The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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New Release: Silphium by Stora Skuggan

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.