Hiram Green Dilettante

Photo: Jana Martish via her website. (Direct link embedded within.)

Photo: Jana Martish via her website. (Direct link embedded within.)

Hiram Green‘s latest release, Dilettante, is rather deceiving at first glance. You’d think it was a simple, sunny soliflore, capturing the essence of an orange tree, from the sunshine gleaming around its lush floral petals to the unripened, green (neroli) fruits hanging on the spicy, bitter petitgrain of its branches, down its trunk to the earth in which it grows. If you thought that, you’d be right because that is partially what the fragrance is about. At least initially…. You see, Dilettante had a surprise in store for me, moving beyond its initial “sunshine, Vitamin C, and orange blossom tree captured in a bottle,” to turn into something molten later on. Truth be told, I’m not sure the version I experienced is the normal one for Dilettante, rather than an atypical oddity due to some strange interaction with my skin, but I was smitten anyway. Irrespective of how the later stages turned out, though, all of it feels like another solid, well-crafted, wonderfully appealing release from this small artisanal house.

Hiram Green. Source: Fragrantica.

Hiram Green. Source: Fragrantica.

I have a lot of respect for Mr. Green, a shy, humble, and gifted perfumer who deserves a lot more attention than he gets, in my opinion. In fact, I think he should be applauded for a really rare trait, one that the best chefs aspire to but not enough perfume houses, if you ask me. Namely, being good to great on consistent basis. Again and again and again, Mr. Green produces solid, good, and sometimes great perfumes that are rich, polished, seamlessly blended, easy to wear, and extremely high-quality for a moderate, reasonable price. There is zero pretension or over-the-top marketing hyperbole; no ever-increasing prices that don’t match the scents in question; and no interest in following the latest hot trend. Just one perfume a year, worked on carefully and quietly with the simple aim of making it the best he can. That’s it.

It’s an ethos that the big companies, some edgy indie hipsters, fashion-oriented agent provocateurs, or Swarovski-loving houses would find to be utterly ludicrous, but I think it’s wonderful. It’s a relief, in fact. It’s why I look forward to Mr. Green’s new release each year, and why I always know that, even if a particular fragrance ends up not working for me, I will always respect its well-crafted bones and its quality, but especially the effort and the heart that is so clearly put into it. So, let’s get to his latest one.

Dilettante. Source: hiramgreen.com

Dilettante. Source: hiramgreen.com

Dilettante is an all-natural, handcrafted eau de parfum that was released this week in the brand’s new bottles. On his website, Mr. Green describes the fragrance simply but poetically — “It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine ” — relying on a lovely quote from Frances Hodgson Burnett. (She’s the author of The Secret Garden, among other great classics. Her Little Lord Fauntleroy was a personal favourite of mine when I was tiny.)

Hiram Green then goes on to describe the inspiration behind Dilettante and (a few of) its notes:

Inspired by such simple pleasures as a stroll through a luscious garden after a rain shower, Hiram Green’s latest perfume, Dilettante, is an enchanted and light-hearted celebration of summer.

Based on a triptych of orange flower, petitgrain and essential oil of orange, Dilettante is an all-natural fruity and floral eau de parfum that is fresh and sweet throughout.

Photo: Lusika33.livejournal.com/ The Siberian Times. Souce: Dailymail.co.uk

Photo: Lusika33.livejournal.com/ The Siberian Times. Souce: Dailymail.co.uk

As I’ve learned in the years of trying Mr. Green’s fragrances, his note lists tend to give the merest synopsis of what’s in the fragrances, a broad brush stroke of the basics, even though he creates his rich, strong, perfumes by layering materials one upon another. In both Shangri-La and Voyage, the note list omitted rather prominent elements. In fact, Voyage’s simple 5 note list skipped a fundamental accord that dominated and characterized most of the fragrance on my skin: patchouli with a variety of resins. I think the exact same omission has happened here in Dilettante, because there is simply no way the fragrance that appeared on my skin is merely orange flower, petitgrain, and orange essential oil. I’ll eat a sock if there are only 3 orange-related materials in this scent, I really will. (Okay, maybe a few, good, mouth-filled chews. I’ve written to Hiram Green to see what the future of my stomach will be, and we’ll see what he says.) [Update: Hiram Green says that there are indeed resins in Dilettante, though no patchouli.]

