I guess it’s only fitting that on Labor Day I should write about one of the hardest working men in the fragrance industry, Jeffrey Dame. Together with his son, Cullen, they have founded Dame Perfumery Scottsdale. Jeffrey’s roots are deep within the fragrance industry. Over 35 years ago he started his perfumery career in the buying office at Neiman-Marcus in Dallas and spent a few decades in New York and Paris working in fragrance for Estee Lauder, Parfums Caron Paris and with the American fashion designers Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass and Geoffrey Beene to name a few. So it’s not surprising that this new venture has culminated with him combining his knowledge and love of fragrance with his love of family.
As part of the initial collection, Dame Perfumery has launched six creations for women, all of which are eau de toilettes and all of which are designed with a bright top note, a pretty floral heart and a warm sensual drydown. Just this past August, the monthly perfume subscription service Olfactif offered all six as an exclusive preview:
- Mate, Heliotrope & Patchouli
- Pear, Waterlily & Amber
- Verbena, Freesia & Musk
- Cassis, Rose & Sandalwood
- Passion Fruit, Orange Blossom & Vetiver
- Peach Blossom, Violet & Vanilla
Of course, I have a favorite among the group; the Cassis, Rose and Sandalwood. Who can’t resist a sparking rose and deep juicy cassis??!
What I find refreshing about these perfumes is that Jeffrey Dame’s philosophy on perfume shines through with these creations. He doesn’t abide by the thought that perfume is art. Instead, he believes that perfume is pleasure and that perfumes are meant to be worn and enjoyed and not meant to be worshipped. I can’t agree more.
And as if introducing six fragrances into the world isn’t enough to kick off the perfumery’s launch, Dame Perfumery also launched Black Flower Mexican Vanilla which is a more unisex composition and very different from the other offerings. Here’s my view on this fantastic vanilla fragrance:
WHAT I SMELL: Black Flower Mexican Vanilla opens with a vanilla and caramel almost cocoa’d opening that’s rather nutty and gourmand. It’s strange that in one sense the fragrance is dry and peppered, but then again I’ll take another sniff of my wrist and the fragrance appears to be more rich, smooth, creamy and exotic. Be it peppery and dry or smooth and creamy, the one thing that is consistent with the fragrance is that it’s vanilla richness without the sweetness. After around 10 minutes, flecks of pepper dot the fragrant landscape as the florals begin to make an appearance. The florals are pretty without becoming too feminine and as they begin to develop the fragrance becomes more radiant and the sweetness from both floral notes and vanilla make for a delightful dance. As the drydown continues, the fragrance continues to soften and retreats to a light vanilla floral dream that is dry and somewhat powdery.
Black Flower Mexican Vanilla notes: vanilla absolute with touches of lemon, grapefruit, caramel, nutmeg, gardenia, jasmine, sandalwood, patchouli, vetiver, musk and tonka.
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: A Mexican dream.
THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE BLACK FLOWER MEXICAN VANILLA: smooth, woody, subdued
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BLACK FLOWER MEXICAN VANILLA: The Muse in Wooden Shoes
BOTTOM LINE: Vanilla has a tendency to wear me out as it can easily become overbearing and sweet. Here, the vanilla is blended nicely with the florals so even though there is a sweetness about the perfume, it can’t be labeled as “sweet.” And for being 90 degrees today, the fragrance seems to be working, another big feat for a vanilla fragrance because I usually find they work best in cooler temperatures. Black Flower Mexican Vanilla is a Mexican beauty for sure.
- Bone Rating: 4 out of possible 5 bones
- Scent: Oriental Vanilla
- Classification: Unisex
- Expense: $65 for 50ml EdP from the Dame Perfumery Scottsdale website
Earlier, I mentioned that Dame Perfumery is a family affair. Not only is Jeffrey Dame’s son part of this endeavor, his father V. Dave Dame is Dame Perfumery’s Artist in Residence and was the creator of the artwork for Black Flower Mexican Vanilla. I believe that this family collaboration is going to be making some great waves in the industry and I look forward more to come, including the intriguing sounding Hatch New Mexico Chili fragrance that they will be launching later this year.
All of the fragrances listed above can be found on the Dame Perfumery Scottsdale website!