Silver dust, Aedes de Venustas Pélargonium

They just moved into a new appartement and were looking for an extraordinary decorative item to add more character to their living room. They were almost ready to give up as for the last few weeks they didn’t find anything suitable. But then one day they found this really old antique shop. Lazy rays of sunlight were pouring in through aged glass. Among tall shelves of dusty books they noticed a bunch of flowers. It was a bouquet, made of naturally dried flowers. The colors were so aged but the arrangement was so pretty. It had its own soul. They found a perfect still life for their home.

New fragrance from Aedes de Venustas is named Pélargonium & is the eighth element in a brand’s collection. For a first minute I could barely smell anything coming up from my skin but once the composition captures some warmth from my body it begins to develop. At first whiff I can sense a lot of pepper. At first it’s cold but it warms up quickly as the spiciness feeling intensifies. This blend of black and Sichuan pepper surprisingly doesn’t have the metallic facet I often get from it.

To be honest with you, this peppery opening is so gentle and well-balanced that at first I though that a perfumer used white pepper. When I smell it, it reminds me of the way parchment can smell – the aroma of paper, somewhat aged. Spiciness from the opening stage blends in with bergamot and mandarin. These two citrus don’t give much juiciness, however they counteract the spicy vibe with hints of sweetness and occasional tart effect that sometimes peeks through, as one may notice.

After around 15 minutes Pélargonium initiates the reveal of geranium note. Rising above the peppery molecules it smells almost like mint. No, not like spearmint, much warmer, green and sappy – like it was more related to basil. This effect doesn’t last for long & subsides preparing the stage for geranium, a star of this fragrance. This new Aedes features Egyptian geranium – Pelargonium graveolens. It has a truly complex scent that combines airy aromatic facets and crispy green leaves with facets that imitate rose but in a more balsamic way. You can notice them all!

Geranium at first effuses an aromatic side that is almost like a fougere, with fern and lavender. Afterwards it gradually transforms into the aroma of green sap coming from crushed stems and leaves of geranium. Finally it becomes similar to rose… But when rose could become more rich and fruity, Pélargonium turns more balsamic and enveloping. Once this key accord settles down after a while the composition is ready to evolve even further. Background for the perfume starts to crystallize in a slow, lazy manner, allowing the wearer to admire its varied elements.

First there is iris – but to fully enjoy Aedes Pélargonium you’ll have to forget about everything you know about iris, at least for a moment. For it smells different. Velvety petals have been replaced by a layer of parchment, so thin you can almost see through it. Moist, buttery texture has been swapped for a dry, more dusty feeling that complements the paper-like smell with true grace. Then there is a bit of carrot, very subtle and almost not there. It didn’t bother me so I doubt it will bother you – but you’ll sense its presence. Plus Hedione adds some bright sunlight to it.

Further into depths of fragrance structure lies a possibility to observe how base of Pélargonium solidifies in front of your eyes (in front of your nose?) If new Aedes was a painting, cedar would be like a wooden frame to stretch fragrance canvas on. Cedar wood brings substance and dimension to the blend, releasing its austere beauty. No sweaty aspects have been noticed by me, just pure wood with a whisper of cardamom that adds warm, roasted spiciness to it & more playful style.

Woody aspects are later somewhat “disturbed” by vetiver. There are quite a few handfuls of this ingredient. In Pélargonium I sense it in a way dry tall grass or hay smells to me. It’s a blend of earthy, green and woody sensations. It’s also relatively shady. The finale of the fragrance is much darker that the rest of the fragrance. Gaiac wood provides a dense, almost resinous and gooey odour that combines with elemi. The latter one has a smell of salty incense. Moss – really dry and musty gives the impression as if it was covering everything with a layer of dust.

Musk participates in this feeling, at the same time adding some of its own dirtiness. Last but not least there is Ambermax. This aroma chemical from Givaudan adds warm, sensual ambery facet that lights up the darkness that fell upon Aedes de Venustas Pélargonium at its late stage. As you can notice, the perfume is really changing over time and has a lot to offer.

Natalie Feisthauer – a perfumer of this fragrance did a really good job interpreting such a simple ingredient like geranium into such a non-simple perfume. Pélargonium is housed in Aedes signature 100 ml zamak bottle, which is made of  bright red glass this time. Also the box of Pélargonium is covered with intensively red plush. This eau de parfum will be available as of mid April.

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20 thoughts on “Silver dust, Aedes de Venustas Pélargonium

  1. rprichpot says:

    A local perfume boutique is launching Pélargonium on Thursday. Thankful to you for the intriguing review as a reference point.❤️

  2. Jillie says:

    Enchanting! Beautifully described, Lucas, I can practically smell it. It’s so good to read of a perfume that is the opposite to the offerings in mainstream, and I am a sucker for geranium. I even add a few drops of geranium essential oil in food to replace rose – it’s like rose’s big brother! It always gives me a lift.

    • lucasai says:

      Yay, I’m happy to hear it conveys the feeling. I’m sharing a sample (big one) with you so that you can try and tell me what you think about this unusual geranium.
      I’ve never heard about adding rose essential oil to food. Where exactly do you add that? To your tea? jams?

      • Jillie says:

        Thank you!

        I am a bit of a devil with adding rose oil or rose water to all sorts of things ….. a few drops in plain yoghurt with honey, in Moroccan tagines (there are ready-made rose harissa pastes and spice blends, but I make my own), sprinkled over raspberries, in a drink of gin and tonic, in plain tea to make it floral …. the list is endless, but I must remember that not everybody is as in love with “eating” rose as I am!

  3. Holly says:

    Great review! I’m a fan of the Aedes line, and geranium is a favorite note. Ari of Arielle Shoshana will be hosting an event with Robert Gerstner this Thursday evening, and I look forward to sniffing this one.

    • lucasai says:

      I assume you’re going to that event? Then I’m sure you can smell it then. And please give Ari a big hug from me!

      • Holly says:

        You assume correctly! We have a great meetup group in the area that includes Houndie and Mark Behnke and Natalie from the defunct Another Perfume Blog, and Ari holds many events in her shop which is the perfect venue for any perfumista. I’ll make sure to give her a big hug from you!

  4. rickyrebarco says:

    This sounds very nice, Lucas. Aedes de Venustas always has such unusual and well done fragrances. I will definitely sample this one. I love the story of this one…

  5. hajusuuri says:

    Oh my! This sounds fabulous in its development. I look forward to smelling this, perhaps on Thursday on my way to the FM boutique.

    • lucasai says:

      It changes a lot over time, that’s why I find it to be such a great perfume as it’s not monotonous or boring.
      Have fun at FM event and let us know if you tried Pelargonium and what were your thoughts

  6. Undina says:

    Aedes perfumes are always worth trying, and especially since you liked this one. But the perfume aside, I wanted to say that I loved the opening picture you created with words. Beautiful!

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