Saturday, 29 April 2017

Branching Out: Trying Fyrinnae's New Perfume Division

Once upon a time, there was an indie cosmetics company called Fyrinnae. They were massively popular, with high quality colour cosmetics and unique colours. They were well established and continued to innovate. And then one day, they made a startling announcement: Fyrinnae was opening a perfume division!

(I actually had my fake, non-binding bet on skincare, but oh well.)

I dithered for a couple of days before taking the plunge and picking out four perfume samples. Fyrinnae opened with a good range of perfumes, and has since added more, but I stayed true to myself and got two gourmand and two aquatic: Sucre Brûlé, Ananás, Bering Sea, and Salish Sea. They also tossed in Vale of Tempe as a free sample. 

The good: buying from Fyrinnae is much less risky than buying from a new shop. Fyrinnae is already established, has proven customer service, and is generally reliable. It is a completely new venture, and I'm always a little skeptical when indies try to diversify too much, but with such a long history on the cosmetics side, it's a safe leap to try a new thing.

The bad: their little 1ml screwtop sample vials leaked. Their excellent customer service has been addressing this, by changing vials and replacing leaky orders (provided you aren't me and still haven't emailed them. This is not a reflection on them. This is a reflection on me. I didn't lose that much oil and I store them in a manner that keeps them from leaking so basically I don't care enough to email). It's not a great thing to happen at launch, though, but I think Fyrinnae has enough goodwill to withstand it. 

Anyway, aside from the leakiness, the perfume samples shipped well within turnaround time, were packaged securely (so the oil didn't get everywhere at least!), and had lovely little labels before I rubbed them off when I tried to clean them. 

Onto the reviews!

Sucre Brûlé

No spice, no cream, just a blend of scorched sugars with a hint of woodsmoke. 

I described this as a potential "stealth favourite" to some friends. Sucre Brûlé smells exactly as it sounds, caramelized sugar and a hint of woodsmoke. It's simple and lovely. It's not a standout unique scent, but it is really well done and it's definitely grown on me each time I've worn it. It's well balanced and a surprisingly tenacious scent, lasting on my skin for up to eight hours. It also survive washing dishes and taking a shower - obviously not at full potency, but still there. It's got moderate sillage, so I'm not overpowering people, but they can smell it if they're beside me. I will be keeping my sample, and when/if I use it up, I'll order a full size. Part of me snorted at that last statement, but the other part of me pointed out that a lot of my oils have some recognizable use now, so it's possible!


Pineapple Upside-Down Cake! Baked fresh pineapple, brown sugar, and a hint of yellow cake.

I labour under the delusion that I like the scent of pineapple. I like eating pineapple. I do not like smelling pineapple. Kind of like oranges that way. Maybe it's because pineapples don't go with my cold, rugged, salt-flecked Maritimer aesthetic (I just made that up. I suspect what I described is actually a fisherman) and so it always smells unnatural on me? Pineapple scents just don't jive with my skin. But I forgot that, and picked this sample up. It does smell incredibly realistic: I get the cake and crumbly brown sugar, with the sweet pineapple. It's got moderate sillage, and again the same sort of tenacity that Sucre Brûlé has on my skin. But...pineapple. Not for me.

Bering Sea

Rough icy ocean, stormy skies, briny water washing across the weathered teak wood deck.

Aquatics, come to me. The two aquatic scents were the ones I was most exited for, but Bering Sea wasn't quite the hit I had hoped for. It started off promising: it smells like rough sea, driftwood and ocean air, and it starts that way on my skin, but turns to clean blue ocean spa scent after an hour. I might try to mix this in a lotion or something, because I do like that initial scent. Maybe I'll rig it up in my wax warmer. The sillage is moderate-high - you would definitely get whiffs of it if I was near to you in the room. It lasts about six hours on my skin.

Salish Sea

Salty cool air, pacific inland water, surrounding greenery, and a touch of bull kelp. No florals or dryer-sheet "beach" scent. Our interpretation of the scent of Puget Sound down the road from our studio.

Salish Sea hated me, despite how much I wanted it to work. It too started off promising like Bering Sea, and then became fishy. I smelled like fish. I may be a Maritimer, I may be able to go buy all the seafood I want fresh off the boat very easily, but I fucking despise seafood and frankly that might a little light for how I feel about seafood. When I was a minimum wage slave grocery store peon, I used to hold my breath when people would buy fish because seriously fuck fish. I do not consume seafood if I can possibly help it. I tried Salish Sea multiple times to see if the fish note would leave or sorts itself out, but I ended up scrubbing it each time. I suspect it was the kelp that went a little too fishy on me, but I'm not sure. Either way, I need to kill this with fire because NO WAY am I keeping an evil fish scent here.

Vale of Tempe

A creamy, warm herbal blend, gentle chamomile rests atop benzoin and tobacco with hints of green garden herbs.

This was very pleasant, not my style, but nice all the same. A kind of incensey, herby apple scent (the chamomile, I realized once I looked up the notes). It lasted through a shower till the next morning, which was pretty impressive. The sillage is similar to Ananás or Sucre Brûlé. It's pretty consistent in the bottle and on my skin, which is also nice, particularly since I tried this one blind. 

But this purchase was overall a flop for me. I only really liked one scent (Sucre Brûlé), was indifferent to three (Ananás, Vale of Tempe, and Bering Sea) and actively disliked one (Salish Sea). I've tried a lot of perfume oil. I need to be impressed. And while I like Sucre Brûlé more every time I wear it, it's not enough for me to want to part with my cash again to try Fyrinnae's perfume oils. That said, they weren't bad or cheap smelling or lacking complexity. They simply didn't grab me, and I'm not looking for perfectly nice scents. I'm looking for amazing ones. So it goes.

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