Thursday 7 January 2021

DARYA, METSA, and SEPEIDEH by Marlese Assman

The past twelve months have seen a real push to support independent businesses because, as I’ve said repeatedly, the large organisations can look after themselves. However, the smaller companies need to remain firmly in our sights. There are so many brands that you may have never heard of, in locations that you would not expect, which is why it’s important to hunt them out. One such company is Bōbé Beauty which is based in Saskatoon. Founded by Marlese Assman, this Canadian company’s trio of natural alcohol-free perfumes offers some much needed escape, along with a promise of “serenity and independence.”
When Marlese founded Bōbé Beauty in 2017 it initially offered a range of holistic and aromatherapy treatments. Having studied in Canada, Provence, and New York, her approach was to combine the best of all of the teachings. She wanted to provide her customers with “ancient luxury for the modern muse,” and she certainly has. 2020 was a challenging year for everyone but, in the middle of everything, a fire and a flood meant that she had to relocate. Undaunted, and with a new address at 177 3rd Avenue South, a trio of magical scents would literally see this phoenix rise from the flames.
The journey from aromatherapy to perfumery is one that many have tried, although the results often vary because of the difference between a “wellness blend” and a fully rounded fragrance. When Marlese Assman decided to add three perfumes to her collection it was inspired by childhood memories of her mother. She remembered how the act of adding scent would be the final touch before going out, and also how it visibly made her mother more confident. So, the goal was to provide a feeling of youthful exuberance through to assured independence, and that’s exactly what Marlese has achieved with Darya, Metsa, and Sepeideh.
The silver topped Darya represents “love, beauty, and mystery,” and opens with a delicious note of sweetened blackcurrant. More like rubbing the leaf than eating the fruit, it's then quickly joined by a peppered davana that adds an apricot quality to the subtle jasmine heart. Without noticing, a smoothly blended amber and frankincense accord arrives which, alongside a dry cedarwood and tamed vetiver combination, remains intriguingly delicate. As the fragrance warms on the skin, traces of sandalwood come through but, as this fades, we're treated to the appearance of an unexpectedly late citrus which definitely contributes to Darya's mystery.
The gold topped Metsa is a wonderful celebration of a truly resinous perfume and perfectly lives up to its “of the forest” translation. You instantly get the incredible pairing of Peru balsam and labdanum to give a sweetened balsamic amber quality, but touches of cinnamon pull in the pink peppercorn and juniper berry to provide some sun-dappled heat. Marlese Assman again uses davana, but this time alongside rose de mai to provide a honey touched and delicately fruited floral note, before a wash of powdery iris and tonka bean brings you back to that evocatively dry forest earth. Metsa is, in a word, stunning!
The rose gold topped Sepeideh, which translates as “before the dawn,” arrives with a rush of bergamot and petitgrain to give a piercingly green effect before welcoming nerolina into the blend. This Australian ingredient adds a floral lavender quality, which is then heightened further by the aromatic clary sage, and really suggests that coming up of the morning sun. A slightly whiskyed sweetness then arrives courtesy of the ambrette seed before a final elegant dryness is provided by a perfectly measured cedarwood. With traditional citrus references, and even a touch of Guerlain’s Eau de Cologne Impériale, Sepeideh is so wonderfully uplifting.
Darya, Metsa, and Sepeideh are blended in jojoba oil rather than alcohol and are available from the Bōbé Beauty website at priced at $50 CAD for 10ml. [Samples provided by Marlese Assman]

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