Thursday, 15 April 2021

REBEL SOUL by Bel Rebel

Every perfume brand that launches has the initial challenge of deciding exactly what is going to make them different from the thousands that are already in existence. Over the years there have been a myriad of broken promises and bucket loads of marketing, so you can understand that when a new fragrance is sent to me I like to do some digging before I write about it. “Challenging conventions” and offering “unexpected twists” have become commonplace phrases, but they aren’t always delivered. One company that has succeeded however is Bel Rebel, and their Rebel Soul perfume is gloriously exquisite in its simplicity.

When Natalia Mizejewska announced that she was planning on launching a brand new collection of fragrances in the middle of a global pandemic there were a few worried looks. She readily admits herself that she wondered whether it was right to continue with the project but, after taking stock of all the effort that had already been put into the five scents, Natalia bravely ploughed on. She said, “We thought about our own relationship with perfumes and realised that we often turn to fragrances when seeking comfort. They bring joy, calmness and, most importantly, a sense of normality.”

Natalia was no stranger to the beauty industry, the actual collection is named after her successful Mayfair perfume boutique, but this was still quite a departure from her original background in banking and finance. However, she was very clear that she wanted a range that genuinely offered something different for fragrance fans. “We take something beautiful and subvert it... disregarding trends in favour of our own experimentation.” The collection covers everything from bubble gum to birch tar but, and this is the exciting aspect, manages to add simplicity and wonderment to every perfume. It’s time to discover the line-up.

Bubble Gum
is exactly what it claims to be, although the fruity scent has an airiness within it to represent the gum being blown into ever-expanding bubbles, and Unrequited is a new take on the familiar rose scent. Here it’s given an exciting green edge and almost feels as if it’s being smelled from a distance. Born to Rebel is a surprising take on a lily of the valley scent, because it's joined by a waxy cyclamen and powdery musk, whilst Air pushes a dry woodiness straight through a heart of birch tar to emphasise a smoke-like delicacy. However, Rebel Soul has to be my standout favourite from the collection, and here's why.

Described as “an invitation to bathe in the comforting glow of moonlight,” it genuinly makes you want to switch off and take some 'me' time. It focuses on two types of cedarwood, Atlas and Virginia, so you have the glorious combination of spicy pencil shavings meeting peppered balsamic wood. There’s also the merest touch of liquorice in here, more a taste than a scent, and smooth sandalwood blends effortlessly with the cedars. A slightly minted florality adds an extra layer of interest, but Rebel Soul remains a celebration of cedarwood. Marina Barcenilla once described the ingredient as “evoking ancient trees standing tall, watching the world go by, and reminding us that all bad things shall pass,” and that perfectly sums up Rebel Soul.

Rebel Soul is available from the Bel Rebel website at belrebel.com priced at £9 for 2ml or £139 for 69ml. [Samples provided by Bel Rebel]

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