What I love about natural perfumers and perfumers working for niche fragrance lines, is the opportunity for creativity to lead the way, rather than a design brief aimed at creating a fragrance that will appeal to the masses to churn over millions of dollars. For instance, I can’t see a carrot based perfume taking off in the mainstream. Despite the fact I hate carrots – galvanised further after once making carrot soup, I find the thought of a carrot perfume intriguing and can’t help myself by either trying unique perfumes or making them myself with ingredients I don’t particularly have an affinity with.
Carrot seed essential oil has a very dry, earthy, herbal, seed aroma and is quite pungent and you wonder how it can work in a perfume – well, I have tried two perfumes where it does work.
The two perfumes that I have tried with carrot listed as a note are Honore des Pres ‘I Love Carottes’ by perfumer Olivia Giacobetti and Providence Perfume Company’s ‘Eva Luna’ by perfumer Charna Ethier.
‘I Love Carottes’ notes include: carrots, orange, orris, vanilla, patchouli and benzoin. This fragrance starts off with a big carroty hit and takes me back to my health kick juice days where I would throw a carrot in the mix and down the juice rapidly trying to avoid my taste buds. The carrots are green, herbal and earthy on top of an underlying sweetness and my stomach churns just a teensy bit as I remember the carrot juice. I also detect a subtle aniseed quality. As it develops, the perfume becomes sweet and powdery but still with a dominant vegetal carrot sharpness. Once the carrot hit subsides it becomes a sweet, powdery fragrance.
‘Eva Luna’ notes include: fresh carrot, mint, tuberose, rose, mimosa, violet leaf, frankincense, ambrette and orris. This perfume may list carrot, but I don’t get a big in your face carrot at all. Straight up it is very sweet, honeyed and floral with an underlying green, moist, dewy freshness and for me pretty much stays that way throughout the evolution of the perfume on my skin.
To choose between the 2 is a hard call. With first impressions I would probably choose ‘Eva Luna’ as it is simply sweet and delicious compared to the unique herbal carrot hit from ‘I Love Carottes’. Despite not particularly enjoying carrots as a food, ‘Eva Luna’ is one of my favourites from the Providence Perfume range.
I just opened my perfume vault (well, a box in the cupboard) – the place where I lay to rest all my perfume experiments that I’m unsure about. I’ve found one of my early creations, it’s my very own carroty fragrance of carrot, sweet orange, tarragon, ginger, orange blossom, immortelle, patchouli, vanilla, benzoin, ambrette, orris and white cognac – it’s actually ok and a bit challenging much in the same way as ‘I Love Carottes’.