Photo: my own.

Photo: my own.

Dilettante opens on my skin with bright, sweet, indolic orange blossoms, the fresher greenness of neroli, and the tart, unripened, green fruits that hang between them. The flowers are splattered with zingy, zesty, but bitter orange oils that evoke the fizzy bite and aromatic freshness of oil squirting from the peel when you run a blade through it. These notes are the top boughs of Dilettante’s tree, but just as powerful are the petitgrain branches or limbs that connect them.

Artist: Barbara Gerodimou. Source: artistrising.com (Direct website link embedded within.)

Artist: Barbara Gerodimou. Source: artistrising.com (Direct website link embedded within.)

In fact, petitgrain provides the spinal cord for the fragrance in its first 90 minutes, and it’s wonderful. Piquant, aromatically fragrant, quietly spicy, it’s a profusion of bitter orange woodiness (or woody orangeness, depending on how you look at it), and it works really well in adding some teeth to the various forms of fruitiness. The same is true of a quiet vein running through the base that I sensed both times that I tried Dilettante, and that briefly made me think of a slightly bitter, slightly earthy mossiness, the sort of mineralized litchen and woody bark type that you find with some old-school mousse de chene. It’s only a brief, passing suggestion, but what I would absolutely swear to is the fact that there is patchouli in Dilettante. At first, it’s merely a small (but solid) patch of earthiness that eventually barrels into an avalanche of spicy, smoky patchouli, thereby redirecting the focus of the scent. In these earliest moments, though, it’s merely a delicate finishing touch that completes the portrait of an orange tree, painted from its canopy of flowers right down to the earthiness at its base.

Source: Barneys.com

Source: Barneys.com

Dilettante typically realigns or reassembles its parts 10-15 minutes into its development, turning into something more interesting than an orange blossom, fruity-floral soliflore. The petitgrain essentially takes over, wafting its unisex, spiced, and bitter woodiness, and indirectly transforming the neroli’s green fruits into something more like bigarade, the dark, bitter orange that Frederic Malle highlighted to such effect in his Bigarade Concentrée cologne. The difference is that Dilettante has indolic, lush orange blossom flowers in lieu of sweaty cumin. And it’s got rich body and density, unlike Jean-Claude Ellena’s minimalist impressionistic creations.

On a slightly related side note, I asked my orange blossom-adoring mother to try some Dilettante so I could see how it opened on someone else’s skin. The opening minutes were almost identical, but Dilettante was fresher and barely indolic on her skin. After several minutes, the spicy petitgrain, green neroli, and the earthy, vaguely mossy-ish, patchouli accord in the base grew even more apparent on her than they were on me. I didn’t stick around to sniff the fragrance nonstop on her skin, but I noticed that Dilettante developed into something softer, more rounded, more floral, and purely unisex after 20 minutes, while the spicier, darker, woodier aspects lasted longer on me. In addition, tendrils of smoke appeared on my skin that didn’t on hers. It wasn’t mentholated, camphorous, or minty blackness the way that indolic white flowers can sometimes manifest. Indoles are unquestionably a part of Dilettante’s orange blossoms, but the tendrils also seemed to come from smoky resins. A very similar sort of resin, in fact, to the type used in Hiram Green’s Voyage. 

Photo: my own.

Photo: my own.

It turns out that those wisps were an early sign of things to come but, before that point arrives, Dilettante’s flowers assert themselves first. Roughly 45 minutes into the fragrance’s development, they take the lead, while the other notes suddenly fall behind. Sometimes, it’s the fruity, green, fresh neroli which takes second place; sometimes, it’s the petitgrain. More often, though, the orange blossoms are trailed by that mysterious patchouli-resin accord that I’m convinced is part of the scent. The effect at the end of the first hour and start of the second is to turn Dilettante from a fresh, citrus orange blossom soliflore into a floral oriental. I’d estimate that 60% of the bouquet on my skin is sweet, honeyed, lush, and indolic floralcy; 25% is patchouli-resin; and the remaining 15% consists of petitgrain wood, small bits of tangy, green fruit pulp, and the fragrant, bitter, aromatic oils of the rind. 

