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Launched 2018 by American indie fragrance house The January Scent Project, Bruvuvu belong to the fast-growing category of niche scents that conjure winter all year round. We're talking about the smells of a cozy fireplace crackling away in a log cabin blanketed with snow, in a pine forest in winter: burning wood, bracing cold air, smoke, and often booze.

Bruvuvu, the ninth fragrance in the line was launched in 2018. As for the name, The January Project founder and nose John Biebel likes to make up the names for his fragrances so they have an identity beyond just one language, like English, say or French. For Bruvuvu, he wanted a name that "captured the sensation of what a fuzzy geranium leaf felt like between the fingers. So, it had to have a cozy, humming, buzzing sound to it, something like a purring or a cooing, sexual sound."
On me, Bruvuvu opens with a bracing bright note of fresh ginger and a camphourous burst of aromatic red cedar. It is immediately familiar - ah, yes, the smell of the cedar drawers in the bureau of my childhood bedroom. Geranium joins in, green and herbal, boosted by anisic basil, it becomes heady when it combines with the cedar. As it calms down, the rose facet of geranium introduces a note of rich, lush Turkish rose that enhances the cedar that's been brushed with honey. The interplay between the rose and the cedar takes place against a backdrop of earthy patchouli. I also smell mushrooms, and it takes me right back to mushroom hunting in the autumn forest. Take about creating a sense of place. then it gets warm and spicy from cinnamon and peppery angelica. It’s as though we’ve come inside after a walk in a pine forest. Soon the smoky, tarry aspects of Texas cedar appear – a whiff of smoke from the chimney of a log cabin. Then this gorgeous woody fragrance stretches out into a sensual, animalic beast by way of musk and castoreum, tamed with a sweet, cozy note of amber.

Bruvuvu is my new crush, a rich, dark aromatic forest scent that tells its story languorously over time, drawing you deeper into the forest with each whiff.

Notes: geranium, Canadian white cedar, red cedar, Texas cedar, rose, patchouli, ginger, cinnamon, angelica, amber, Tonkin musk, mushroom, henna, basil, honey, and castoreum

Type: EdP

Nose: John Biebel


Price: $6.00