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Launched in 2018 by indie perfumer Hiram Green, Hyde is an all natural fragrance based around birch tar.

Here’s the thing about birch tar: it’s potent. It’s a real scent monster that can easily highjack a fragrance with its big smoky tarriness, making it a challenging note for many people to love and to wear. As Hiram Green says on his website: ‘Seductive and challenging, Hyde is an ode to all those adventure-seeking souls….’ Challenge accepted.

Hyde opens with a citrus gust of fresh, lemon and sparkling bergamot, which are quickly Shanghaied by birch tar. That pungent tarry, medicinal-faceted, creosote scent lasts just long enough for me to register the smell, before cassie with its spicy, honey, iris-like aspects and green undertone softens the birch tar into sinuous, sexy smokiness. The cassie gives the birch tar a fullness and dimension that transforms it into the deep, dark smell of raw leather. Labdanum refines and amplifies the leather, taming its rawness, making it smoother and skin-friendly while still retaining its intensity. At this stage, malt vanilla gives it a booziness while oakmoss, earthy and mossy echo the green of the cassie at the base. Together they soften the fragrance, making it a gentler more accessible version of itself.

The drydown is smoky, woody and a little sweet. Hyde, though marketed as unisex, is really more of a man’s fragrance, yet when I was wearing it the other day, my husband catching the scent turned to me and said, ‘You smell the way you used to after sitting by the fire pit when we were at the cabin. I like it’.

Hyde is about transformation. It takes strong, brawny, challenging birch tar and transforms it into a seductive, smooth version of the stuff – Mr. Hyde turning into Dr. Jekyll – and all done with natural ingredients. Now, that’s impressive, and it shows that Hiram Green is one of the most talented and creative perfumers working today.

Notes: lemon, bergamot, birch tar, cassie, labdanum, malted vanilla, oakmoss

Type: EdP

Parfumeur: Hiram Green

Price: $8.00