Puckrik on Perfume

Katie Puckrik ON Oct 30, 2009 AT 2:06 pm

Katie Puckrik: Photographer Martin Shaw

Katie Puckrik: Photographer Martin Shaw

Yosh Sottile
By Katie Puckrik

With perfume, sometimes it’s hard to make myself try something new when the Old Faithfuls give me so much satisfaction. There’s whole mess of freshies, fruities, and florals out there that I’m dragging my stilettos on getting to know, only because I already love more incenses, ambers and musks than I’ll ever wear in ten Queen of Sheba lifetimes.

Sometimes, the only thing that budges me out of my musky rut is other people being annoying. As in, enthusiastic about perfumes I have no interest in smelling. The other day, I was at my local perfume boutique with a rigid agenda of fragrances I was intent on trying. Another customer, sunshiny with the pleasure of connecting with a fellow fumehead, began making recommendations.

Her tastes were completely contrary to mine. Even though we were standing next to each other, our noses occupied different universes. I could feel myself mentally resisting as she began talking “natural perfumes”, and began banging on about someone called Yosh.

Yosh Han is really cool, Sunshiny Lady told me. An olfactory artist. Her fragrances have no alcohol, only perfume oils and natural essences.

Yosh Sottile

Yosh Sottile

Sunshiny lined up Yosh’s tiny glass bottles of scent on the counter for me to try. She was so excited for me to experience them, I felt my “bah humbug” attitude softening into curiosity. Sunshiny really wanted me to love U4EAHH! (say it out loud), but while this tart, candied pear is kicky and cute, the one that really stopped my nose in its tracks was Sottile.

Sottile is the Italian word for “subtle”, but a more fitting handle would be “pretty”. Or, “Prettyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!” as I exclaimed, to Sunshiny’s satisfaction.

Sottile smells of tea rose and lily of the valley and…that’s it. Just tea rose and lily of the valley. Tea rose is a yellow rose that veers slightly off in a warm, earthy-mossy direction. Lily of the valley is bright and green – soapily-sweeter than rose, but with nuances of it.

Together, they’re a flower garden in the morning – dewdrops and tender leaves and an indefinable spice in the mist. The perfume is linear, with the only change being that as the flower garden recedes on the way to the dry down, the lily of the valley stays in sharper focus while the tea rose fuzzes out.

I was grateful to Sunshiny for her unsolicited Yosh pep rally. Sottile unmoored me from my expectations, and gave me a new feeling for the day. As Yosh points out in the mission statement on her website: “The French verb “sens” means to both smell and feel. If seeing is believing, [then] fragrance is feeling.”

Number one, I’m peeved that French has better verbs than English does.

Number two, I’m jealous that that Yosh came up with such a pithy epigram. “Fragrance is feeling” – love it, gonna steal it. Don’t tell Yosh.

Sottile info and stockists at: http://www.eaudeyosh.com/
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