I’m not even going to lie, I was pretty excited to have a little bit of my tax refund to drop on Amazon, and even more so when I found this “scent library” sampler kit from San Francisco indie perfume house Ineke. Born in Canada and trained in a university program for fragrance in France, Ineke Ruhland did an apprenticeship in a French perfume house and then moved to San Francisco, where she creates her own line of fragrances. For an indie line, they’re quite reasonable, too–if you buy the sampler through Amazon, as I did, it’s roughly $15 for 8 samples, or if you get it directly, it’s $25 with a $15 coupon for the full bottle. The full bottle is $90 for 75ml/2.5oz, which is a very generously sized bottle for the price.
I’m always willing to support a small business, but I wasn’t sure at all what to expect here. I get a little nervous when reviews bring up the word “fruity,” envisioning some cloyingly sweet, synthetic mall-store mess, but that couldn’t be farther from what I get here. The fruit in the top note isn’t some cheap, bubblegum-smelling berry, but a rich, dark plum with a note of osmanthus giving it a floral softness. As the opening fades, a heart of saffron, datura flower, and a hint of cinnamon give it a sexy, spicy vibe, making me feel attractive and sensual just for wearing it. The woods, leather, and Midnight Candy flower at the base make it feel almost dirty, but in a good way, very alluring.
I had no idea I was going to like this, and I do think it would be a little over-the-top for work. But for an evening out for drinks with friends, or for dinner, I love it. It’s not a jeans-and-T-shirt kind of scent, definitely more of a black-dress-and-heels perfume, but for me, this one scent was worth the price of the sampler, and I’m definitely going to be buying a full bottle.
The technical stuff:
Availability: Directly through Ineke or in select online and brick-and-mortar specialty boutiques
Perfumer: Ineke Ruhland
Overall rating: 9/10