A melodious fragrance which is an uplifting wear for spring.
Grapefruit, jasmine, bergamot, lavender, calone, oakmoss, coumarin, amber.
There’s something impossibly bright about the composition of G Clef, it almost shines with an inner radiance. The sour, citrusy lift of the tart grapefruit combined with the shiver and shake of lavender is enough to transport you to a field in France at the start of a summer’s day, but before there is any warmth in the rays of the sun. It’s both bracing, confident, and classical in the way in which it reads as a perfume. If you were feeling sluggish or slow, Winter’s lethargy about your shoulders, G Clef will help you shake it off, shake it up, and regain some of the vigour of the warmer months.
Although G Clef is technically part of the S.Baker line of fragrances, which are supposedly lighter in tone than her other fragrances, do not mistake G Clef for being meek, mild and spineless. This starched white shirt of a scent, this morning dew of a fragrance, is bold, punchy and as invigorating as a cold shower under a waterfall.
A beat after the initial blast of citruses and lavender settle, the calone brings a salty touch to the scent. Suddenly that lavender field is transported to a seaside cliff top and the breeze is coming in, cold, off the sea. The calone gives the mental image of damp pebbles and salty toes, and it makes me think of the seaside equivalent of petrichor only this time salty rather than earthy and warm.
When I smell G Clef, I cannot help but think of holidays. Of the bitter refreshment of an ice cold gin and tonic, of starched cotton sun dresses and linen shirts, of salty skin, and even of a sprig of sensuous white florals tucked into dramatic dark hair.
The base of G Clef is where the more shadowy side of the fragrance comes out. There is a brooding, moody intensity in the base of the scent which brings a sultry, exciting tone. The saltiness we noticed before still may be the sea, but it also may be the crackle of electricity, either between two people or in the gathering tropical storm clouds.
A dry, crunchy feel infuses the latter part of a wear of this scent – one might almost consider it a type of less soft “powdery”. The oakmoss and amber give the scent a very classical and clean feel, the amber giving glints and hints of sparkle, but like a lot of Sarah Baker’s work, there is something a little subversive there too…
There’s something which could perhaps be described as raunchy hiding in the base of G Clef, which could well be caused by the jasmine. It smells like the people wearing the starched shirts and linen dresses have started to heat up a little and for me this is where the jazz which inspired the scent really comes in. The scent conveys people dressed up, heading to a jazz club, on a sultry evening with a threatening thunderstorm overhead. Perhaps a few fat, salty drops of rain chase any stragglers into the club where the polished wood of the bar glints in the low light from the lamps. The press of bodies dancing in time to the music becomes more focused, more intense, as the music builds and in doing so it causes wafts of scent to rise from their clothing and skin. Like many of the best Sarah Baker fragrances, there is a little nod and a wink hidden within the composition.
If I had to describe G Clef in one sentence, it would be “Classical but cheeky”. There’s a sense of humour there, which isn’t mocking the wearer but which instead is encouraging them to let their hair down, go a little wild. It’s naughty, but sweet at the same time. It wants you to enjoy life, to have fun, but in a way which respects the rules and which flirts around their edges rather than out and out breaking them entirely.
The other stuff
The perfumer for G Clef is Sarah Baker.
Although G Clef is part of the S.Baker line of fragrances, which are meant to be lighter and more summery, it still has a lot of heft and staying power to it. It lasted at least six hours following an application, and projected robustly – to around handshake distance – for much of the wear.
The Sarah Baker brand is kitsch and edgy. It encompasses a couple of different collections. The Sarah Baker collection is comprised of perfumes of extrait strength and these are the real heavy hitters of the brand’s line up, delightful scents but not for the faint of heart.
The S. Baker collection is a slightly lighter bunch, designed to be spritzed at any time of day. These scents are EdP concentration, and there are currently five in this group (Bascule, Flame and Fortune, G Clef, Far From The Madding Crowd and Symmetry). Don’t mistake this idea that they are lighter for thinking that they are less accomplished – that is most definitely note the case. They still have loads of guts!
In addition to these two collections there is also the Sarah Baker – Motif collection which features the four original scents in their original bottles (the scents being Leopard, Greek Keys, Lace and Tartan). To complete the brand, there are the Sarah Baker Artists Editions which are scents in limited, numbered bottles. You can find a page on Sarah Baker’s website explaining the different collections.
G Clef is available from the Sarah Baker web boutique where it is priced at £95 for 50ml EdP.
Sarah very kindly gifted us the 15ml bottle of G Clef you can see in the pictures. Our thanks to her.
Header image by decrand from Pixabay. Images of the product by The Sniff.