Adam Gottschalk, Perfumer
This one is as elusive and changeable as the heroine of Greek mythology for whom it was presumably named. Daphne turned aside all suitors, ran desperately from Apollo’s advances, and was finally turned into a laurel tree by her sympathetic father . The leaves of laurel came to represent Apollo in Greek folklore. In Roman mythology -- and why doesn’t this surprise me? -- a wreath of laurel leaves became a symbol of victory or a conquering.
Of the Outlaw Perfumes scents I’ve tried so far, this is the most Outlaw. It’s ephemeral, but not in a watery or wafting sense. It grinds into various surfaces in various ways. This is most apparent on bare skin, where there are initial whiffs of citrus and deep flowers, and then the maple-syrup note of immortelle enters, but only briefly. The burnt-wood note of Labdamun takes the stage, knocks everybody else out of the way, and then sings solo -- for awhile. Slowly, the other base notes, none of them exactly wallflowers, converge until the Labdanum is again just part of the chorus.
This quality appears to be a reaction to body heat. It’s quite pronounced on bare skin, a little less so on fabric held next to the skin, and hardly detectable on paper. It reminds me of using broken color in painting. Some things (actually, lots of things) are more interesting when not smooth or well-blended. It’s like juxtaposing two complementary colors without mixing them, letting the eye do the work.
“Daphne” takes no prisoners, and can be a bumpy ride, but the final drydown is smooth and rich, like dark chocolate. It's close to the skin, and the longevity is good.
This is definitely an evening scent and would work well on either gender.
As always, notes on the IRFA's proposed restricted list appear in red italics.
Notes: Base: Oakmoss, Benzoin, Labdanum (as cistus oil), Vanilla, Tonka bean, pine needle, styrax, Ambergris.
Heart: Imortelle, Frangipani, Magnolia, Jasmine, Jasmine sambac, rose, rose otto (as “rose absolute” on IFRA list).
Top: Cypress, Ginger, Bergamot, Tangerine, Mandarin, Grapefruit, Tagetes (marigold).