A Half Dozen Blackbirds

“…a dimension all its own, a playfully imperfect experiment in design and scent, where all humans are invited. Established in 2004, Blackbird evolved over time into a fragrance design house specializing in perfumes and incense. The brand is known worldwide for its forward-thinking installations and products.”


HOUSE: Blackbird
ORIGIN: USA
NOSE: Nicole Miller
CONCENTRATION: EDP
SIZE/COST: 30ml / $96
SOURCE: Impossible-Color

Anemone (2016): The submerged world never smelled this good. My snoot gets some odd crossbreed between tobacco and a wonderfully boozy birch beer, with a warming amber honey resin. It’s gemlike and velvety. Crazy stylish this seemingly returns from the future even though it originated half a decade ago. How does that work? If this doesn’t induce a ready smile my guess is your half dead, a zombie or have lost your marbles. Speaking of which, this reminds me of that smell of new toys, and other fineries. A transcending experience to wear. I am going to require a large scale version of this for my tiny bathroom, I hope it fits. A hat trick of a sleeper. (90%)

Notes: plum, pink lotus, champagne, honey, tobacco, amber, styrax, labdanum

Cold Cave Death (2019): Because of the coloration of the liquid it is best advised to uniformly wear black when dispersing this on to clothing, maybe it’s a garment perfume? One thing is un/certain is its sense of the covert. This oozes hash house post-punk in Amsterdam to me. It’s smoked oud is frozen in time, so ripe, strange, reflective and otherwise just so darned singular. It’s dusky and damp, with a spice that seeps into your psyche. This may just give Black Afgano or Behique a run for it. In some circles you may have to do just that. This is a double take and a triple threat. This causes a sense for creating ellipsis of thought, contemplative and controversial – this will divide a crowd with its assured sense of acquired taste. (88%)

Notes: leather, sage, marble dust, oud, a cold cave

Moto Oud (2013/2021): Why does this remind me of sushi? The clean freshly caught fish, the pickled ginger, the hint of wasabi…. but I am obviously imagining all of this. With the past eighteen months shut-in one starts to project desire-fueled images I suppose. Once this has had a few minutes to coalesce with my skin chemistry it begins to slowly unfold, skin on skin (leather), soft mildly dark spice and a thin swirl of fizzled out smoke. This is a most intimate type fragrance, nearly see-thru. Kind of like those thin layers of pink ginger I guess. The whole perfume seems to float through the ether. (83%)

Notes: leather, agarwood/oud, burnt rubber, vetiver, saffron, pink peppercorn 

Ophir (2016): At first the format reminded me of Anemone (above) but after it breaths for ten seconds it’s soapy, like sandalwood on a rope. But then there’s this accord that echoes of molasses and some exotic spices. I’m imagining opening a long locked wooden chest that’s been well oiled and kept from the elements. There’s a soft cascade of elegant forestry and ancient herbs. What makes this stand out is its attention to detail when it comes to the way incense is infused through its quieter corners, bringing about a reverent aspect that wasn’t there on initial atomization. There’s an unctuous nutty quality in the heart, followed by a flush stretch of botanical balsam that bring about a sense of lifting away. Check out the below note listing to get a fuller picture. (87%)

Notes: sandalwood, tonka bean, amyris, siam wood, muhuhu, rose hip seed, cedarwood, guaiacwood, myrtle leaf, cypress leaf, rosewood leaf, frankincense, saffron, pistachio, hazelnut, opopanax, lavender, ambrette seed, bay, rose, black pepper, nutmeg

Universal Supreme (2019): Delivering something similar to a cherry popsicle before I put my nose closer. This is smartly bittersweet, or titian in its exterior glow. It’s also stronger than I’d expect, partly due to the incorporation of this completely odd combination of cedar and an alkaline chlorine quality. At first its quite confusing, makes the mind wander – but why shouldn’t a perfume make you spin your wheels? I do not get the proposed oud, but it doesn’t matter – instead I’m a tween all over again taking a sneaky late night dip in the backyard pool up in Northern New England amid pines and other surrounding flora. I’m unsure if I’d want to project this scent to others, however I didn’t mind, not for an instant, revealing in memories that haven’t been stirred in eons. There’s a dry feeling here, as if it is mid to late Summer. The coast is clear, or so I imagine. (85%)

Notes: cherry, frankincense, cedar, heliotrope, rose, iris, dry grass, oud, sandalwood, swimming pool, strawberry

Y06-S (2017): There was only a tiny bit for me left to sample as this is, by far, the most ‘exotic’ of this batch. It is most uniquely delving into a note that may or not make sense at all in perfumery, banana. But somehow this smells both dimensionally realistic and as faux as they come. It’s a strange hybrid of banana milk, oh that was a thing back in the 70’s don’cha know?! In combination with tiny lacy vines of white florals this keeps my eyebrows curled in curiosity. It’s a push/pull perfume for sure, but once you pull away there’s this craving for more – almost the way people have while watching the most critically tense moments in a horror flick. This takes flight after about a half hour and once it embraces and warms up it stays rather linear throughout its wearing – save for this almost lilac-like accord that breathes heavily into its space. It’s 100% androgynous, and dare I say, subliminal. Oh, don’t dare me, I just may take you up on that if that outcome might turn out like this. Incredibly inventive, daring. (86%)

Notes: banana, electronics, agarwood, jasmine, and milk

Recommended Soundtrack:
Jonas KoppAlkitran (2012, Stroboscopic Artefacts)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s