The most exciting scent we discovered in 2022, setting the bar high for 2023.
Pink pepper, black pepper, clove bud, cinnamon absolute, cardamom, immortelle, incense, cypriol, atlas cedarwood, guaiac wood, saffron, sandalwood, ambroxan, cashmeran, vetiver, leather.
Spicy scents: often underpowered, sometimes dull, frequently unsatisfying. If you have thought any of these things about spicy fragrances then Scorpio Rising by Eris may be the scent to change your perceptions. Fulsome, thick, daring, this is a scent which will seduce and delight lovers of spice and may well convert a few people who have been on the fence about these sorts of fragrances.
Spray Scorpio Rising on skin and the pulse will start to quicken. A melange of spices rise and hit the nose with confidence and tenacity. The piquancy of peppers pink and black, and the dry heat that they confer, is the first thing to be noticed. They have a rough, gritty texture which is assertive rather than aggressive but which flirts with that edge. The spices give a feeling of power and determination to the scent and it’s clear from the start that this fragrance is unapologetic in its showcasing of ingredients. The peppers are supported by clove, cinnamon and cardamom which overall gives the fragrance a strongly dry and yet intriguingly opulent tone.
Whereas nowadays spices are commonplace in our lives, when they were first traded with the West they would have been precious, expensive, luxurious (this article explains more). In the fifteenth century in London, a pound of pepper cost as much as two days’ wages of a skilled craftsperson, with clove being five days’ worth and saffron a whole month’s. With the overdose of spices that open Scorpio Rising, we are once again reminded of the preciousness of these ingredients and made to feel as if we are being treated to something which is the height of luxury itself.
There are several clever things about Scorpio Rising which are immensely satisfying. Firstly, the fact that the perfumer has managed this load of spices skilfully so they never, at any point, become muddy or muddled. Secondly, that the fragrance has a sense of ascendancy about it, it lifts, both from the skin and the way in which it changes throughout a wear. We start off feeling granular and a touch earthy, lift with the explosive sparks of pepper and then remain raised with a woody scaffold that supports us in this exalted phase. Where often woody notes give a sense of grounding, here they seem to give height and verticality to the scent, adding the unexpected dimensions which bring excitement to a fragrance.
Another twist of note is that the perfumer has engineered something tantamount to a pause after the opening volley of spices. This is most noticeable in the mid phase of a wear. The spices calm a little, just enough to allow us to notice an addictive, rising incense smoke, and the woodier elements. There’s a hay-like sweetness lingering in the background which brings a touch of softness, throwing the harder, tougher spices into sharp relief. Whilst this phase of the fragrance is still full of interest, the calmer contrast to the opening gives us just enough space to catch our breath, to not be overwhelmed by the punchy spices, and to start to anticipate the final bars of this magnificent composition.
The lingering remnants of Scorpio Rising have the same levels and depth of complexity that we are able to observe throughout the rest of the scent – no part of which disappoints. The woods in the composition smooth further but yet the spicier elements tenaciously remain. Part of the beauty of this fragrance is the sheer lustre of the quality of the ingredients used. Together they smell beautiful, and individually each one is possessed of a sense of volume and multiple facets given the scent an overall feel of richness and depth. If scents can be three-dimensional then Scorpio Rising most certainly would be.
The base phase of the fragrance returns to the more grounded sense that we got glimpses of at the start, only now its embers rather than spices, or the embers of spices perhaps. The woody ingredients alongside the cinnamon and pepper give a deliciously nutmeg-like facet to the composition whilst the sandalwood, cashmeran and guaiac wood give a flowing sense of polish to the background.
Scorpio Rising is the sort of fragrance which gets the pulse racing. Throughout its lifespan the fragrance flirts with danger; from the punchy thrust of spices to the tendrils of smoke or the flecks of leather. Scorpio Rising has a little of the “mad, bad and dangerous to know” about it. This is thrilling perfumery, edge-of-the-seat perfumery, and yet very wearable and enjoyable perfumery too. The genius of Scorpio Rising is that it is possessed of those subversive characteristics that the brand champion, and yet at the same time it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, hiding behind the familiarity of its notes list but simultaneously pushing every single one of those elements to its limit.
If you’re looking for an overdose of spices, or for an example of spices done well then look no further. Scorpio Rising blows many of its competitors out of the water, and I can say for certain that this scent will continue to feature very heavily in my winter rotation.
The other stuff
The perfumer for Scorpio Rising is Antoine Lie.
The longevity of the scent is very good, lasting eight to ten hours following an application – often longer. Scorpio Rising is one of those fragrances which you will likely wake up still smelling of if you apply it for a night out the evening before!
The projection, or sillage, of the scent is also potent. It reaches to beyond handshake distance quite easily following an application, and although that does reduce, it does so fairly slowly, hovering around the body beautifully.
Scorpio Rising feels like the sort of scent which is best suited to evening events and adventures. It has a devilish sexiness about it which is best deployed with a degree of caution. Wear it to the office or during the day and you might just find your co-workers or people in shops falling in lust with you in an instant!
To the traditionalists who believe in such things as scents for women and scents for men, it would be easy to pigeon-hole this fragrance as being masculine only, however, that would be terribly short sighted. I urge women who might be nervous about spice to try this fragrance too. There is an exciting sense of confidence about this scent which is something people of all genders can enjoy.
Eris Parfums are a new brand here on The Sniff, but one you can expect to hear more from in the future as the quality is so high.
The brand is based in America and is the brainchild of Barbara Herman, a perfume lover and fragrance writer who teamed up with perfumer Antoine Lie to work on Eris. The brand’s aim is to champion subversive beauty and to push olfactive boundaries with compositions which are bold, nodding to the vintage scents of the past so loved by Barbara Herman, but with their sights so firmly set on the future of fragrance as well.
The packaging and presentation of Eris fragrances is simple and monochromatic, ensuring that most of your money is going on the scent rather than on the bottle it comes in. The bottles are sleek and rectangular with simple black and white labels, and black caps.
Scorpio Rising is available from the Eris Parfums web boutique where it is priced at $180.00 for 50ml of extrait (25% concentration). You can also buy Scorpio Rising from UK-based retailer Sainte Cellier for £138 for the same 50ml extrait.
We were very kindly gifted samples of Scorpio Rising by Brooke from Sainte Cellier, and once Barbara from Eris Parfums heard how much we loved it, she sent over a full bottle. Both of these were with no strings attached, and we extend our gratitude to both Brooke and Barbara for their generosity.
Header image by WikiImages from Pixabay, images of the product by The Sniff.
2 Comments Add yours
Another very fine review. And of course agree anything can smell good on anyone. Haha 😂 I’d avoid spraying much too on the weekly shop
I ordered the sample set from Eris and I’m looking forward to trying Scorpio Rising this weekend! Thanks for this wonderful review.
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