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Skarb – Tears of Joy – November 22, 2013 New Fragrance Listing

Photo - Wikimedia Commons - Slavs serving their gods - 19th C. woodcut

Humiecki & Graef. Bit of a mouthful, sort of a tongue-twister, for the name of a niche perfume line. The two founders, Sebastian Fischenich and Tobias Muksch, describe their brand as “memory mirrored in fragrance”, and it turns out that Humiecki and Graef are the names of their grandmothers, the storytellers from their childhoods who inspired the emotional scent memories in their niche line.

Their names may be a bit of a challenge in the elocution department, but their first perfume, Skarb, sure is a treat for the olfactory equipment. It is an unusual, totally original, compelling scent.

The brief to their  chosen perfumer, Christophe Laudamiel, was to create a perfume that conveys “how men cry - eruptive and sensual. Pictures from Slavic culture, as well as how they deal with melancholia and happiness served as inspiration” - from Luckyscent. Launched in 2007, Skarb is described as an aromatic green scent, and means “treasure” in Polish, but it is much much more than a simple treasure.

Inspired by Slavic tears, Skarb starts out green – the nether-world note of absinthe with its creamy apect, mixed with the dried herbal smells of lovage and myrtle, and the sweet/sour earthy waft of carrot seed. This pungent green scent smells like it is growing, and rotting, at the same time. Then a watery accord creeps in, and I recognize Christophe Laudamiel’s genius signature note (smell his “S-ex by  S-Perfume). The tears have formed, and they smell salty, leathery, watery, very male and musky, and oh so melancholic.

Skarb has this sensation of melancholy down into its heart, but in the end this oddly elegant scent is warmed by the smoldering fires beneath – the incense, myrhh, patchouli  and orris notes form a complex aromatic accord which dries the tears and leaves the Slavic eyes smiling. The green notes return mixed with sweet hay and smoky incense, and the world is alive again. The tears are tears of joy, not sorrow.

Skarb has just enough strange-green, just enough murky-dark, just enough almost-sweet that it can claim a very unique, quirky oddness, which, at the same time is so incredibly appealing. The scent has no prescribed gender, it has no specific place, it’s an extremely wearable chameleon scent that slowly opens and creates a feeling of quiet bonhomie. A green from nature, watery but more animalic than aquatic, warmed from the earth, it has a soulful tenderness at its core.

I love scents like Skarb, scents that own this quirky quality that stirs my imagination. Skarb makes me feel emotions. It doesn’t make me cry, but I can imagine it could make some men cry, even if they’re not Slavic.

 Skarb is listed in our Decant Store, Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.