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Enchanted Forest – Daringly different from Duchaufour – March 8, 2013 New Fragrance Listing

Photo - Wikipedia - Ivan Zarevitch on the Grey Wolf - Viktor M Vasnetsov, 1889

“What’s this?” I say, as I scroll down a list of new launches in 2012….

….Enchanted Forest, from The Vagabond Prince, a new perfume, a new niche line from the folks at Fragrantica…unique bottle and packaging, built around cassis and forest notes...hmmm, looks interesting. Created by Bertrand Duchaufour. I pick up my cellphone - “Gwen, check this out when you’re in Paris!”

Of course, you can guess the rest - she brought home the beautifully decorated black bottle, in the blue, white and gold box. My BFF and fellow niche-er knows that I love - no, make that crave - unique perfume experiences, and Enchanted Forest is just that.

Elena Knezhevich and her husband, Zoran Knezevic, co-founders of Fragrantica.com, wanted to make a niche scent of exceptional quality that recalled the folklore and forests in their Russian homeland, and who better to create an exceptional fragrance than Bertrand Duchaufour? Duchaufour says in an article he wrote for Fragrantica:

Enchanted Forest is a unique fragrance for several reasons. It is the only perfume I know of that is built around blackcurrant as the sole raw material, to such an extent that one can say it is a CASSIS…

...the blackcurrant is the MOST IMPORTANT fruity note of the range that exists in perfumery. There are more than 400 raw materials that come across as fruity in the perfumer's palette. Blackcurrant and the sulfur effects of blackcurrant are the basis for the reconstruction of almost all fruits that perfumers and flavorists know. It is HUGE!"

So Enchanted Forest is built around blackcurrent and opens with cassis at full throttle, cassis mixed with citrus zest and juice, bursting with tart and tang and mixed with the aroma of crushed green leaves, a sensation of sniffing red wine with blackcurrent notes. This is such a an unsual “opening” experience, which becomes even more interesting with the addition of fir and cedar resins, the pungent scent of crushed needles and cones. This cassis and forest accord is divinely odd, faintly sweet but resinous, and I’m quite content sniffing it for the next hour or so. This Enchanted Forest has a long story to tell, and its development is decidedly unhurried.

Photo - fragrantica.com - Enchanted Forest packaging

Into the heart, the cassis accord lightens and the becomes more green and herbal from coriander and vetiver and current leaves, then sweetens slightly again from spicy carnation and honeysuckle. Then the long dry down begins with oakmoss, benzoin, amber, vanilla and musk, which float up from underneath the cassis and pine, swirling with smoky incense, and musky woodiness, making the Enchanted Forest  feel soft, rich, hazy, and well, enchanting. This forest is alive, full of the scents of growth and decay.

Theres is no doubt that the cassis accord is dominant from top to bottom in Enchanted Forest, but I can’t describe it as sweet or fruity. Duchaufour has created a  seamlessly layered, highly complex scent that is really like no other – I can’t name a perfume that compares to this unusual accord. I’ve discovered that it’s much better sprayed than dabbed, and it seems strong at first, but then dries down with superb subtlety. It’s not linear, as the different notes share the spotlight, making the long drydown extremely satisfying.

Cassis, or blackcurrent, is definitely an acquired taste and smell, I think. I was lucky enough to “get it” as a kid, picking wild currents in the woods behind our summer cottage and then helping my Mum make jam. On fresh cold custard, that jam was divine. The smell of the leaves – a cat-pee green smell like geranium or tomato leaf - the aroma of the tart berries, the sweet/sour taste of the preserves, are part of my smell library, and easily guide me through the Enchanted Forest. I don’t feel lost in this forest, I feel at home.

The Vagabond Prince Enchanted Forest is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.