WHAT I SMELL: Silphium goes on the skin incredibly herbal, medicinal, warm and mentholated. It really vibrates with a vaporous sheen and the perfume is incredibly reassuring without being soft and cuddly. Instead, since there is a medicinal edge it feels more like an elixir of health. As the perfume begins to settle, the herbal turns to an energized spice that is somehow flat, yet full of movement. Still rather medicinal, the perfume throws out an aura of energy which now begins to lighten with a rounded moisture fused in ginger and a slight citrus. After some time, the perfume removes the majority of the medicinal tone and lightens to a fuzzy and lightly powdered wood that albeit full of projection, feels somewhat ethereal and wispy brought on by the breath of an opaque incense. In the end, the perfume softens considerably and becomes a comfort scent…in the sense that the therapeutic aspects of the fragrance make you feel like you don’t only smell good, but the perfume is good for you.
From the Stora Skuggan website:
Silphium (probably of the genus Ferula) was a plant that grew in the area of Cyrene, present day Libya, and was widely renowned as a spice, medicinal herb and perfume ingredient throughout the empires of the classical antiquity. It was praised by Greek philosophers and writers, as well as Roman emperors and cookbook authors.
There were many attempts to cultivate Silphium, but they inevitably failed. It would only grow wild in a limited area of the north African coast. This in combination with its qualities as seasoning and medicine made Silphium the most valuable spice in the world, outshining both saffron and cinnamon. The demand for Silphium eventually became so overwhelming that it was harvested to extinction, and the taste and smell of the once greatest spice in the world was lost in time.
Our rendition of this historical plant is created by researching surviving assumed relatives of Silphium, using aromachemicals (the molecular building blocks of scents) to create an accord that we feel represents what descriptions remains. This is set against a background of ancient incense, woods and leather.
Silphium features top notes of Silphium accord and Cistus. The heart notes are Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Tobacco, Ginger, Geranium and Clove. Base notes are Frankincense, Myrrh, Cedarwood and Leather.
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: Medicinal cotton.
THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE SILPHIUM: herbal, medicinal, therapeutic
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT SILPHIUM: None found.
BOTTOM LINE: This new release from the Stockholm Sweden based Stora Skuggan is interesting and different and I love the fact that they are creating a perfume through the re-creation of an extinct and historical plant as a central theme. And for perfume lovers who also gravitate towards incredible bottles…Silphium does the trick.
- Bone Rating: 3.5 out of possible 5 bones
- Scent: Oriental Spicy
- Nose: Olle Hemmendorff and Tomas Hempel
- Classification: Unisex
- Expense: $140 for 30 ml eau de parfum
Sample provided by Twisted Lily Fragrange Boutique and Apothecary. Opinion my own.
March 13, 2017 at 9:23 am
Interesting backstory about botanical Sylphium! This sounds great, and I happen to love a ginger note. The bottle is pretty cool, too, although it does look kinda top-heavy. However, I’ve noticed that that seems to be a popular trend. Thanks for the review!
March 14, 2017 at 11:27 am
You have to admit, it would be very unique sitting on your perfume tray!
March 14, 2017 at 1:36 pm
Absolutely. Even more unique sprawled on its side… 😉
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October 28, 2021 at 8:56 pm
Hi Holly. I bought a bottle of Silphium (and SS’s Thumbsucker, which is brilliant as well) and can say that it’s definitely not top heavy. The bottle is square and sturdy, and the top is made of I guess a kind of plastic/resin (?) so not as heavy as it looks. Of course it’d go over if it was knocked – as most bottles would – but I certainly don’t get the sense it’s going to topple if just lightly bumped. Even if it did, it’s sturdy enough to take it. I’m much more paranoid about tall thin bottles frankly, like Serge Lutens’ or Andrea Maack’s newer angular ones. Also should add that I adore Silphium and I’m wearing it today. Can recommend checking out the whole Stora Skuggan range (they have a sample set of 5) as they’re really interesting and worth a sniff.
March 15, 2017 at 11:23 am
I am not at all sure I would care for this scent, but that bottle – and the name of the brand!! – are splendid.
March 16, 2017 at 4:56 am
I so agree!
April 14, 2017 at 9:27 pm
The cursory look at the post’s title and the bottle conjured the word “Sisyphus.” Reading through your review about the idea behind this perfume, I’m not sure I was that far off base 😉
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August 5, 2019 at 11:14 am
I have tried this perfume.
For me it is the most perfect perfume i have ever smelled. It makes you feel very erotic. It literally made my body tingle.
August 5, 2019 at 5:42 pm
Wow…that is quite the endorsement. So glad that you love this perfume. Nothing like making the body tingle to make you fall in love with a perfume!