Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Indie Perfume House Spotlight: Dame Perfumery

In a bizarre way I have a long history with Jeffrey Dame of Dame Perfumery in that my first perfume haunt in the heady days of the early aughts was at the message board Perfume of Life that he created. It was a great place to learn about perfume and at the time one of the few places to meet like minded fumeheads. Things change Mr. Dame went on to new projects, Perfume of Life is closed now, and the world of perfume lovers is far larger. In the years since it appears Jeffrey Dame has worked in many perfume projects but I feel that in 2014 he made the big transition, to what I suspect is a lifetime passion project, Dame Perfumery.

What I find really refreshing about Dame Perfumery is the enthusiasm, heart, and joviality behind it. It is very much in line with wonderful Andy Tauer of Tauer Perfumes and Tauerville, there is a respect for the perfume lovers that support them, and the appearance of joy in sharing their creations. I find this refreshing because while there are the great noses of the world that work for the big houses, the reality is that those of us who are perfume lovers will never interact with them and frankly they don't particularly want to interact with us. Dame Perfumery is of the new school though, that if you have people loving your creations, interact with them.

So what can you expect from Dame Perfumery perfumes? Well I haven't tried them all but I have tried four and I can tell you there is a definite common aesthetic in them. They are clearly modern perfumes but and here is the part that takes Dame out of the mundane there is real craft in them, a real value in note transition and transformation. These scents are about smelling good and enjoying yourself, if you are looking oddness look somewhere else but lets not think that means his scents are boring, they're not. They are tailored and as far as I am concerned tailoring is one of the great crafts of the world. To tailor is to know your ingredients and how they play with others. A finally tailored perfume knows how to cut the harsh edges and awkward angles but knows how to emphasize the best facets and facets should be interesting.

The first perfume that I had real experience with in the Dame Perfume collection is Black Flower Mexican Vanilla and it I am going to be honest it is one of the best recent vanilla releases. What Dame did with this perfume is frankly pretty daring when it seems like most vanillas released these days are either gut bombs or insipid cupcakes, he instead chose a middle vanilla, it's dry but not boozy, it keeps the sweet but the sugar won't kill your teeth. The opening is love letter to the iconic Shalimar in that it begins with animalic lemon tinged vanilla but then it takes a turn to the drier side the lemon is gone the musk backs down and out steps spicy dry cocoa dusted vanilla. At this point I am reminded of the lesser loved Guerlain vanilla, Cuir Beluga, a vanilla that wasn't about booze like Spiritueuse Double Vanille, but rather about skin and vanilla. Black Flower Mexican Vanilla is able to emphasize the beauty of musk and vanilla together, it is a common combination, but one that recently has been ignored and has been due for a reinvention. Dame Perfumery does a fine job in giving vanilla its sex appeal back with an actual reference to the muskiness of skin.

The next perfume I fell in love with is Cassis, Rose, and Sandalwood. So what are you getting with this scent? Well, for me this is a lovely take on two types of fragrances the berry musk category best identified with L'Artisan's Mure et Musc, Philosophy's Falling In Love, or Bath and Body Works Black Raspberry & Vanilla and my other favorite combo berried rose jam scents such as Tauer's Une Rose Vermeille, Keiko Mecheri's Attar de Roses, or the scent of LUSH's Rose Jam. Dame combines the two to make a lovely easy uber pretty perfume. The start is tart cassis, grapefruit, and green notes followed by a heart of velvety soft pink peony that is softened with musk and vanilla. The dry down rose jam with hints of vanilla and woods. The dry down is my favorite stage and thankfully stays around a long time, the longevity and strength of this perfume is excellent.

Next up is the spicy opulent brand new release Desert Rose. If you are a rose fan you owe it to yourself to try this scent. The opening is an intense rush of spicy pink carnation followed by a satiny smooth pink rose scent that retains the spice but blooms on the skin with musk, a hint of peach, and vanilla. It is lovely and sonorous and belongs in the category of queenly roses such as Neela Vermeire's Mohur and Jo Malone's Velvet Rose & Oud.

Finally there is Herb Man, Dame Perfumery's first men's offering. I like to think of this as smoothed out herbal scent, on my skin I mainly get sage, lavender, and rosemary that are supported by sueded  iris and vetiver. This is a very polished scent that blends well with the individual wearer. I think a wearer of Infusion d'Homme would really enjoy this.

What I love about these scents is that they are complete scents, they do not feel unfinished. Finally I must say that the price point for these is excellent and because he is a perfume lover himself, Jeffrey Dame smartly sells the perfumes in smaller sizes.

Disclaimer: I received these scents in a giveaway done by Dame Perfumery.

All images from


Marzipan said...

Just discovered this line and I must say I am very impressed. Out of all I have sampled there is not one that I don't like and quite a few that I love. given the price of niche/indie/artisanal lines these days this company is amazingly affordable!

Unknown said...

They really are so well done and so affordable. I can't stop emphasizing the affordability aspect.

Marzipan said...

You know I forgot to say that in my quest to find reviews of Dame Perfumery's fragrances was how I stumbled upon your blog! the power of google :)

Unknown said...

So that's how you found me :-). I was curious about that.