Heart of the forest, Ineke Idyllwild

When it’s not rainy, windy or overly cold, Autumn is a beautiful time of the year. The burst of yellow, orange, red and brown around September or October can surely put a smile on someone’s face. Even if we know that Winter will come soon we should remember that nature is not dying now, it’s just going to sleep. I like to enjoy the autumnal palette in parks and forests but I have to admit I like it even more when trees are covered with white quilt. I like the forest in my hometown, it’s peaceful. I wonder if American forests are any different? They might grow different tree species. I can only imagine a vast area of moss, fern and woods there. However new Ineke fragrance might help.

Idyllwild has a tart grapefruit in the opening, that in the next couple of minutes becomes more juicy & slightly aromatic while still maintaining its slightly bitter citrus character. Few minutes later a crunchy and green-fruity tone joins the composition. It’s a nice rhubarb accord that becomes more prominent in time. It blends nicely with a grapefruit but in the end it’s the rhubarb that is more intense on my skin. There’s also something slightly herbaceous in the background, which could explain why Ineke provides a description of ‘rhubarb tea’ as one of the top notes. Nevertheless, I like it.

After half an hour lavender appears on my skin and I have to admit it’s a very surprising part of Idyllwild. Why, you might ask? It’s because it doesn’t feel purple or flowery but instead it feels very green and herbal. The green-tinged part smells fresh and crunchy, kind of like a violet leaf. Herbal part smells quite dry, like a mix of thyme and rosemary. It’s very fougere-like, almost becoming medicinal but never crossing a thin borderline between enough and too much. Some time later I detect a quite strong eucalyptus facet appearing. As explained to me by Ineke herself, it’s actually a species of mint called eucalyptus mint that mimics its aroma. Pretty interesting fact if you ask me.


Further into its development, Idyllwild becomes significantly more woody and feels like stepping into the forest. Fir chord turns to be a key element of this act. Thanks to it the perfume feels very aromatic and true to a coniferous forest in real life. The perfume is still green but more heavy and dense compared to how it smelled right after spraying. Cypress adds something waxy to the scent while sagebrush creates a dusky feeling. It’s a simple yet complex perfume. I find it really charming, it feels like I went for an actual walk among fir and pine. I feel calm through this perfume. Ponderosa pine is actually a base note of new Ineke fragrance & it adds a resinous, kind of sap-like facet.

It takes Idyllwild few hours to fully develop and during that time it will gently release its green, forest-like aura. At some point it gains a warm spiciness thanks to a cardamom note. There’s something crunchy about it and since pine & fir aromas are still quite strong I associate it more with a pine cone. Hints of cypriol and oud introduce a greasy, oily facet to the scent, also making it feel darker and more mysterious. There’s also musk mentioned in the press release but I didn’t notice it. Maybe it was only used to round any rough edges and to keep the structure of the perfume.

As a summary I’d like to say that I rarely reach for this type of fragrance at my own will but I would definitely reach for Ineke Idyllwild. It’s got that depth and natural feeling to pine & fir, which in my opinion are not easy to handle as they can accidentally remind of cleaning products. That’s not the case here. Some time later I also realized that Idyllwild is slightly similar to Reverie au Jardin from Andy Tauer. Ineke creation is gentle and more airy, it has a low sillage but good longevity. It’s available in 75 ml flacons at eau de parfum concentration. Would you visit a forest of Idyllwild?

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13 thoughts on “Heart of the forest, Ineke Idyllwild

  1. Shiva-Woman says:

    I just tried this two days ago, two sample wearings. I quite like it though it reminds more of Northern California more than Southern. I think it’s my next summer fragrance. I find it quite fresh and different, but I don’t like the low silage and longevity wad not great. I love the name!

    • lucasai says:

      Oh nice! Well, I don’t know any difference between the forests you mention. To me Idyllwild is autumn/winter fragrance but I can see someone pulling it off in the summer.

  2. Undina says:

    I should start my comment pointing out the serendipity: I didn’t post about Idyllwild today only because I didn’t have time to finish processing pictures for the post. But now I’ll have a review to link to from my post tomorrow for the real review (since my is just as story, as usually).
    For my Idyllwild was love from the first sniff – which isn’t something that I would expect from “that type of perfume” (so in that part of your review I was nodding in agreement).

    Unswering your question, our forests (in California) have a lot of evergreen trees and not just conifers.

    • lucasai says:

      Aw…. so we were almost in sync. It’s so nice of you that you’d like to link my review in your post tomorrow.
      I think Idyllwild is quite unique and I love The name. I didn’t expect to like it so much. I know you split a bottle at NST splitmeet. I wouldn’t mind having a decant, I would wear it once in a while.
      Happy to hear you nodded to my summary.
      Evergreen must look nice. Does the forest have an intensive smell?

  3. Jillie says:

    Reading your review makes me imagine this as almost a form of aromatherapy – beautiful, natural scents of the forest lifting up your spirit and cleansing your mind and body, then soothing you. Lovely.

    • lucasai says:

      You’re right, now that you’re saying it. It is some sort of aromatherapy. Pine oils or minty treatments for sinuses (when you add them to hot water and inhale vapors) are kind of like that.

  4. shelly says:

    I love rhubarb and I love tree sap. This sounds interesting. The few of Ineke ones I have tried in the past were large white florals so I thought her line was not for me. She is local to where I live and came to a SF sniff several years ago which was cool.

  5. Holly says:

    This sounds fascinating and yay! they carry it at Arielle Shoshana which is very close to home for me.

  6. chocolatemarzipan8 says:

    Tempting tempting tempting me….naughty naughty naughty…this fragrance sounds amazing! I have tried all from Ineke and have even owned and used three full bottles. Happy to see that she is making new fragrances again.

  7. […] I checked my inbox and was surprised by a coincidence: Lucas (Chemist in the Bottle) published his review of the same perfume. He liked it as well. You might want to check it out if you’re curious what […]

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