There is a new arrival on the scene that hangs over it all, a soft, hazy, golden light that is definitely ambered or resinous in origin. (Or both.) It feels like a radiant, shimmering halo atop the orange blossoms, infusing everything with its oriental warmth. I don’t really see it as summer sunshine, though, because it’s richer, muskier, and heavier than a truly citrusy, crisp, light, breezy summer scent typically is, in my opinion. 

Photo: My own.

Photo: My own.

Roughly 1.75 hours into its development, Dilettante is primarily and predominantly a seamless blend of entirely indolic, syrupy orange blossoms with spicy patchouli and increasingly smoldering, treacly resins, all stained black at the edges with smoke, then painted golden with amber. Thin veins of neroli and its green citrus fruit lie buried deep within the lush white flowers, but they only pop up occasionally in a clearly delineated, individual fashion. What’s far more noticeable is the leatheriness that the resins ooze over the base, sometimes smelling like smoky styrax, sometimes like birch tar. Meanwhile, up top, what feels like Tolu balsam and cinnamon-scented benzoin wrestle with the equally spicy patchouli, while the sweet floral queen gazes upon all she surveys.

George via Vogue.it

George via Vogue.it

It’s lovely, but it made me think enough of Jardins d’Ecrivains‘ George for me to pull out my bottle and do a side-by-side test. It turns out that there are a lot of significant differences. First, George is minty, immensely mentholated, and camphorous in its opening. It’s also smoky with myrrh, incense, and almost black tea-like notes. It is less dense and far, far, far less resinous in feel than Dilettante. George’s patchouli comes later, so the orange blossom’s main companion is initially various forms of blackness and smoke, followed shortly by birch tar leather. It’s definitely not green, citrusy, fruity, or evocative of an orange tree from top to bottom.

Moreover, its orange blossoms are a lot sweeter and also more translucent in feel, particularly next to the rich, deep body of the flowers in Dilettante. Like many of George’s other notes, the flowers also feel shrilly synthetic and high-pitched when placed alongside Dilettante. The latter has a superior quality (and naturalism) that the materials in George simply cannot match. Finally, Dilettante travels across the gender spectrum with feminine, masculine, and unisex notes, but feels unisex when taken as a whole. I think George skews more masculine because it is darker; it’s more driven by incense and leather than resins and patchouli. Plus, I’d classify George as a floral leather rather than a full floral-oriental. (You can read my floriental post for the factors that I deem important.)

Dilettante’s core bouquet doesn’t change in a major way for several hours to come. Its notes merely shift in their order, nuances, or prominence. With every passing hour, the bouquet feels more resinous, more patchouli heavy, and smoky, although the actual body or weight of the scent grows softer from the 4th hour onwards. About 5.25 hours in, Dilettante is mostly smoky, balsamic resins laced with spicy patchouli, amber, and a rather fluctuating level of something that I can only describe as orange-ness. It’s a hazy indeterminate note that is sometimes fruity, sometimes tart and green, often indolic and always smoky. But it’s not really or truly anything floral on my skin, not in any clear way. It’s more like an accumulation of different facets of an orange tree as glimpsed from under a smothering, molten array of amber and cinnamon-scented, smoky resins. It makes me happy each and every time I sniff my arm.

Photo: AP. Source: Dailymail.co.uk

Photo: AP. Source: Dailymail.co.uk

It lasts for hours upon hours. In fact, Dilettante’s main stage lasts so long — from the 3rd hour until the 10th — that the fragrance feels quite simple and almost linear at times. Even when the drydown begins, Dilettante changes in such small ways that one could argue that it’s merely a continuation of what came before. Essentially, the resins take over, swallowing up the patchouli, wafting cinnamon spiciness, and spreading a wonderfully sexy trail of smoke over everything. I can’t get enough of that smoke! It’s addictive nature lies in the fact that it’s nothing as basic as incense, but it’s also more than mere resins as well. It’s infused with the very last signs of the orange blossom, now reduced to a syrupy, indolic sweetness with a ghostly, elusive hint of fruitiness about it. At the same time, it is gloriously musky, and almost salty. (Ambergris?) The resins themselves have turned wonderfully soft. Even their leatheriness has softened, turning into a warm, quietly musky, skin-like suede that runs like a plush layer under the delectable resin-smoke.

