November in the Temperate Deciduous Forest is not a line from a poem, although it would be a lovely one if it were. On second thought, maybe it is a haiku that also serves as the name of a perfume. Regardless, these words and the accompanying fragrance feel very apropos at this moment because even though the Northwest is known for its evergreen glory, the city of Portland is surrounded by the deciduous splendor of fall.
Leaves are freshly fallen, and the soil is damp of course. The infamous rain has arrived. Fireplaces are being stoked once again and the outdoor smells of fall are among us. November in the Temperate Deciduous Forest- let’s call it November for short- is one of those fragrances that not only echoes these autumnal smells but also enhances them and makes them feel more vibrant.
November is a 2011 release from Jill McKeever of For Strange Women Perfumery. Jill’s product descriptions are vividly romantic, and the one for November is no exception. Her analogy of lapsang souchong tea brewing on a forest cabin’s wood buring stove could not capture the mood of this perfume more perfectly.
November starts with a smokiness that curls through the air, caressing the skin rather than consuming or overwhelming it. Lapsang souchong possesses a roasted, smoked scent and flavor and I wonder if Jill used a tincture of that tea since it is seems so prevalent in the opening. Additionally, a delicate lacing of neroli gives sparkle and a gentle floral quality to November’s rustic beginning. There’s also a minty quality that lends a fecundity and depth to the forest scene outside the cozy cabin.
The heart of November explores the richness of the woodland soil, digging up dark earth, roots and meandering mushrooms. The forest floor is now under your nails, knees damp with rain soaked dirt and crushed leaves. November is a long day of trekking through the trees, with an olfactory treasure as your reward.
The resins from the woods around you imbue the skin with a scent that is piquant, yet suggestive of an animalic muskiness. The fact that this is a perfume oil augments the process of November melding into your skin and becoming a fluid part of your natural scent, after much time spent in the temperate deciduous forest.
November is available at For Strange Women at etsy. $40 for a 1/4oz bottle.
Disclosure: I purchased this sample myself from For Strange Women. Opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.
Image by Raceytay on etsy.com