An introspective group of scents from a house which looks to the journey of the self as much as it looks outwards for inspiration. These scents provide a thoughtful and contemplative group which will satisfy deep thinkers and those seeking a bit of inner calm in their day.
There’s something peaceful and calm about Redolescent as a brand. Perhaps it is the sources of inspiration they have drawn upon – which largely come from nature and natural settings – or the autobiographical stories behind the scents. Regardless, these are fragrances which ask you to appreciate them as you find them, positives and negatives alike. They exist in a part of reality which whilst it feels grounded in the here and now has that gauzy, translucent quality of memory about them too.
As a brand although Redolescent are new they have come out the blocks with a well polished concept. Their website is easy to navigate and clear to understand. Their aesthetic is simple but clean and modern and the whole outfit gives a polished appearance as if they have been around for a while when in fact they are one of the new wave of fragrance houses on the block.
Each of the Redolescent fragrances has a different cap reflecting of both the name and inspiration of the scent. It’s a nice touch which distinguishes the brand’s presentation and sets them apart on a shelf or display.
Redolescent are a UK fragrance house and their founder is Kyle Fearn who is also the perfumer for the scents.
Listed notes: Mandarine, orange, creamy driftwood, labdanum, vanilla, beach accord, textured musks, ambergris.
Merge is the standout from the house for me. It is a spellbinding scent which evokes an emotional response from the off. Spray on skin and a cacophony of facets rise up, chiming harmoniously. Imagine you’re in one of those beautifully shot, slightly nostalgic period dramas that has beautiful lighting. It’s set perhaps in the 1930s and you’re the star. You’re reclining on a woollen blanket on the beach watching your beau play cricket. As the late summer sun turns everything golden you start to peel a rare orange and flecks of the juice mingle with the salty sea air, the sweet muskiness of the blanket, even individual grains of sun-warmed sand. Nearby your book lays discarded on a driftwood log which has been scoured by the waves and the whole scene is bucolic but slightly bleached out, as if the sun has worn away some of the detail and brightness of the colour. Imagine all that and you have an idea of what Merge is like.
Merge is a fairly understated scent which hums away on your skin making it smell even better than it normally does. It’s quite a personal experience to wear it, and after the initial wave has worn down, you are left with a fragrance which only those who get close to you are likely to notice. That feels right though because any louder or stronger and the scent would lose all the subtle nuance that it conveys in its current form. Merge is subtle and satisfying, exciting yet well balanced. All round a very nice scent indeed.
Listed notes: Lemon, ginger, neroli, jasmine, honey, beeswax, cedar.
Hive Mind is a languorous and slow scent, full of heavy, pollen-laden flowers. It starts with sweet, thick blooms of orange blossom nodding their heads in the barest breeze. This is lazy, warm, height-of-summer stuff, drowsy and fecund. Then, the spicy, citrusy lift of ginger peeks out, spiked through with lemon. This cuts through the sweetness and adds a little lift, a little freshness, and a bit more vivacity.
The whole fragrance is shot through with the thrum of honey in the background and the composition does a great job of evoking a beehive, actually doing the subject justice. The honey doesn’t go urine-like, as honey sometimes can in fragrance, tempered as it is by the neroli. Towards the end, the cedar facet appears and it gives the composition an added level of interest and dimension. The cedar of the hive, warmed by the sun on the outside and saturated with honey and beeswax on the inside. Hive Mind is a sunny, warm hug. Whilst it definitely has movement it also feels like a rather relaxing scent to wear.
Hive Mind will absolutely appeal to those who enjoy a honey fragrance and are looking for that really decadent summery feeling from a scent.
Listed notes: Camphor, tart berries, salt, sea air, dried woods, ambergris.
Hide is, by the brand’s own warning, the most challenging of their inaugural trio of scents. It lives up to that reputation and is definitely pushing out the boundaries and edges of what makes a perfume likeable. In terms of balancing this is the least successful of the three, however, it is a scent which is designed to stand out as an olfactory nudge to the wearer and in that regard it most definitely succeeds in its aims. You can read about this idea on the brand’s website where it is discussed in more detail but in short the idea is for it to pop out on you as it accompanies you through the day.
Hide opens bracing and sour with tart blackcurrants, tingly and almost urine-like in their intensity at times. This quickly softens to become fruitier and softer. The blackcurrant mingles with a note reminiscent of the memories of pine trees only a little sharper and cooler and the two half work together and half clash. The next player to enter the stage is salty air, which metaphorically slaps you in the face just as you might have started to become accustomed to the scent. This is followed with a tone which evokes those scrubby, leathery grasses that live on the margins where the land meets the sea – tough, semi-dessicated things which cling on to life with tenacity in the face of the elements. A woody aspect completes the picture; it is delicate, bleached, and dry.
Hide is a rather visceral wear, definitely not a polite scent and certainly the most challenging in the line. It doesn’t balance in the way that you may expect a fragrance to, but if you are looking for something to keep you on your toes all day, and you love the tartness of sour berries then you may well find that this is worth checking out.
The quality of the offerings of some of the UK’s smaller houses continues to grow in strength and consistency, and Redolescent emerge onto the scene with an inaugural collection worthy of standing up alongside the superb standard of creativity these new houses are setting. The fragrances are well-formed and thought out, executed in a way which makes them feel like the product of a much older house. Any remaining flaws are deliberately left visible as reminders to us to take care, to watch ourselves, to keep an eye out for things which will cause us strife. It feels brave to do that – to leave the stitching on show – and in a world of homogenous fragrances all clamouring for space on our shelves, standing out and being bravely oneself should surely be applauded.
The Redolescent fragrances are available from the brand’s web boutique where they are each priced at £145 for 100ml EdP.
We were kindly gifted samples of the fragrances by the brand, thank you to them.