It was this last stage that made up my mind that I wanted (nay, needed) a full bottle of Dilettante for myself. That and the fact that Hiram Green has, once again, given an all-natural fragrance better longevity than any other brand’s natural (non-attar) fragrance. Dilettante consistently lasts 14-15 hours on me with a few spritzes from an atomiser, roughly equal to 2 good sprays from an actual bottle. With a lesser amount, equal to 1 good spray, Dilettante lasted a bit over 11 hours. I never know how Mr. Green manages this feat. A number of all-natural eau de parfums from other brands have a “blink and you miss it” existence on my skin. Even when they’re alive, some of them are so discreet, wispy, and thin that I feel only a German Shepherd’s nose could detect it.

Not Dilettante. With the equivalent of 2 sprays from a bottle, the fragrance opens with 3-4 inches of projection but about 6-7 inches of sillage. The projection drops after 40 minutes to about 2.5 to 2 inches, but the sillage remains strong, and seems to curl up around me, enveloping me in a rich cloud. The numbers only really drop at  the end of the 4th hour and the start of the 5th. The projection is about 0.5 inches above the skin, while the sillage is close to the body, unless I move my arms in which case it seems to spread out again. About 6.75 hours in, Dilettante does a strange thing where it lies right on the skin while somehow, bizarrely, also reaching a bit outwards. It’s not really a skin scent, because I can easily detect its smoky, orange-y resins with my nose a mere half an inch away from my arm. They’re readily apparent all the way until the 9th hour, at which point I suppose you can call Dilettante a true skin scent. For an all-natural fragrance, that’s remarkable. 

My numbers were slightly lower when I used the equivalent of 1 spray from an actual bottle, basically an inch or two less. This time, though, Dilettante became a skin scent about 5.5 hours into its development. But, as noted earlier, it lasted a bit over 11 hours in total.

One thing that struck me was how quantity impacted the fragrance’s body and weight. With the smaller dose, Dilettante felt lightweight, softer, and more radiant in its first hour. In the second, it was sheerer when smelt from a distance where it was like a gossamer mist of spicy, resinous, fruity, and indolic orange blossoms. In contrast, at a higher dose, Dilettante felt deep, rich, and powerful right from the start, even when smelt from a distance on the scent trail.  

Source: Fragrantica. Photo accompanying their Dilettante review.

Source: Fragrantica. Photo accompanying their Dilettante review.

Dilettante is too new to have a lot of reviews at this time, but the handful that I’ve read all describe it as a citrusy and orange blossom scent. There is no word of resins at all, so I feel rather like a crazy person, truth be told. I can only tell you what I experienced, though, and point you to other posts to give you a sense of the more typical consensus thus far. First, there is a Fragrantica editorial article, “Twig, Flower and Fruit,” by Jodi Battershell that talks about how Dilettante smells of

the bride’s beautiful (and slightly indolic) orange flowers, the eau de cologne’s twiggy petitigrain and the creamsicle’s sweet essential oil of orange. [¶] These are the dominant aromas in the fragrance, of course, but there are notes and then there are actual ingredients. The opening fresh-squeezed citrus zests suggest a few other hesperides from a nearby grove. I smell the signature waxy, fatty coconut note that I find in all Hiram Green perfumes to date. There’s a touch of something woody that goes beyond the green sticks and leaves of petitgrain. The short list of notes belies the full length and width of the fragrance, but it gives us a synopsis of the plot.

Source: Perfume Posse.

Source: Perfume Posse.

For Patty at The Perfume Posse, Dilettante “quickly became one of [her] top three orange flower perfumes.” She writes, in relevant part:

 A gorgeous, light, straigthforward, sunshiney perfume, it shimmers with light. This quickly became one of my top three orange flower perfumes, it just floats. It’s not complicated or layered, it’s beautiful and stays that way, and I love having beautiful perfumes to wear. It reminds me a lot of Shalini without the $900 price tag. Just $165 for 50 mls, which is practically free. I’ve become a huge fan of Hiram Green.  

Those are the only reviews that I’ve found so far. At the time of this posting, Dilettante’s Fragrantica page has no reviews. There are two comments there that merely discuss the general meaning of the word “dilettante,” not what the actual fragrance smells like.  

You should take very seriously the fact that the two other people who have tried and written about Dilettante thus far had experiences that are so fundamentally different than my own. Again, I can only describe what something smells like on my skin and to my nose; and I have no explanation for why Dilettante’s orange tree and flowers are so suffused with patchouli-resins on me, but not on anyone else. My sample came straight from Hiram Green, and the first 90 minutes are exactly what everyone else recounts. Plus, I tried the fragrance twice, on two arms and in different quantities, only to get the same result. In short, I feel like a crazy person. So, until more reviews come in, it may be safer to assume that my experience was just one of those wonky, extremely strange things that can sometimes happen. [UPDATE/NOTE: As I mentioned in the update up above, Hiram Green has confirmed to me that, yes, there ARE resins in Dilettante, so I’m not crazy, thank God. And my experience may not be so bizarre after all because he also told me that, after recently smelling Dilettante on others, he was struck by how the scent varied from one person to another. He said he’s never made a fragrance that seems to smell so different on each person. You may want to keep that in mind.] 

In short, don’t blind buy Dilettante solely because of my accounts of resins, not unless you love citrusy, petit grain, neroli and orange blossom soliflores just as much or even more. If that’s your thing, then I think you’ll be very happy. But anyone motivated just by my resin-patchouli-neroli-orange blossom version should really sample first.

That said, I still plan to buy Dilettante for myself. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable fragrance at all stages, but I’m thrilled with the resinous version that subsequently took over. Plus, I have to say, despite Hiram Green’s self-effacing humility, his fragrances are the furthest thing from a dilettante or amateur’s mediocrity. His consistency in achieving solid, good fragrances time and again is the sign of genuine talent and professional skill. I’m a fan.

Disclosure: My sample was provided by Hiram Green. That did not impact this review. I do not do paid reviews, and my opinions are my own.

DETAILS:
Cost & Availability: Dilettante is an eau de parfum that comes in a 50 ml bottle for $165 in the U.S., £115 in the U.K., and either €135 for European customers who have to pay VAT tax or €111.57 for non-European customers. It was just released a few days ago on the Hiram Green website, so not all of his retailers have it yet. In the U.S.: Dilettante is available for pre-order at Luckyscent and Twisted Lily. The fragrance will be sent out the first week in July. Both sell samples and ship worldwide. Outside the U.S.: you can buy directly from Hiram Green who ships worldwide. He no longer seems to offer a 5 ml mini decant atomiser, and I don’t see any sample options on his site. Shipping prices within Europe are between €5-€15, depending on region. It’s €20 for the US and all other parts of the world. His website will automatically subtract or add the VAT at check-out based on your delivery address. In general, Hiram Green fragrances are carried at several European retailers. First in FragranceRoullier-White, London’s Content, and Spain’s Basilica Galeria don’t have it yet, but Amsterdam’s Annindriya Perfume Lounge does. There are other vendors in Austria, Germany, Poland, and Sweden. You can find them on Hiram Green’s Stockist Page. Samples: Some of the sites listed above sell samples. Surrender to Chance doesn’t have Dilettante at the time of this posting, but will probably get it soon.

35 thoughts on “Hiram Green Dilettante

  1. I’m so glad you wrote about Dilettante. I love Hiram Green perfumes. He and his creations are beyond amazing to me. Pure genius. Voyage is one of my top favorite perfumes of all time and I’m old enough for that to really mean something. :);) I am looking forward to trying Dilettante!

    • Maya, it does mean something, extremely high praise indeed, and I’m sure Mr. Green would be thrilled to know he’s made something that is one of your favourite fragrances of all time!! I own a bottle of Voyage, too, and it’s lovely. Even better in summer than in winter, imo, but I’m one of those strange people who thinks resinous, spicy orientals like that actually bloom in the heat. (I know, I know, everyone thinks I’m nuts. lol.) I don’t know if Dilettante will be able to match the levels of your love for Voyage, but I hope you love it almost as much. Let me know what you think when you try it, okay?

  2. I have not tried this one nor Voyage, but I have the original Hiram Green perfumes…Moon Bloom and Shangrila. I am sure I would love this one as well. So many perfumes, so little time (and money). Sigh.

    • So nice to see you, my dear. I hope you’re having a good summer so far? Yes, you’re right, there are definitely too many perfumes, but too little time and money. Having said that, I think you’d enjoy Dilettante quite a bit, Filomena. I really do, so I hope you’ll order a sample.

  3. I own Voyage , so I am glad to here that Dilettante has feminine , masculine and unisex elements to it. I took your advice on T Bond and tested it and loved it. So I ordered a bottle. I will do the same with the new one from Mr Green. I would like to thank you for your honest reviews.

    • Hurrah for Bond-T, JBS! Enjoy your bottle. I know you smell great in it, just as you do in Voyage. That’s such a wonderful fragrance. (I own a bottle, too.) I’m glad you’re tempted by Dilettante, and hope you’ll let me know what you think once you try it.

  4. I’m such an admirer of Hiram Green’s work, I absolutely can’t wait to try this. Shangri La is my absolute favorite of all things, and though I rarely get excited about new releases these days, every time a new HG comes out, my ears prick up. Thanks for the lovely review, I’m even more convinced that I must try this ASAP!

    • It’s been so wonderful to see the number of Hiram Green fans here. It makes me very happy, because I’ve always been baffled by the fact that the brand gets so little attention. True, Hiram Green is a very under-the-radar sort of person and never draws attention to himself, but the perfumes speak for themselves and they’re far better, imo, than things put out by some hugely hyped, popular brands that people follow (or worship blindly). Like you, I **ALWAYS** look forward to a new Hiram Green release — and there are very few houses that I can say that about, especially these days.

      Do me a favour, Gigi, and let me know what you think of Dilettante when you try it, okay? I’m particularly curious after Hiram Green told me today that it seems to smell completely different on each person that he’s smelt it on. Apparently, there ARE resins in the scent and I wasn’t wrong, but I’m going to be really, really interested to see what Dilettante is like on others, how much it varies, and how many people actually experience those resins as well.

      • I finally got my hands on this and am absolutely smitten…though it couldn’t be further from what I had imagined based on several other reviews that highlight the sunshiny lighthearted character. It must be that this ends up smelling so different on each person. For me, I get *heavily* indolic florals along with an entrancing muskiness (absolutely NOT laundry musk!)
        “Smouldering” was a word you’d used and I couldn’t agree more. I also get a green fruit but only for a short while. Any actual citrus lasts but a brief moment. I hadn’t put the thought of resins up to now but that may be what is giving me the impression of depth and…well, seductiveness.
        Love!! Another outstanding outing from this very talented perfumer.

        • Wonderful news, Gigi. I’m so happy Dilettante was such a hit with you and that you love it so much. I’m also pleased to hear that you experienced all the wonderful resins, too, and that it wasn’t a simple, basic “sunshiny lighthearted” citrus scent on your skin. There is so much more going on, imo, far beyond the note list and the citruses. Those resins and their impact on the other notes are really one of the loveliest parts.

  5. I tried Hiram Green’s perfumes after reading your reviews. I love tuberose, so Moon Bloom is almost a no brainer, but I’m also impressed by Shangri-La and Voyage, especially the former as I thought I don’t particularly enjoy chypre-based perfumes. The comparison with George is really intriguing. I’m looking forward to testing it when the samples become available. 😀

    • How wonderful that Shangri La changed your mind about chypres, Yinghao! I’m sure Mr. Hiram will be really touched by that. I’m just pleased to hear that there is another fan of Moon Bloom here. It’s the best modern/new tuberose fragrance on the market, imo.

      With regard to the new Dilettante, let me know what you think and how it appears on your skin. As I just wrote to someone else, I’m really curious, today more than ever, since Hiram Green just told me that it seems to manifest itself differently on each person that he’s smelt it on. The resinous drydown on me certainly seems to support that observation. So now I’m even more intrigued to learn how many others will experience the resins, and how many will get just a glowy, citrusy, fruity orange blossom scent.

  6. Dearest Kafka,
    You know my obsession with everything Orange Blossom! I am ordering this right away.
    Thank you as always for your spot on reviews.

    Yours,
    Sunny

    • You’re very welcome, Sunny. I hope you find a new fragrance love. Let me know what you think when you try it.

  7. I’ve been so excited since I heard this was coming. Hiram Green is an exceptional talent, and an inspiration for anyone working with naturals. I love orange blossom. Can’t wait to try it.
    Great to see you back, dear Kafka, and so glad this was the review that popped up in my inbox yesterday :))

    • He definitely has a remarkable talent and skill with naturals, Lellabelle. Projection, sillage, and longevity in particular. His creations feel and work quite differently than naturals from other brands — in a really good way. I hope Dilettante works as well on you as it did on me. Tell me what you think when you try it, okay?

  8. What a pleasure to read your review. I hope you are well recovered and his Highness is his royal dignified self. I love and own Voyage, and surely will try Dilettante. It is so interesting how Hiram uses unexpected ingredients, he mailed me that one of the notes used in Voyage is (hope it doesn’t spoil your love for it 😉 ) lavender!
    I will report back on Dilettante, I love orangeblossom, but first we will go on a much needed holiday. A. will be looked after by her favourite caretakers.

    • Lavender in Voyage?! No, you don’t say! Haha, that’s an unexpected surprise. HA! 😀 I’d have never guessed. He’s remarkably deft, clever, and subtle in how he layers his compositions, always so seamlessly and with those unlisted ingredients clearly working some sort of indirect magic. I think Dilettante is much the same way. So, report back once you try it. In the meantime, have a wonderful holiday. I hope Her Highness won’t mind your absence too much. (Bribery works wonders on hairy children with a grudge at being left behind. lol)

  9. No, you’re not crazy!!! I get that, too, although nothing very smoky or leathery on me, and nothing that says patchouli – more like the warm, cinnamony/balsamic kind of resinous, a little musky…I was thinking ambrette.

    After the huge green neroli-petitgrain-orange blast at the beginning, the orange blossom takes over, and then I get…beeswax, maybe? The bitter edge doesn’t last long on me, and the orange blossom isn’t super indolic, what I get is wax and honey with the orange blossom separate, floating over it, along with some greenness.
    It’s not heavy, I think you used the word “translucent”, and that’s perfect -but it’s def not the light, sparkly-sweet, citrusy thing I thought it might be, either.
    I can’t tell you how happy I am about that!
    I struggle so much with florals that get too cloying in the summer, and as much as I’ve wanted an orange blossom fragrance, everything always seemed too sweet or soapy. This just…isn’t. I don’t know how he pulled it off.

    I adore this, so much that after the first sampling I had my card out, ready to go – and as you know, my grad student budget doesn’t allow for that. I haven’t jumped yet, though, and here’s the problem: it doesn’t have any longevity at all on me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m swiping rather than spraying, but I’m pretty heartbroken.
    Maybe I even love this enough to buy a bottle and just reapply a lot, but I guess for now I’m thinking of getting a spray decant, instead, to see if that helps.

    Side note: I just got some Providence Perfume Beauty Elixir for my hair – and it is an amazing match for the Dilettante! I didn’t plan that at all, so maybe it’s a sign 😉

    • Erg, that was really long…I guess a measure of my enthusiasm. Also, I meant to say resinous AND musky, I thought the musky part was ambrette but agree could totally be ambergris.

  10. Hi, I am just writing to say thank you for your reviews (this one in particular which I was reading while smelling and it was an amazing journey; but also many others). Though perfumes seem now explored more than ever, it still proves difficult to find a reviewer with similar preferences (or perhaps similar expectations of quality would be more correct here), which is crucial when you are trying to match a review, your own expectations as well as a final outcome (I hope I am making any sense at all :))… and I am extremely grateful for your writing, since it led me to discovery of several new brands and perfumes I would have never discovered on my own and now I love.

      • Yes, I hope so, too. (And thank you for being so sweet in welcoming Xenia to the blog, dear Lellabelle. I hope that helps to make her feel comfortable here.)

