been unbearable but it has been persistent. You have taken yourself to the park to sit and read your book and enjoy the caress of the warmth on your bare legs. Bees drone around the nearby flowers and in the distance there is the shout of children playing. This is one of those perfect and fleeting moments of summer ease. The afternoon wears on; you look up from your book again, the bees and the children have gone quiet. The sky has taken on a bruised and glowering intensity. Gone is the perfect blue dotted with fluffy white clouds instead replaced with a darker cloud head, denser, lower. You know it can only mean rain.
This is what the start of Rain Cloud by Perfumer H smells like.
The fragrance opens with a beautiful, studious intensity. It conveys the sorts of smells that you get at the height of summer just before it rains. This isn’t what you would think of necessarily as an aquatic fragrance, instead it is the fragrance of a green space – a garden or a park – in those moments just before it rains, when everything is warm and there is that delicious sense of anticipation in the air. Ahead of the shower, the light seems to drop with a palpable sense of descent. Rain Cloud is that moment, frozen.
In Rain Cloud the cloud conjured isn’t malevolent and it doesn’t come to spoil the heat of the day. Instead there is something really invigorating in the way in which it seems to first hold all the fragrances of the garden, tamping them down like the lid on a pot, before finally releasing the sweet rain and dissipating the energy that has built up. Rain Cloud the fragrance is that splendid moment before the rain comes. It starts with a beautiful orris-type accord which is almost papery and transparent. For a moment it calls to mind a single, fat raindrop falling on the pages of the paperback lugged to the park.
One of the things that is most loveable about Rain Cloud is the way that it smells almost photorealistic. It isn’t at all obvious that this is a recreation of a summer’s day with the promise of a shower, it really makes the wearer feel as if it IS a real, bonafide summer’s day with the promise of a shower. And how often does that truly happen in the fragrance world? Many things of extreme and exquisite beauty are created in perfumery but often they are very far removed from what nature actually smells like. There is something magically authentic about the way this fragrance smells.
A gorgeous floral tone creeps into the scent. Although the notes say angelica, ylang-ylang and orange blossom, at first this feels more like peony, or one of those beautiful, slightly diffuse and airy florals, but it is joined by a more leathery and robust greenery that reminds of the waxy stems and leaves. Perhaps these have been a little bruised, to match the sky, and release their fragrant aromas into the air.
As the scent continues, this floral tone resolves itself into being the most perfect of orange blossoms and there is a ripple of honey, so beautifully delicate that you could easily miss it. Finally, a whisper of coolness – violet perhaps – ruffles the petals of the orange blossom. It feels like a kiss; the first drops of summer rain about to fall.
It would be nigh on impossible to overstate the delicacy and poise of this fragrance. It feels like gossamer on the skin. It feels like a moment perfectly frozen in time. There is an expectancy, and a discrete sort of electricity. The fragrance moves along and changes, but it does so almost imperceptibly. It feels so real that it ends up feeling like a magic trick. Rain Cloud inspirational, detailed, nuanced perfumery made to look and feel almost simple. It avoids all the usual cliches of geosmin, petrichor, aquatic, or wet that you might expect from a fragrance with a name like this, and it delivers something so pretty, so exquisite and so diaphanous instead.
The other stuff
Rain Cloud by Perfumer H is a very delicate scent, therefore it doesn’t linger forever on skin. We got a couple of hours out of it before it needed reapplication. That said, they are a very pretty couple of hours indeed.
The sillage or projection of the scent was also fairly minimal, and Rain Cloud stays quite close to the body. This isn’t a showy or brash fragrance at all. It has that hum of great design which allows it to be full of quality without needing to yell its existence into people’s faces.
Gender in fragrances is always an artificial construct, so you should wear whatever it is you like. If pressed, we’d say that this fragrance sits more towards the feminine side of the spectrum. Don’t let that put you off though, if you are a more masculine character who wants to give it a try.
Perfumer H are available from their London store, as well as the following locations: