a journey of the senses by FLACONNEUR
THE ODD FELLOW’S BOUQUET – 2013 – ♂
Classification: Oriental Spicy
Top: Ginger, Peppercorn
Heart: Heliotrope, Dark Tobacco
Base: Benzoin, Labdanum
Price: $185 for 100ml bottle
With over 200 years of “perfume snobbery” under its belt, the London based house of Atkinsons is no newcomer to the world of fragrances. In 1799, a young gentleman by the name of James Atkinson traveled from Cumberland in the north and established his London soap and perfume shop at 44 Gerrard Street in Soho. One of the houses early successes was the production of the best selling rose-scented hair pomade that was made with bear grease. It is said that Atkinson had a live bear tethered outside his shop in Soho that eventually became the mascot for his brand. The house of Atkinsons eventually resided at 24 Old Bond Street. A very short time later and after many more successes, Atkinsons became the personal perfumer for the Court of St. James’s in 1832. With customers such as Queen Victoria, Empress Sissi of Austria, Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary, Atkinsons was obviously well respected.
The revived house of Atkinsons has launched their newest collections this past summer at the famed Harrods of London. There are three collections to be exact which include The Emblematic Collection, The Legendary Collection and The Home Collection. The Emblematic Collection centers around the 24 Old Bond Street scent. There is a scented candle, perfumed toilet vinegar splash, bath and shower essence, perfumed body lotion, perfumed body soap, and last but not least, an eau de cologne natural spray. The Legendary Collection includes four eau de toilette natural spray perfumes: The Odd Fellow’s Bouquet, The British Bouquet, Fashion Decree and The Nuptial Bouquet. The Home Collection consists of three scented candles, The Isle of Wight Bouquet, The Mayfair Bouquet and The Hyde Park Bouquet. There is one fragrance in particular within The Legendary Collection that caught my attention while visiting Barneys New York recently by the name of The Odd Fellow’s Bouquet. It is said that Lawrence of Arabia favored this Atkinsons fragrance. Let’s see if Lawrence and I agree.
Upon initial inspection, the note structure of The Odd Fellow’s Bouquet is by no means complex. The fragrance appears to be a seemingly simple masculine recipe. Atkinsons makes the experience a much more intricate and dimensional creation. It’s not for certain, but based on the name, the concept might have been inspired by a 17th century English fraternal organization known as The Odd Fellows. The Odd Fellows were a fraternal organization that was set up to protect and care for their members and communities. The scent profile certainly conjures up spectral images of chivalrous gentlemen Londoners, sporting starched shirts and brilliant colored ties in mahogany clad rooms, while performing their social duties of the day. If this is part of the fragrance’s storyline, the scent’s structure successfully contributes to the historical reference. The opening of The Odd Fellow’s Bouquet brings a parade of warmth and spice to woo the senses. It’s much like a savory gingersnap that keeps your taste buds persistently stimulated. The ginger note is foodie and downright consoling, and is lightly spiked with peppercorn to intensify the experience. The heart of this fragrance is a rich blend of a velvety vanilla accord, combined with an opulent, fragrant dark tobacco note. The tobacco in The Odd Fellow’s Bouquet is aged and refined. The vanilla, smoldering tobacco and the gourmand-themed top notes make for an arresting combination. In the base, there hides a vaguely medicinal quality, layered with powdery labdanum, creating a unique antiseptic freshness. It makes the finish of The Odd Fellow’s Bouquet curious and beguiling.
You don’t necessarily need to be a fan of gentlemanly scents to enjoy The Odd Fellow’s Bouquet by Atkinsons. You also don’t need to sport a velvet smoking jacket and ascot but it certainly couldn’t hurt. The Odd Fellow’s Bouquet is effortlessly masculine and perfect for someone who enjoys the spice and tobacco genres of fragrances. It smells sophisticated, just like what you might imagine every well-respected British gentleman might. The Odd Fellow’s Bouquet is a slightly more contemporary take on a reliable masculine theme, and impressively done by Atkinsons. This fragrance is quite refined and completely worthy of owning.