Aroma M: Geisha Nobara-cha, Geisha Violet, Geisha Rouge
Maria McElroy told me that there is a Japanese saying that translates to the water agrees with you, and during her seven years in Japan she experienced good health, long walks sometimes surrounded by plum blossoms, and a feeling that she was home. Maria is certainly enamored by all things Geisha, the glamour, mystery, and ritual, but in no way is she trying to be a Geisha. She told me squarely, “I am an American girl,” and it’s true Maria certainly is an all-American emancipated woman. Geisha culture just happens to be the source of her preoccupation and inspiration for aroma M fragrances, not to mention exquisitely fragrant face and hair Camellia oils, with a body and bath oil to follow. She enjoys burning and brewing Japanese incense and tea, and soon she will be opening the doors of her Dumbo studio and you will get to experience all her line has to offer for yourself. For now, here’s my take on three of her fragrances.
Nobara-cha is one of three fragrances centered on tea. It is a studied fragrance that is earthy and wild. Think dark damp earth after the rain. I smell mushroom, wild rose, incense. A fascinating fragrance with a still almost meditative dry-down. Maria came to perfumery through aromatherapy and I detect a subtle nod to her past here. This fragrance is not for the light-hearted fragrance lover; I like that.
Initially Violet is incredibly green on my skin, like violet leaves-green and earthy. Soon it begins to change and a floral translucency emerges from its heart note, namely Lotus. A base of bitter chocolate steps in to give weight and presence to this interesting slightly gourmand mix. As the fragrance settles a sweet whisper of violet blossom finally and magically appears.
Rouge took the longest for Maria to create. She was looking through a telescope and asking herself what can sexy be, along with the specific idea of making a perfume that contains no floral component. She ended up with a warm spicy fragrance. Cinnamon, anise, clove, and sandalwood are guiding this fragrance to a flame that descends leaving us with a burning, yet subtle incense ember. If Rouge was a starlet she would have bedroom eyes and a breathy voice.