Many years ago, I planned to run a series of posts to feature brands that I wanted to spotlight – not because they’ve released the newest popular perfume or got some award but just because. It didn’t materialize, and I published just one post. Now I decided to come back to that idea*. And today’s choice is a local to me (San Francisco-based) niche brand named after its owner and perfumer: INEKE.
I’m not sure why this brand doesn’t get more love. I’m talking not as much of “hardcore perfumistas” with hundreds of uber-expensive uber-niche perfumes in their collection (not that I wouldn’t expect Ineke perfumes to be found there) but rather about perfume enthusiasts who clear out TJ Max perfume shelves or shop “bargain basement” of online discounters. In my opinion, INEKE has all the markers of a great brand for both “civilians” and people who report in the NST’s quarterly polls more than 15 bottles purchases.
INEKE’s perfumes are pleasant and pleasing; maybe not revolutionary or daring, but at the same time they are head above fruity-floral mass-market concoctions or cookie-cutter creations from the plethora of recent “niche” brands.
INEKE’s packaging is superb: bottles, boxes and samples are all of the good quality and tastefully decorated.
INEKE’s prices are almost perfumista-free – $125 for 75 ml, which is quite reasonable if you like a scent.
INEKE has a flexible sampling program: one can get a set of 7 samples for $30 (which includes a $15 coupon for the future full-size bottle purchase) or buy individual samples for $5.
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I wrote before about two of my favorite perfumes from this brand: four months after I wrote about Hothouse Flower, a bottle of it joined my collection. And five years later, I bought Idyllwild and published a story about it.
But somehow, I’ve never written about the first perfume from this brand that I’ve ever bought: Field Notes From Paris.
This perfume was launched in 2009. Notes include coriander seed, orange flower, bergamot, tobacco flower & leaf, patchouli, cedar, tonka bean, leather, beeswax and vanilla. Perfumer: Ineke Ruhland.
Though Field Notes From Paris is leaning a tad masculine, I enjoy its cologne-y freshness in the opening, but even more, I like the woody development. Reading “orange flower,” “tonka bean” and “vanilla,” one would expect more sweetness from this perfume. It does get sweeter 60 minutes into development, but for my nose, the sweetness comes from a tobacco leaf (not fully dried type) and not from those usual suspects. Field Notes From Paris has good longevity, especially on fabric: once I remember it surviving a washing machine on my blouse. But on my skin, it’s also quite good.
From the sample set that I bought first time (perfume names from A to G), I liked Fields Notes From Paris the most, and soon I found and bought a partial bottle from one of the FB groups. When my father, who usually wore Chanel, Jo Malone and Creed, asked me to recommend him something interesting and unusual, I figured out that he wouldn’t be going to stores to ask for and test perfumes, were I to suggest anything new. So, instead, I did what probably any of you would do: I made him a set of small decants from perfumes I thought he might be interested in and added a couple of Diptyque samples I happened to have. After Rusty approved my choices, I sent the package to my father.
Over time he went through all the decants that I prepared for him, and when I visited, he showed me two that he liked the most. One of them was Field Notes From Paris. So, for his birthday last week, I got him a bottle of this perfume. I hope he’ll enjoy wearing it.
Now I’m looking forward to their next letter – K.
Images: my own