From Tolkien's "The Hobbit":
"Darkness falls upon Bilbo and the dwarves as they enter the bleak forest of Mirkwood. Strange eyes peer out at them from the trees. Soon, the group cannot tell night from day. Everyone can think only of getting out of the stuffy, ominous woods, but there seems to be no end in sight...
It was not long before they grew to hate the forest as heartily as they had hated the tunnels of the goblins, and it seemed to offer even less hope of any end. But they had to go on and on, long after they were sick for a sight of the sun and of the sky, and longed for the feel of the wind on their faces. There was no movement of air down under the forest roof, and it was everlastingly still and dark and stuffy. Even the dwarves felt it, who were used to tunneling, and lived at times for long whiles without the light of the sun; but the hobbit, who liked holes to make a house in but not to spend summer days in, felt he was being slowly suffocated...
The nights were the worst. It then became pitch-dark ― not what you call pitch-dark, but really pitch; so black that you really could see nothing. Bilbo tried flapping his hand in front of his nose, but he could not see it at all..."
There is a strange beauty in a gloomy forest. The air is humid, fresh, mossy, thick, and sometimes fetid. Norne encompasses all these feelings in a scent so profound and thick that aims also your taste and thoughts besides your nose. An enchanted forest is not only trees and green, but It's also a complete atmosphere. Either you get it in a scent or you don't. Norne has it!
Oregon-born Josh Lobb - Norne perfumist - is an all-natural perfumer. Along with another innovative perfumist, the Portuguese Miguel Matos, they are two of a kind, using strong concentrations and exploring new ways of making fragrances and mixing scents.
Norne is an incredibly dark green, godforsaken, lugubrious atmospheric scent that conjures up a vast imaginary in my mind:
- dark cellars and caves where besides cobwebs and dampness, you may find treasures and old red wines;
- wandering bears, rogue wolves, and vast logging territories with owls, bats, snakes, and spiders;
- and a dark imaginary world straight out of Tolkien’s works where men, hobbits, elves, and dwarves battle goblins and orcs amidst greenish filthy darkness.
Inside the Norne bottle, licken, fern, and moss grow over tons of pine needles and fir branches, while a deep dark olibanum resin ties everything together is a linear development. A touch of hemlock (yes... poisoning cicuta!) is used for a decay musty accord adding depth and intrigue to the perfume. It seems simple like any other artwork. But it's unique and so very evocative.
The performance is impressive. However, you cannot use the same amount of puff that you use with other perfumes. One or two sprays will be enough to give you 8 or 9 hours of longevity, as well as an 8-foot sillage radius. It also projects a lot in the first 3 hours. So be moderate on the trigger so people can tolerate you.
My clean and crisp ratings for Norne:
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- Linear scent x 2: 9.0 (It deserves a ten as scent artwork, but I must also remember that it is intended to please the noses of those around you)
- Longevity: 9.5 (Up to 8~9 hours with just 1 spray; a small dose is better)
- Sillage: 8.5 (Up to 5~6 feet with 1 spray; it projects for 3.0 hours)
- Uniqueness: 9.5 (Very unique but It does remind me of "La Fille en Aiguilles" by Serge Lutens, although a lot denser and heavier)
- Usability: 7.0 (Winter for the cold weather and Fall for the season type itself)
- Versatility: 6.0 (It pleases you, and people liking deep green scents like it as well)
- Compliments: 5.0 (You will intrigue people. You don't get compliments out of it)
- Quality: 10.0 (Top quality ingredients)
- Presentation: 8.0 (Simple and effective)
- Price: 5.0 (30 ml / 180 USD... pricey; it is niche and unique)
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Overall rating: 7.87 / 10.00
- between 7 and 8 = above average;
- between 8 and 9 = recommended;
- greater than 9 = do not miss;
Recommendation: This is a perfume that cannot be rated by "usual" standards. It is a sheer love-hate fragrance, and believe me many people will hate it. Some like me just learn to love it and just a few people will love it straight away. So far I just imagine using it by myself and I quite like it.
Blind buy? No, because of its price. But if you happen to try it, you will most certainly love it.
Music: Rick Wakeman - "The Forest", included in "Journey to the Centre of the Earth"