I love organic stuff. I love great minimalist design. I love wood. Tick tick tick – well hello Abel!
I’m allergic to synthetic parfum (a word that can legally cover up to 200 different chemicals) so don’t experiment with new perfumes very often. I also find a lot of natural perfumes to be very patchouli heavy with ‘Tie Dye Goa Hippy’ packaging which doesn’t rock my world. So when I read about Abel, which claims to produce the world’s first 100% organic eau de parfum, I was intrigued.
“Abel’s philosophy is simple, use the best organic ingredients and bring them to market in a stylish, sustainable manner.”
The unisex bottle packaging is suitably stylish and sustainable. Designed by Dutch craftspeople, the cases are made from oak recycled from old rail carriages, which in addition to looking good, protects the fragrance naturally without the need for chemical preservatives.
Abel company founder Frances Shoemack is a New Zealander now living in Amsterdam and the brand is named after the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, the first European to set foot in New Zealand. A background in the wine industry has been parlayed into the fragrance name of Vintage ’13 as well as the manufacturing process. There are just 2000 bottles of Vintage ’13 available and each year a new ‘vintage’ will be released using the same “recipe” so there will be variations in the scent annually.
When I first sprayed the fragrance, the first thing that hit me was the spice – the clove right off the bat and then the black pepper. I rushed to my spice drawer to see if I could figure out what the ingredients were. Unlike many other perfume companies, Abel clearly and helpfully list the ingredients (see below). I had a fair few bits of the original components in my kitchen! I’ve been told the perfume is edible. Watch out for a recipe using it soon!
The fragrance is meant to evolve on the skin and react with your own unique chemistry so like all perfumes will smell different on everybody. I found this to be a savoury gourmand. It was warm, spicy and made me want to be drinking red wine and snuggling up in front of a fire. In the dry down stage it gets quite nuzzley and sensual as the vanilla comes to the fore. Not a sweet cloying vanilla more a reminder that vanilla is first and foremost a spice that hails from exotic lands. I look forward to seeing how the fragrance plays on the skin with sunshine.
Vintage ’13, 50ml, £98 / €115, for further information and stockists visit http://abelorganics.com