Couple of weeks ago Tanja Bochnig of April Aromatics wrote on her brand’s Facebook profile that she’s about to introduce a new perfume in her collection. In that post she included a couple of pictures of dark and mysterious forest, asking the fans of her work about the feelings these pictures evoke and what name they would give to a perfume inspired by such visual pieces. I submitted a couple of my own suggestions and after a really short time Tanja wrote to me to say more. She was up to make a botanical musk perfume that would smell musty and mysterious.
Few days later she introduced us to her new launch and she chose to name in Erdenstern, which means “Earth Star” in German. This perfume starts on my skin with a big ambergris note. Right from the start this fragrance emanates with quite dirty and animalic tones, combined with a slight saltiness of the ocean breeze. The initial strength of Erdenstern is enhanced with a musk accord. Just as Tanja said, with this note she introduced the mysterious aura that is really musty, and brings to mind things like dimmed lights, dark corner of the empty room, even some cobwebs.
The opening is the most animalic part of the entire fragrance. After 20-30 minutes Erdenstern is not that wild and dirty. Its edges start to become rounder and softer. Then it becomes more woody with the presence of vetiver in the composition. Apart from feeling woody, there’s still something kind of earthy and rooty about this note. We’re still in the middle of that mysterious forest, where there is fog, the air feels damp and the leaves on the trees allow only a little bit of sunlight to reach the ground. Normally you’d feel scared there, but this perfume ain’t scary at all.
At some point of the fragrance development I begin to smell some smoky and pleasant aroma of tobacco leaves. There’s a nice depth to this scent though I find this part to be a little bit more dry than other perfumes with tobacco that I like. After a while this smoked vibe seamlessly transforms and there is a smooth transition between tobacco and cocoa note. The latter one feels mildly sweet (though far from the aroma of chocolate or anything gourmand) and it has a powdery finish. Even though I’m not into cocoa as a perfume ingredient, it fits the concept of mysterious forest.
Erdenstern becomes even more round and pleasant after around 2 hours when tonka bean joins the composition. This is the tonka that I like: slightly sweet and spicy, quite creamy too. It is blended with opoponax and this is a very interesting combination that provides a good dose of balsamic notes. They tone down the composition but they also add some character to this perfume. It’s never linear, once in a while it changes, making you excited to sniff it again after some time.
When I received my sample of this newest April Aromatics perfume, Tanja included a note saying “wait until drydown” and I just did what she said. Little did I know what to expect, but what came up from Erdenstern after 5 hours made me enamored. Can you believe that the perfume smelled after that time on my skin like a mulled wine? There was this specific bittery tanginess of wine there, combined with the scent of candied orange peel and winter spices, such as cinnamon or star anise. I don’t know if there are other people who get the association like mine, but even if I’m alone with my interpretation, I am happy that the fragrance performed such an interesting twist on my skin.
April Aromatic Erdenstern is an all-natural perfume presenting the interesting way of how you can create the animalic-smelling perfume with a focus on using botanical ingredients. This perfume is a multi-faceted composition, delivering heavy and animalic qualities, as well as aromas that are lighter and more toned down. I believe that depending on what you like, everyone can find in this perfume a part that will suit them. For me it’s a mulled wine drydown. Erdenstern comes as eau de parfum in a 30ml bottle infused with clear crystal and Herkimer diamond. It was introduced as a limited edition and is currently out of stock. Lets hope Tanja will make some more so that more can try it. Luckyscent will have some limited quantities next week, so if you’re in US, you might want to try it.