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Assassin – Killing me softly….March 20, 2012 New Fragrance Listing

Image - - Howard Jarvis of Bud Parfums

I bumped into an old friend earlier this week. We know each other really well and have a strong bond, a friendship that developed while working together for an international company where we were the “two gals” who did most of the work, and the rest, of course, were “the guys” who ran the show. We went for lunch to catch up on work, mates, children, grandchildren, and then fell to reminiscing about those years when we travelled the world together.

“Can you believe that it’s twenty years, almost to the day, that we were in the air flying to Australia?” “My god, that Australian trip! I don’t mention that trip very often – no one believes me!” Two hours later, exhausted from talking and laughing, we paid our bill and promised to get together soon for another walk down memory lane – maybe next time we’ll do Europe!

Talking about Australia got me thinking about Australia, and for me, thinking invariably leads to thinking about perfume, so here I am thinking about Australian perfumes, and remembering BudParfums, and searching for the Bud fragrances on my perfume shelves. Aha! I’ve found them.

In 2012, perfumer Howard Jarvis contacted me to say he liked our style at perfumeniche, and would we like to sample some of his artisinal fragrances. He sent some samples, I bought four, and wrote about my favourite, The Gamekeeper, a fabulous masculine chypre – read my post here. Howard is basically self-taught ,and has created a unique perfume brand, with scents created as naturally as possible, from the purest and highest quality ingredients:

“We use natural ingredients as much as possible where environmentally responsible….We have over 4000 ingredients to compose fine perfumes…. We will go where other perfumers fear to tread. We will push the boundaries of fragrance."

This is exactly what he did with The Gamekeeper, which to my mind has a clear quality, a lightness of being, but yet is complex and dark at the same time; it smells very modern, and yet very old, eternal. It is incredibly original, therefore difficult to describe, truly an ahhhh fragrance.

Assassin falls into the same category. A woody spicy fragrance, Assassin opens with a sparkly fruity green wave, underscored with a cat-pissy note of perhaps juniper or galbanum (no notes are listed). This opening accord makes its statement then soon begins to soften into a heart of aromatic spices- nutmeg and saffron? - scattered over the greens and what I smell as fresh–cut sweet hay.

Faint licorice notes from anise, mixed with subtle wood resins as smooth as sandalwood – is that oud? -  emerge in the dry-down, creating a warmth in the base that is soothing and mesmerizing. And there is a note in the base that I just can’t identify – vegetal, sweet/grassy, addictive. The sillage is quietly gorgeous as the diminished green and spice notes rise and fall through this exotic base accord.

Where The Gamekeeper has a sensual earthiness, this Assassin is a refined masculine scent, mysterious, restrained, with a smooth elegance. Sharply focused at the beginning, it releases its grip and softens, transforming with quiet stealth into a scent that is intriguing, different, with a magnetic beauty difficult to describe.

When Howard sent his samples he included a note about what to expect from his fragrances. The top and heart notes are not a clear indication of the evolved scent, each scent unwinds, revealing notes here and there, transforming into its unique character over time. The beauty of his perfumes is in their extended dry-down, and that’s especially true of Assassin.

Be careful with Assassin because once it grabs you, you can’t escape. 


Assassin is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $4.00 for 1 ml.