The latest release from bold brand Imaginary Authors takes us on an unexpected tale of floral delights in the sunny alps!
Jasmine, tulips, frankincense, wildflower honey, pink peppercorn, alpine air, silver thistle.
When you read a name like Fox in the Flowerbed and it is coming from a brand as wild as Imaginary Authors you would be forgiven for not knowing quite what to expect. Will this be an animalic, dirty beast sweetened with a floral top? Or will it be more floral with an animalic growl? The truth is that Fox in the Flowerbed has a lot more flowers than it does fox. Wearing it is an intensely floral experience yet overall this has to be one of the easier offerings from this brand which has, in previous offerings, pushed the envelope in what is and what isn’t an acceptably wearable artistic fragrance. Fox in the Flowerbed takes the brand into a gentler, floral territory but it does so with its own particular Imaginary Authors panache. And whilst this is gentler than some of their other scents, it still has teeth.
Fox in the Flowerbed opens in a way which is in equal parts satisfying and exhilarating. A heavy, thick deluge of jasmine petals rain down following a spritz. They are suffocatingly sensual and hit you right at the back at the throat becoming – if you spray too much – more of a taste than a scent. The jasmine is rich, heavy petals, and has that pear-drop like hum that it can in strong concentrations. The opening few moments are big bursts of these bold, white, creamy petals carpeting everything else and smothering it like fat snowflakes. But give it a moment more and the nuance starts to emerge…
When evaluating scents for The Sniff there is a process whereby they are tested a minimum of three times on skin and blotter. Fox is an interesting scent because sometimes the jasmine is all encompassing, and sometimes the Alpine air comes into play more forcefully. Either way, the Alpine air is detectable in here. But what does Alpine air smell like, I hear you cry? Well, here it is a fresh, cool tone that rides under the floral hedonism of the jasmine. The accord is slightly tinged with the scent of aromatic spruce trees and there is perhaps even a little mint in there for the fresh expansiveness. It calls to mind big skies, snowcapped peaks and The Sound of Music.
The frankincense isn’t very loud in the composition but it adds a hint of warmth which made me think of sunny days in the Alps, when you have that lovely contrast between snow right on the tops and warmth in the valleys below where the wildflowers spring in abundance.
The contrast between these two facets: the warm, heady florals and the clear, bright Alps air accord is really interesting and it makes the fragrance feel like it has two layers: florals on top, buzzing around, and the clearer, cooler facet lying under that. In some lesser perfumes this might feel like a discordant lack of unity, but not here. Instead, Imaginary Authors pull it off with their usual aplomb.
A seam of honey luxuriously wanders through the composition; mouth-wateringly sweet it plays off the floral hedonism and takes it to a new level of delight. The honey is clean and sweet, and it doesn’t stray at all towards the dirtier facets that this accord can evoke.
A little further along and Fox takes on the scent of fresh laundry, line dried. You can practically hear the cotton snapping in a gust of wind. Fresh, clean, cool, airy are all the sorts of words you can be thinking of here, along with a more floral hum.
What we are left with in the final bars of Fox in the Flowerbed can, like the earlier phase of the fragrance, be split into a union of two halves. On the one hand we have a pillowy, white musky blanket which cossets and snuggles the remaining floral elements and on the other hand we have the floral elements themselves.
The tulip accord which comes to the fore in the base of the scent has to be one of the best tulip accords exhibited in a fragrance in quite some time – at least in my breadth of smelling. It’s thick, concentrated and decadently floral, like stuffing your nose in a whole vase of tulips at once. Heady, entrancing but with flecks of bitter greenery in there to give a stemmy, sappy feel too. It evokes that waxy, thick stem and leaf of tulip as well as giving us a close up, turned up dose of the flower itself. Marvellous stuff.
Fox in the Flowerbed has some really beautiful moments and is a satisfying scent to wear. It could have become over-the-top cutesy, or a bit of a cliche, but whilst it has moments of nostalgia, and whilst it does definitely call to mind The Sound of Music, it manages to do so in a way which feels lively and fresh rather than just carbon copying something from the past. It’s possible to imagine that some Imaginary Authors fans will breeze over this one for being too floral or too “nice” compared to some of their more challenging scents, but to do so would be to miss out on a floral scent which is beautifully executed, well-powered, and interesting.
The other stuff
The longevity of Fox in the Flowerbed is very solid, lasting a good twelve hours following an application and surrounding you in delightful wafts of loveliness all day.
The projection of the scent is also solid, going to beyond handshake distance but not becoming obnoxious. This is a good scent to wear when you want people to notice that you are wearing a lovely perfume as they will definitely be able to pick it up on you.
All in all, Fox in the Flowerbed in a strong offering from a brand which consistently innovates and pushes the envelope of what niche fragrance could and should be. It manages a fresh take on florals and gives them the Imaginary Author slant so that even humble flowers become prized, illuminated and displayed to their full multi-tonal effect.
Imaginary Authors are a brand with a brilliantly imagined concept; their perfumes take the form of books written by imaginary authors. It’s wonderfully storied but has little bearing on their scents which are largely capable of standing alone without any of the smoke and mirrors that good marketing brings. In the main, the fragrances are bold, strong, and very distinct. They’re the type of scents that you either love or hate, and if you love them they’ll become your signature fragrance. This is a consuming type of love affair.
From the Imaginary Authors line up we’ve previously reviewed the sun kissed orange vibes of Sundrunk, the gorgeous boozy-sweet tones of Saint Julep, the thick and syrupy Violet Disguise, the mysterious O, Unknown and the magnificently ozonic Every Storm a Serenade.
Fox in the Flowerbed is available from Bloom Perfumery London where it is priced at £90 for 50ml EdP. You can also buy the fragrance from the Imaginary Authors web boutique.
We were kindly gifted a sample of this fragrance by Bloom Perfumery and we thank them for their kindness.
Image by rottonara on Pixabay.