Cloon Keen Atelier is an artisanal perfume brand from the city of Galway in Ireland. It is a small manufacturer who debuted on the perfume market in 2002. In its offer Cloon Keen Atelier has hand-made candles as well as 5 fragrances. The perfumes are made in a traditional way with use of maceration and by hand so it’s a real craftsmanship, no high technology.
Sybarite is the 5th perfume from this Irish brand and it was introduced in late 2013. Earlier that year the brand launched Lune de Givre. When I saw the name of this perfume I thought that sybarite is some kind of stone, a mineral or something. The (historical) fact is that Sybarite was someone who lived in an ancient Greek city of Sybaris (current southern Italy). There was a stereotype about the nation, that they only seek pleasure and luxury in their life. Does the perfume evoke it?
Cloon Keen Atelier Sybarite opens with a pungent and dry sandalwood accord. It’s really rough, with splinters and all the unfriendly stuff that can be associated with raw wood. Things start to change drastically after 15 minutes when the sandalwood note begins to mellow. During the next 30 minutes you can notice an olfactive and visual difference in this perfume. The wood transforms from rough, to smooth, from unfriendly, to polished, from dry to soft and creamy.
After the transition is completed, the creamy, almost milky scent of sandalwood remains for over 30 minutes before other notes begin to appear. At 1,5 hours mark Sybarite reveals the rose bouquet. It’s not an oriental variation on the flower, it’s more watery, pale and painted in watercolor. But in the background the woody facets is still so strong that for most of the time you might get an impression of smelling the palisander rosewood, a very rare material. When rose becomes more of a rose, there’s a light citric hue of bergamot attached to it.
As the time flies, Sybarite becomes more balmy and smoky thanks to a nice dosage of incense. It’s combined with patchouli to add a little bit more of mineral, earthy quality and depth. On the other hand there’s also a nice amber accord (probably synthetic, but oh well) which warms up the composition, making it very suitable for a wear with a light-knit sweater. A hint of jasmine (sambac I guess) adds some chic and elegance to this scent.
The drydown of the 5th Cloon Keen Atelier fragrance is composed with a use of musk and cedar. The first one adds fluffiness, airiness and volume to the sillage while cedar is the last more substantial accord in this perfume. It has a nice woody finish without sweat and I could actually smell some sweetness there too, something like vanilla with a drop of rum and osmanthus.
All in all Sybarite is a well done perfume. Not the top haute parfumerie for sure but it can be definitely placed higher than on the middle shelf of average offerings. Its sillage is rather small 4-5 inches and it drops rather quickly. It lasts for around 6-8 hours on my skin. I’m not sure if this perfume represents the idea of sacrificing one’s life to seek pleasure and luxury but it definitely is a thing of a comfort living with lots of space and little pleasures.