Monday, May 12, 2014
Americana Rust by MatHat Scents review
When I heard that my friend on Basenotes rynegene had started up his own small indie perfume house, I have to admit I was very jealous, as it is something I have been wanting to do for the past year (the cost is prohibitive). I was also excited since he and I share similar scent profiles, and he and I are also big fans of the work of modern master perfumer Josh Lobb and his Slumberhouse line. I feel Josh's influences running through MadHat's line, and this excited me even further.
Anyway, Americana Rust is the first sample I am trying, and right off the bat I am impressed by how lifelike the tobacco note is.It smells not unlike the humidor I have sitting next to me that is filled with cigars that are aging for later use. Indeed, this opening is not so much a raw tobacco smell, but a slowly curing yet still edgy tobacco. One thing that I find interesting about this opening is that there really are not any supporting notes to go along with it. All too often in the perfume world perfumers feel the need to add vanilla or cherry or something along those lines to "smooth" out the tobacco, but this just isn't needed here. The quality is absolutely impeccable, and it's hard to put into words. It's also worth noting that there is a chemical undertone here, but it isn't a synthetic feel, almost a tar like smokiness that might be playing at the idea the perfumer had to make this smell just like a Kentucky tobacco curing house. It definitely is not a light cigar or cigarette kind of scent, as it is more subtle than that, and is smelled only in the background behind that tobacco note. I would wager that it is the combo of cade and oud that causes this. It is worth noting that this intro is very strong, so those of you who do not like assertive scents, you may either find this not for you, or you may have to stick it out a few hours and wait for the mid and dry down where it gets toned down a bit.
Once you get to the mid notes, the leathery vibe starts to enter the forefront. I doubt that any leather is actually present in the note breakdown, as I think this is a trick that the tobacco and smokiness are playing now that they have melded with my skin a bit. The more I think about it the more it smells akin to the slightly powdery leather in Cuir Pleine Fleur by Carner Barcelona. It doesn't have that orris root type of powder, but there is definitely some softness underneath everything, likely due to one of my favorite notes, guaiac wood. It's a nice transition, but the overall scent stays pretty linear throughout its life.
As the dry down comes, the cade/oud combo is mostly what I smell accompanied by a very slight sliver of sandalwood. The tobacco is there but it has faded to the background in favor of that more smoky aspect the fragrance has. The lasting power is very good, as I've gotten 8+ hours easily in my two wearings, and I would say the projection is closer to the skin, at least after the intro where it felt like I could be smelled from across the room. Overall, I really like this scent. It is fairly different in the genre of tobacco scents, and it is a good attempt at trying to get rid of all of the fillers so many houses add into them. One knock I have is that it doesn't smell good necessarily, and seems like it might be more at home in an avant-garde candle than a fragrance one would wear out to places. Though, this isn't truly a negative, as it makes for a great wear while at home, and I'd bet that given the proper weather (read: Not 75 degrees out), it would flourish perfectly into something great.
At the very least, it is worth a sniff, and as with the rest of the line, the price is right.