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quinta-feira, 3 de dezembro de 2015

Channeling a Classic: Sunset Blvd. by J.Hannah Co.

by: Jodi Battershell

My first encounter with the creations of Jessica Hannah, owner and perfumer at J.Hannah Co., came in the 2015 FRAGments swag bag.  Skive, her award-winning collaboration with Canoe, was included along with samples of some forthcoming perfumes to be launched under Jessica's own brand.
Jessica happened to be in the middle of a move when I reached out about the scents, in preparation for the FRAGments article. I focused on Skive in that article, which is a fantastic leather fragrance that men and women can both enjoy, but I dropped a teaser about forthcoming scents from this "house to keep an eye on." It's a pleasure to see the first release from the J.Hannah Co. brand, Sunset Blvd., and to be able to share its beauty with you.
Jessica has been working in the fragrance industry for a while, but with a slightly different focus. Her emphasis to date has been on bespoke perfume creations and hands-on natural perfume workshops, in which she shares the beauty and majesty of natural ingredients with eager students and customers. Jessica introduces herself and talks about her workshops in this video.
As Jessica comments in the video, "These essences come from all over the world, so when we're smelling, we're literally taking a trip around the world." I wholeheartedly agree with her testament to the transportive powers of fragrances. The ability of a fragrance to conjure a specific place is a huge part of its appeal and natural essences in particular seem to do a great job of this. I've seen more than one ex-Floridian (and a few Yankee snowbirds) go misty-eyed after sniffing neroli or orange blossom absolute...
I would argue as well that fragrances also have the power to transport us back in time. Sunset Blvd. is one of these scents.
The press release for Sunset Blvd. makes clear that the fragrance was inspired by the 1950 film of the same name. Jessica Hannah says, “My intention for this perfume is to capture a brightness in the spicy citrus top that mellows to a floral powdery finish. As if you were in the dressing room of the great Norma Desmond, with all her drama, pride, and sadness. She is like a gorgeous wilting flower.”
Studio publicity still of Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond and William Holden as Joe Gillis
It comes as no surprise, then, that Sunset Blvd. resonates with a vintage vibe. Or channels a classic, if it better suits your politics. Fragrance notes like rose and patchouli never go out of style. Yuzu and tonka bean strike me as modern components, though tonka bean has been used in perfumes since the late 1700s. An important element here seems to be the cinnamon, which is dosed carefully so as not impart any foody aspects to the scent.
But let me give credit where credit is due. The key element in Sunset Blvd.'s success is the skill of perfumer Jessica Hannah, so bravo, Jessica, on this masterful performance!
Sunset Blvd. echoes the glamorous fragrances of yesteryear, beginning as a bitter green aroma, with the citrusy yuzu and spicy cinnamon setting the vintage mood. Rose and patchouli cast a woody-oriental spell in the heart. The soft, sweet powdery note of tonka bean announces its presence about 30 minutes in and becomes stronger as the fragrance dries down. The gentle rosy-powder drydown is still noticeable on skin, up close, six hours later.
Wearing Sunset Blvd. is like enjoying some long-discontinued classic scent that was sealed and stored under optimal conditions...which has never happened for me. I've worn some fine vintage fragrances, but even the best I've managed to find have had bruised top notes and have gone "off" a bit and I'm always aware that what I'm smelling is not the scent I would have smelled when the fragrance was originally released.
Personally, I've stopped chasing vintage perfumes and am giving my attention and dollars these days to the many wonderful and talented perfumers of the 21st century. However, I know we have many vintage perfume fans here on Fragrantica. Many natural perfume lovers as well. And of course, all of us in these groups appreciate a well-crafted and beautiful fragrance. I'd like to suggest that all of these groups will find something to love in J.Hannah Co.'s beautiful Sunset Blvd.
Swanson and Holden, image courtesy of The Redlist
(P.S. You don't have to be a "Norma Desmond" to wear this. Sunset Blvd. can be equally enjoyed by the "Joe Gillis" or "Cecil B. DeMille" types as well.)
Thank you to J.Hannah Co. for the opportunity to try Sunset Blvd. The fragrance is available for purchase on the official J.Hannah Co. website in 1 oz. and 0.125 oz. atomizers

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