Neroli is the essential oil of the orange blossom drawn using steam distillation from the bitter orange tree. Orange blossom also comes from the bitter orange tree, from the same blossom, but via enfleurage, which is the application of fat solids to pull out fragrance compounds from an item. Petitgrain is from the same tree but is made from steam distillation of the twigs and leaves. (Thanks Jessica Murphy from NST and Perfume Professor for that info. Also shout-out to Brooklyn Brainery because even when I look through the list of classes in their email newsletter like “I am not free for ANY of this” I’m still like “what is shibori even though” and “maybe I should start wool-working and also make a puff representation of my dog.”)
I’m not the biggest fan of neroli. Most of the purer forms of it remind me too much of Froot Loops and I just don’t have any fun memories that would make the smell of neroli as significant to me as it is unique. During sniff-tests I’m usually standing next to neroli lovers, lovers of the Italian coastline, lovers of the Spanish coastline who are smiling and talking about their grandparents and their past trips and trips they want to take and saying absolutely nothing, smiling with them, appreciating the fragrance as objectively as I can, and swallowing down cereal jokes until that part of the conversation is over.
The Brooklyn Ellis jacket says Fable is “Neroli, petitgrain and honeysuckle make for a lovely intro, but it’s the finish of crisp amber and cedarwood that adds character.”
Upon spritzing however, the neroli and petitgrain immediately take a supporting role, which is perfect for me.
Unlike everything that comes from the bitter orange tree, I absolutely love honeysuckle, and that’s what I get at the forefront. Sweet, slightly aquatic honeysuckle, with that slight citrus honeyed note backed by the neroli. Not to say that the neroli disappears, it is absolutely also present so don’t think you won’t find it. It also has just enough from the petitgrain and cedar to make it smell more like a perfume and less like a room spray.
I don’t really know what “crisp” amber is supposed to smell like, but amber generally adds a great grounded, sticky waxiness that adds warmth which definitely helps round out the very loud, very high soprano florals in Fable.
The whole effect is this great garden fragrance that invokes a pale golden color even though the solution is clear, with powdery warm woods at the front of the nose and great, beautiful blooms right through the back of the throat.
I don’t know how well the title matches the juice, as Fable doesn’t really remind me of any moraled story, but you can definitely wear it to a rooftop party this summer as long as you make sure the wine or cocktail you’re drinking has ample floral and fruity notes.