Thursday 17 June 2021

CELIE & COUCH by Jordan Bryan

When a new perfume company launches you always hope to find at least one fragrance amongst their opening collection that you fall in love with. When it’s an independent company the hopes are even higher that there will be something in there that grabs you. So, to find a niche brand that has launched with three fragrances and each of them is an absolute joy to wear is very rare. However, that is exactly the situation with Celie & Couch. Get ready to be entranced as I introduce you to self-taught perfumer Jordan Bryan and his Yorkshire themed Skellered, Scran On Th’ Garth, and Moor An’ Th’ Loike.

When Jordan Bryan founded Celie & Couch back in 2016 it was a very quiet affair. He had made some fragrances and was happy with them, but there was something in the back of his mind that was telling him he needed to pause and keep improving. Four years of low-key creation, mainly for friends and family, meant that he had the opportunity to perfect his style and learn how the myriad of ingredients available to a perfumer could be blended together. In 2021, after a final year of perfecting his debut collection, he has launched with a trio of scents that truly are a breath of fresh air.

Jordan was raised in Leeds and has been very open about growing up with the strong feelings of isolation that came from not fitting in as a young black gay man. Moving to London saw him find the balance and acceptance that he had been looking for, and over time he regained fond memories of his native Yorkshire. So when it came to looking for inspiration for his fragrances he turned to his childhood. Proper Yorkshire is the title of his debut collection and they are described as being “blown from the Yorkshire moor.” These scented stories are a delight to wear, so I’ve paired each with a bookish suggestion.

Moor An’ Th’ Loike was conceived as the feeling of walking the expansive moors alongside animals and fauna, but it immediately took me to the stylish 1920s. With Payment Deferred by C.S. Forester as the perfect companion, it opens with an animalic jasmine amplified by the civet in the base, so you’re immediately put in mind of vintage fur coats. An aromatic blend of juniper, pepper and thyme then harks back to the moorland but it’s immediately joined by a honey accord that again plays into that fur quality. A hint of resinous cypress and a beautiful dose of powdery iris complete a glorious fragrance that is, for me, more Mayfair than moors.

Scran On Th’ Garth
takes its inspiration from “fresh baking resting on a window ajar to ferns and flowers,” and instantly transported me to the inside of the old Culpeper stores that used to sell dried botanicals and creamy soaps. You are instantly greeted by the most incredible burst of lemon and bergamot, like sunlight hitting that open window, before an expertly blended pairing of geranium, lavender and cedarwood hints at the distant moorland. A green and peppery rose then appears, almost with touches of galbanum, before a delicate vanilla and hessian-like vetiver finish off this mouth-watering citrus explosion.

Skellered is inspired by the ravines that you find on the Yorkshire moors and opens with a wonderfully expansive aromatic quality. Neroli and sage effortlessly blend alongside a tart bergamot before a cinnamon and ginger pairing hints at those classic childhood red and white clove sweets. There’s an almost flint-like quality to the scent, echoing those steep hillsides, but a tonka bean and patchouli woodiness adds a final note of warm fallen leaves and undisturbed branches. Skellered conjured up forgotten summer adventures, with sweets warming in a paper bag, so the perfect pairing had to be The Famous Five by Enid Blyton.

All of the fragrances are available from the Celie & Couch website at priced at £24.95 for 10ml, £44.95 for 30ml, £64.95 for 50ml, and a 2ml discovery set of the three scents for £19.95. There is currently a promotion of £10 off every order with the code SWAG10 (so the sample set becomes £9.95!) or £20 off a 50ml bottle with the code SWAG20. [Bottles were purchased]

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