Fancy a winter getaway? This relaxed composition, full of sunshine, might just be the break you need.
Frangipani, salt water accord, rose absolute, orange flower absolute, vanilla, musks.
As the days grow short and the cold really starts to bite perfume can provide a sprayable way to escape the winter blues. This is particularly true of fragrances like St Thomas by Nateeva which harness inspiration from warm destinations and holidays in order to recreate that beachy vibe all year round.
St Thomas is built around frangipani, so expect that flower to take a central role throughout the composition.
The fragrance opens with a bright, impossibly cheerful vibe. Many fragrances claim to be “bottled sunshine” and this scent can rightly be included within their esteemed ranks. The frangipani which greets us with a warm hug first in this fragrance is pure and clear smelling – uncluttered with a lot of other adornment. It’s sweet, a little powdery and a little creamy, warm, and fleshily floral. Frangipani smells sumptuous but approachable, warm but not sickly (especially here where it has an airy and bright feel), and rather luminous. Right from the start we understand that this is a beachy, friendly, and easy type of scent.
As St Thomas matures, the rose and orange flower come to play. Their function is to round the frangipani out giving it body and lusciousness at the point at which the frangipani itself starts to falter just a little. The result is a bit like a floral salad that has both body and depth. The introduction of these two facets, however, doesn’t do anything to take away from the fact that this is a gentle and mild-mannered sort of fragrance, the type of scent which will appeal many people who enjoy that delicate and floral vibe. It sounds almost pejorative to call a fragrance “pretty” but St Thomas has a delicacy and lightness of touch which justify its use – and in a positive way.
A point of interest is added to distinguish the composition of St Thomas here in the form of the salt water accord. This enhances that beachy vibe by dotting the surface of the scent with little crystalline granules of salt – it’s as if seawater is drying on the fleshy petals of the flowers. Again, there is nothing harsh or abrasive, but the crystalline salty element throws the velvety sumptuousness of the petals into even sharper relief and plays right into that holiday feeling.
Sweetness is a theme which runs throughout St Thomas. At first this is the bright sweetness, almost fruity, of the frangipani flower. and other floral elements then, as the fragrance reaches its conclusion, the sweetness becomes deeper and more resinous as the vanilla comes in. A clean muskiness comes through in the base to complete the picture and this gives that “your skin but better” vibe to the final few bars of the scent. Imagine a frangipani bloom in a holiday maker’s hair, the scent of salt from the sea, and then the warmth of vanilla traces on warm skin, and you will have some idea of what this scent is like to wear.
Delicate, pretty, relaxed, St Thomas is a fragrance with sunshine hardwired throughout. It’s the sort of scent you wear when you don’t want anything demanding or shouty but instead want something full of ease and warmth.
The other stuff
The perfumer for St Thomas is Laurent Le Guernec.
The longevity of St Thomas is reasonably light, lasting around four hours or so following application, longer if you spray it on clothing. The projection of the scent at first goes to around handshake distance, but quickly thereafter becomes quite personal and intimate, hovering just above the skin.
In terms of when to wear this scent, it feels very much like the sort of fragrance which would fare well in mild or warm months, or when you need a reminder that summer is just around the corner. It feels more like a day scent than an evening one, and it would be perfect for lunch dates, spending time with friends or family, or just chilling out.
The Nateeva line is inspired by holidays taken by founders Jay McSherry and Hope Freeman, and aims to capture that relaxed, stress free feeling in a bottle. The duo are particularly taken with the laid back vibe of island destinations, and these form the bulk of the collection which is presented in heavy, rounded glass bottles.
Overall the Nateeva line is easy to wear, relaxed and rather gentle in how the scents perform. This isn’t the challenging or sombre end of the niche spectrum, instead its fun, perhaps a little flirty, but most definitely the sorts of scents that you can reach for when a little relaxed self-care or pampering is in order.
We’ve previously reviewed Jamaica from this brand.
You can purchase St Thomas from the Nateeva web boutique.
We were very kindly gifted a bottle of this fragrance by Floralia, with no strings attached, and we thank them for their kindness.
Please note: This review relates to the pre 2023 version of St Thomas. In December 2022, this fragrance stopped being sold in the UK due to one of the components (lilial) becoming banned in the UK. US retailers are still able to stock this fragrance, and shipping outside of the UK is still allowed.