I was in my late 20s when I tried blackberries for the first time. Before than I knew of them but where I lived they weren’t grown commercially so I wasn’t even sure how blackberry looked or smelled.
I still do not know how blackberries smell. I checked just yesterday: at least those that I buy have almost no detectable scent. Are there any other varieties that actually have a smell?
So it’s fair to say that I wasn’t really looking for a perfect blackberry scent. What I was (and actually still am) looking for was a limited edition bottle of L’Artisan Mure et Musc Extreme that looked like a blackberry.
I wanted this bottle. I found a special bottle of Premier Figuier Extreme but for the last year I’ve been stalking eBay for that blueberry bottle without much success. But to be ready to jump on a bidding game if a bottle is offered for sale I wanted to try the perfume: at least to know what to expect.
Mure et Musc Extreme by L’Artisan Parfumeur, created by Karine Dubreuil in 1993, includes notes of … all sources agree on blackberries and musk, and some type of citrus. But then I saw “red berries”, “black currant”, “hint of raspberries”, etc. I don’t smell any of those. I can smell some citrus in the opening; I can smell something that I classify as musk. If you want, I can say it has a blackberry note – but only to the extent of it’s not smelling of anything distinctive, same as those blackberries I buy to eat. Mure et Musc Extreme isn’t unpleasant but I do not see any reason to buy and wear it. Not unless I find that cute bottle.
I still wasn’t looking for a blackberry perfume when an SA at Nordstrom almost forced a Trish McEvoy No 9 Blackberry & Vanilla Musk sample on me. Created in 2000, Blackberry & Vanilla Musk includes notes of blackberry, vanilla, rose, musk and Cashmeran. I can’t believe how much I disliked that perfume! Of course, I rarely test mainstream offerings nowadays so I lost my immunity towards that type of perfumes so I should have expected that could happen. But I didn’t. And I wanted to test different perfumes for this post. Blackberry & Vanilla Musk is sickly sweet on my skin. Once I applied it I did not want to smell any nuances or trace changing notes. All I wanted was for it to go away. Right… You know how persistent those synthetic musks are. Never again.
Still not looking for a blackberry-centric perfume I unexpectedly got one. It was a gift from a friend who got persuaded by an SA at Heathrow airport that this perfume wasn’t available in the U.S. It wasn’t true: by that time I’ve already tested and liked Blackberry & Bay by Jo Malone. But I don’t complain: it was a great gift.
Blackberry & Bay by Jo Malone, created by Fabrice Pellegrin in 2012, includes notes of blackberry, grapefruit, bay leaf, floral accord, vetiver and cedar wood. Fruity perfumes are not widely represented in my collection but Blackberry & Bay is one of a few that I truly enjoy. I like the sweet and tart mixture of this perfume on my skin. It’s fruity, bright and dark, deep and playful at the same time.
Images: my own (all but L’Artisan blueberry bottle)