Monday 2 August 2021

CITRUS VERVE by Botani Perfumery

There’s a period in perfumery that is likely to be remembered as the time of missed releases and forgotten fragrances. I’m talking about the very end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 when, unbeknown to us all, we were heading for a worldwide period of lockdowns and disruption. The companies that launched during these months had contracts cancelled, frustrated customers unable to smell the fragrances, and don’t forget the shortage of alcohol. So, for a new company to keep going was a massive achievement. One example of this is Botani Perfumery who, against the odds, released a beautiful quartet of fragrances.

The trend for independent micro perfumeries was in full swing before 2020 and, even with a bumpy year in between, many have managed to dust themselves down and re-emerge stronger than ever. Loyal customers helped ensure that they survived situations and regulations that nobody could have forseen and, with brighter days on the horizon, it’s time for them to become more widely known. Linda Horan launched Botani Perfumery in November 2019 with four natural fragrances. They became scented lifelines for customers during the next twelve months because each one provided a much-needed nod to nature and the outdoors.

Linda is very clear that Botani is a positive celebration of the beauty of the complexity of natural ingredients, a championing of their multi-faceted form, rather than a comment on other brands that use synthetic alternatives. She has chosen to concentrate on natural and organic building blocks to create her fragrances but still respects both perfumers, and customers, that prefer a more mixed media style of scent. It’s this non-judgemental approach from a natural perfumer that is often lacking in artisan companies and, I’m very pleased to say, this also carries through into a great debut collection of scents.

Botani Perfumery launched from its West Sussex home with Kiss of a Rose, East Meets West, Tangerine Woods, and Citrus Verve. There's a definite link within the collection, with frankincense and cedarwood making regular appearances, but each fragrance has its own definite personality. From mixing tangerine with patchouli or ylang with vetiver, Linda has succeeded in ensuring that her natural fragrances don’t become simple aromatherapy blends. Botani are well structured and carefully blended perfumes that also deliver on their unisex promise. Picking a favourite is dificult, but I’m plumping for the delicious Citrus Verve.

The fragrance opens with a mouth-watering citrus blend of grapefruit, lemon and blood orange but, sitting proudly at the top, a glorious dose of bergamot also adds a hit of green zestiness. The bergamot actually links perfectly down to the lavender in the heart, because it shares an aromatic quality, but the citruses are always the stars of this fragrance. There seems to be a whisper of neroli and rose in the centre, but it’s very subtle, and then the resinous frankincense and elegant cedarwood arrive. The frankincense perfectly complements the citruses, with its lemony facet hinting at the original opening, and this ensures that Citrus Verve absolutely stirs up the promised thoughts of summer days and crystal blue seas.

Citrus Verve is available from the Botani Perfumery website at priced at £35.50 for 30ml, £3.99 for 2ml, or as part of the Discovery Set for £17.50. [Sample provided by Botani Perfumery]

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