I really like Possets, even though I rarely talk about them and rarely purchase. They have such a massive catalogue that looking is a commitment, and they do have free shipping worldwide over $75USD, so when I order, I order. But I got these two samples from a friend to try out. They're part of the 50 States collection, which is a collection scents, each one based on one of the states. As an aside, we often call the US the States here, and it took me a minute to work out why that previous sentence looked odd. Anyway. I have Maine and Florida here, and as a New Brunswicker, these are the two states we care most about, so this is rather fitting that they are the ones I and my also New Brunswicker friend were most interested in.
Over my perfume journey (as pretentious as that sounds), I've come to realize that I like the idea of scents with orange notes better than the actual execution of scents with orange notes. Kind of how I feel about oranges: the idea of an orange is better than eating an orange. Clementines are my citrus fruit of choice - they're much sweeter and smaller and easier to peel. Though the scent of a peeled orange is better than the scent of a peeled clementine. For someone who lives in a place where we import a lot of oranges, I have a strange number of feelings about them, considering I've never seen an orange tree or eaten a fresh one. I mentioned that Florida is important to New Brunswick, because that is the winter destination of choice. I've never been, though, because my parents firmly believe that summer weather is a scourge upon humanity and that it should never be warmer than 22C. I'm inclined to agree with them as an adult, but as a kid, I just wanted to go to Disneyworld.
Florida, is there a place which is more closely tied to oranges? Several different natural orange essences from a variety of different sources giving different nuances to the idea of orange. Then we have barded it over with an intense and wild musk for staying power, spices to keep it interesting and a strong a bitter sort of musk which mimics the bitterness of the peel if you put your tongue to it. Bracing but sexy, not for the faint of heart, and real alluring. This is as interesting as a weekend in South Beach!
Florida does smell like a peeled orange, to my delight, though with a muskier tone as it wears on me. In the vial, it's sweet orange, with a hint of spice in the very back. It's bright and sunny and exactly like smelling a peeled orange. Yesssss. On my skin, the very slight spice kick is gone, and it's got a very slight musk kick at the end, but is mainly sweet, fresh orange. As it sinks into my skin, it remains much the same. There's no real morphing during the wear. It lasts longer than I'd expect a citrus scent like this to do, but I still only get about 3-4 hours out of it. The sillage is quite good - I can catch whiffs of it as I move my arms about, but it's not going to be super obvious to anyone else. They'd have to be immediately next to me to smell it, which is my preferred level of sillage.
Maine, on the other hand, is a scent that's much closer to my reality. Maine is after all, right next to New Brunswick, and it's basically the same place, with less French and gas is by the gallon. For some reason, they're in the Eastern time zone instead of the far superior Atlantic time zone, but oh well. I did my "pick a US state and make a placemat about it" project on Maine in grade six. I remember very little, other than my stencilling of Maine at the top was beautiful and they have almost twice the population of New Brunswick. Later, the University of Maine at Presque Isle tried very hard to get me to go there.
Maine-Seashore, rocky beaches and huge swaths of pine forests with their resiny smell, bluest skies filled with puffy cloud ships setting sail for the Old World. The sea and land mix here in a smooth collision of ocean and the conifers, and those lilacs...the most beautiful lilacs in the world when they are in bloom. Despite the flowers, it's unisex and gorgeous. Floral, aquatic, balsam. USA.
It's actually called Maine - The Sea's Embrace, but I confess I don't tend to think of the ocean when I think of Maine. Maine lobster, understandably, is not of interest to me. It does remind me of my own home, however. It's briny and windswept cold water, with grasses and trees and wildflowers. In the vial, I get salty ocean and sweet balsam - definitely a balsam in the spring, not the cold sharpness it gets in the winter. On my skin, it starts off as heavily oceanic, but gets sweeter and greener as it sinks into my skin. I don't get any distinct balsam after I put it on. Mostly grass and lilacs. (I am looking forward to lilacs blooming soon!). It wears very close to my skin, and lasts about six hours on my skin.
I like both of these, but am uncertain if I want to upgrade them to full sizes. I tend to not use my samples, so I probably won't keep them around in sample form. I'm leaning toward: they're nice, solid, pretty scents, but I'm not enthusiastic about them and also, I'm pretty sure that I shouldn't be adding scents that I'm not totally crazy about to my collection. I also feel a little bit odd about their names - I've been trying to get away from buying things based on name, and have mostly succeeded, but as for not buying things based on name? I never really gave it that much thought, aside from really objectionable names, but then then that has more to do with the ethics of a brand.
I don't really want to wear a scent named after a state I've never been to and don't really care about, or even a neighbouring state that also doesn't have a whole lot of impact on me, because I've never lived near the border. I try not to be anti-American, because I find that to be an unattractive trait (and seriously. I'm from one of the poorest regions in Canada, so I needn't be looking down my nose at anyone) but I don't really need to bring more of the United States into my life. I already buy from American perfumeries and read American books and consume American television and wear American fashion and eat American food and put American makeup on my face. Do I need to walk around with a scent named after an American state? I realize that this is a rather ridiculous line to draw, but it's something I feel uncomfortable with, for reasons to do with fragile cultural identities and the complete saturation of my life with a culture and worldview that is not my own but influences and affects me nonetheless. It's a complicated relationship.
That tangent aside, these are good. They are well-crafted and blended and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to people. Especially if you're partial to Florida and Maine.