    • Welcome to the blog, Xenia, and thank you for your kind words on the reviews. Your words made perfect sense, and I’m so pleased you found them helpful. I hope you will stop by again and give me a chance to learn a little about you and your perfume tastes. 🙂

  11. Hello Kafkeasque,

    I am really perplexed with this scent. I love Hiram Green’s Voyage and I wanted to like this as neroli is one of my favourite notes.

    I have been testing this extensively ( with a number of samples from Luckyscent) and all the samples ended up smelling like musty flowers for the first few hours (in a nasty way). This seems last for quite for a few hours. The closer my nose gets to the skin / paper strip the worse the rotten accord is. From a distance, I get hints of orange blossom. There’s no sweetness whatsoever, it’s bitter and very musty for the most part.

    Could Luckyscent samples be rancid? This really smells off to me 🙁

    • The only explanation I can come up with, EJ, is that the indolic florals are turning on your skin. For a number of people, including the commentator who posted just above you, Dilettante brims with indolic white florals. On some skin or to some people, those can occasionally smell musty, like rotten fruit, skanky, plastic-y, camphorous, or even like mothballs. It’s due to the indoles. They’re an organic, natural part of white flowers that are put out in order to attract bees (who are otherwise blind to white flowers). They essentially act like a homing device or radar ping.

      The higher the quantity of indoles or the more someone’s skin brings them out, the more the white florals can smell the way that I’ve described. The addition of bitterness here may be due to the petitgrain aspect, but your description of “musky” and “rotten” leads me to think that your skin is making the indolic aspect bloom to crazy degrees.

      That’s the only thing that I can think of as an explanation, particularly given some other peoples’ account of Dilettante as being a very indolic white floral. I’m sorry it turned out that way on you, EJ, because it doesn’t sound like a fun experience.

      • Thanks Kafkaesque. That does seem to make sense. Its interesting how other orange blossom/ tuberose perfumes works on my skin and this one doesn’t. Although…it doesn’t explain why I get the same rotten smell on paper 🙁

        I’ve just received a sample of Moon Bloom and will be trying that next after I am done with a batch of other samples. Hopefully my skin will have better luck with that 🙂

  12. Moonbloom was an interesting experience. I do get that rotten musty smell at the beginning ( but no where near as bad as the rancid experience with Dilletante). But that last for a minute and the scent turns into a lovely rich creamy tuberose. It’s like clotted cream mix with tuberose to my skin. It’s actually quite delicious in a sense.

    Some of Moonbloom got onto my t-shirt and unfortunately the musty rotten smell seems to not leave the fabric. But it subsides in my skin thankfully.

    Very interesting experience overall.

    • At least now you know that the source or reason is definitely the indoles. Judging by the shirt situation, it seems to be more than just the interaction of the indoles with your personal skin chemistry, but also how your mind is processing, reading, and interpreting the things that your nose is smelling. To quote a famous perfumer, AbdesSalaam Attar, “you smell with your mind.” 🙂

  13. Wonderful review, dear Kafka! I loved this one, though it’s a wee bit too citrusy for me in the first part as I prefer denser orange blossom like the one by Uncle Serge, or sweeter one like Sweet redemption or Perdizione (which to my nose smell almost the same as Redemption). Nonetheless, this one is different enough that I’m thinking of a bottle. Both this and Moon bloom. Good news is that I just checked his site and he has 10mls too,which might be great, less of a commitment. I’ve also just learned that he has a new one! Arbole Arbole. I’m so curious about that one! Patchouli one. I struggle with patchouly if it’s too dirty, I can tolerate smaller doses of clean one though, and all the other notes sound amazing; sandalwood, tonka, vanilla… Have you tried it yet?

    • No, I’m afraid I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m looking forward to it. I believe it was officially launched/posted just today and I’m sure Hiram Green will send out blogger samples once he has the chance. 🙂

  14. Pingback: Hiram Green Arbolé Arbolé - Kafkaesque

  15. Pingback: Taking A Small Break & Brief Year-End Review - Kafkaesque

Leave a reply. Discussion and respectful debate are encouraged. Polite disagreement is fine, but personal attacks will be subject to deletion.