Thursday 14 November 2019

LANTERN REED by Prosody London

When companies launch with a strong début collection it’s always interesting to see what direction future releases will take. Many brands stay firmly within their established style but others take the opportunity to experiment. Certain fragrances can quickly attract a loyal following and so you risk dividing your audience if you steer too closely to a favourite. This is the situation that Prosody London found themselves in after launching their original series of six perfumes. From Neroli Nuance through to Oud Octavo, the fragrances spanned refreshing to resinous but the new Lantern Reed sits apart with its evocative night-time warmth.

Prosody London officially launched in February 2018 in Fortnum & Mason but there had actually been a lot of preparation the previous year. The company’s candles were already available and had become a firm favourite with the beauty editors, appearing in many “must have” lists, but the complete collection of fragrances and candles had been saved so that they could bring a little warmth into the late winter months. The perfumes drew praise from both reviewers and customers alike, including the well-respected Luca Turin, and continued to build a very secure following over the next year and a half.

When it was announced that the company had plans to release their seventh fragrance the speculation began as to its style and inspiration. Keshen Teo, the owner and perfumer of Prosody London, originally studied natural perfumery under the well-respected Mandy Aftel. The new scent would continue that natural ethos whilst also remaining focused on sustainability and the organic credentials of the ingredients. Keshen had quickly fallen in love with the process of creating fragrances with natural ingredients but, in an expanding “green” market, was always clear that it was a stylistic approach and not a judgement on other perfumers.

Lantern Reed was described as being “inspired by summer nights in the countryside of East Asia” with the ability to “calm and cheer, to intrigue and allure.” Keshen Teo has really pushed the Prosody London collection with this scent by conjuring up the very evocative scent of hot, aged lantern oil. This really feels as though it embodies the company’s desire to present “pure botanicals as olfactive art” and adds an experimental touch to the existing range. Keshen has described the perfume as a citrus oriental but, as you’ll discover, here is a wonderful aromatic quality that simply cannot be ignored.

Lantern Reed opens with a beautiful citrus blend of bergamot and grapefruit but, in harmony with the sharpness, it has a delicate sweetness that gives way to a note of fire-like red berries. The lemongrass that you find in the heart adds that wonderful quality of green aromatics, mixed with a lemon-esque touch, but the combining of an earthy vetiver and powdery iris provides a framework to support an ancient wax aroma. A soft liquorice imbued myrrh appears through the centre of this accord and, alongside a bourbon-like vanilla, completes the feeling of a lantern-warmed evening with only the fireflies for company.

Lantern Reed is available from the Prosody London website at and also from Fortnum & Mason priced at £135 for 50ml. [Sample provided by Prosody London]

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