Roslin (Sweet Anthem Handmade Perfumes)

Unless it hails from the land of Parlux, perfume does not normally cause my heart to sink. But that promise I made to review all my old acquisitions before I start wearing new ones has filled me with a sense of the unachievable. I thought it would take me two weeks, tops. Three weeks later, I'm still crossing items off of ancient Perfumed Court invoices and contemplating with dread the remaining pile of neglected samples. Fatigue (both mental and nasal) is setting in. I need a break from the back catalog.

Luckily, nothing justifies self-reward like a pre-scheduled vacation. This morning dawned as chilly and bright as a day meant for a month from now. I've taken this as my cue to wear Roslin, a gorgeous perfume oil by Sweet Anthem Handmade Perfumes. Gifted to me by Colleen (a newfound friend and recent nominee to my pantheon of fragrant Fairy Godmothers), Roslin is precisely what I need to recalibrate both soul and nose before gettin' on with the long haul.

Don't go looking for Roslin at Sweet Anthem's website, nor at their Etsy shop-- she's no longer there. I tell you this not to taunt you with the perfume version of unobtainium, but to awaken curiosity in Sweet Anthem's extant -- and innovative -- catalog. Roslin may have gone on a long, long trip to parts unknown... but there are so many other Sweets to meet.

Founded in Seattle by indie perfumer Meredith Smith, Sweet Anthem is a small-batch microperfumery specializing in handcrafted vegan scents. Each is available in an array of formats-- solids, salts, alcohol-based perfumes, and fractionated coconut-based perfume oils. Roslin is (was?) one of the latter. It boasts a very high (40-60%) concentration of fragrant essences with an eight-hour lifespan on skin. This is no mere estimate-- one application lasts all day long. I have zero doubt that Anita, Annabelle, et al. perform just as faithfully-- and with equal beauty.

You wouldn't think from the description that Roslin would be suitable for late summer. Archaic parchment from a ruined old library; long arms of ivy, practically dripping off the local pines; Christmas holly wreaths, fresh snow, and a dash of curry powder to warm up the scene... (Warm UP the scene? It's steamy enough on its own!) But in Roslin's symphony of roasted fruit (I smell baked apples!) and balsamic evergreen notes, there is no hint of inhospitable weather, hot or cold.  There is only pure bottled October-- the month that all summer-weary people wait for, and which seems to be offering us a sneak preview today.  As it stirs to life in a swirl of penetrating warmth, I receive a vision of bright embers rising from smoldering brush piles, orchards laden with fruit, and spruce boughs bristling with fragrant needles. A magical month of limitless blue sky stretches before me, renewing hope and purpose.

(And all this thanks to a plaintive perfume orphan which appeared on my doorstep one day!  Let no one call a fragrance dead just because it's discontinued-- this one has plenty of life in it yet.) 

The next time I go on a sample-buying spree, I think I'll skip the decanters and go straight to the creative source.  I doubt a set of Sweet Anthems would sit for a year in my house, untried-- and Roslin is the first hint that I'd be well-served and well-scented in every season if I pay Sweet Anthem a call.

Scent Elements: Curry leaf, "fresh snow", holly berry, white magnolia, leather, patchouli, pine