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Sniff Fest - Neil Morris Fragrances

Sniff Fest - Neil Morris Fragrances 5 years ago
So happy to discover this niche purveyor of high quality scents, who is also a member here. An appreciative nod to him as I sniff my way through his Signature Collection Parfums, and a few additions.

First, to those who haven't tried them, these are artfully-composed perfumes that will not cause sneezing, asphyxiation, or make your eyes water unless you happen to be allergic to a specific ingredient. Like great perfumes, they project and last. This line also has a personality. Think earthy, resinous base notes, haunting floral absolutes, and unexpected replications of natural phenomena, like rain. Though, to my nose, Neil Morris fragrances are unique, together they bring Slumberhouse to mind. I plan to own every Slumberhouse ever made, whether or not I can personally wear them. I thnk they are that incredible — scent experiences not to be missed. How do Neil's compare? Very well indeed, displaying an equal artistry—genius at work at the perfume organ with a little of D.S. & Durga's regional flair. To me, some are an acquired taste, like several from Slumberhouse, yet I don't just admire the ones of Neil's I like, I adore them. IMO, only the last two Slumberhouses are very wearable, particularly the spectacular New Sibet. Of the 7 Neil Morris's I've sampled, three I have to own immediately, if not sooner. I'll start with them and hubby's favorite, Aegean.


If the Aegean doesn't smell like this, it ought to—citrus, sandalwood, musk, lavender combine with quince and basil blossom to evoke the fresh outdoors when at seaside. Getting it for hubby's birthday


This made me forget about my yearning for Mary Greenwell's completely unavailable (TMK) Fire. Unsuccessfully I searched for it, hoping it would be similar to nearly unavailable (and, IMO, stunning) Amouage Tribute Attar. Hard to explain why my brain has made connections between these three. Apparently they only share Frankincense for sure, possibly some citruses and woods. Yet when I sniff from my dwindling sample of Tribute and my newly-arrived one of Afire, I no longer mourn the loss of Tribute as much.

Aptly named, Afire starts out like a house afire, smoldering up my nose and into the surrounding air—taking possession of the olfactory space as if a few Las Vegas showgirls, eating cotton candy, just rode in on the backs of lions. What a fragrance! I lost my mind immediately, just as I recently did over Bogue's achievement, Gardelia. Somehow to my brain the caramel/berry heart of Afire mimics Tribute's intense floral/leathery appeal. They're not the same, of course, but for me these two have the same effect — an exuberant desire to apply them unstintingly.


Freesia ups the ante on this marvelous floral, grounded in musk. Caught in the rain in a field of flowers, my feet muddy, seeking shelter from approaching lightening, this is what I'd expect to smell. It is a must-have, earthily sweet, joyful fragrance.

Summer of love

Moaning began at first sniff of this animalic scent, civilized by Freesia, Patchouli and Cedar and I am back in a long-ago garden pool, a bee landing on the palm of my hand but not stinging. Trois Gymnopedie No. 1 is playing from the house and I think I will l never forget this garden, the deep purple of the pool, these flowers — and I never do. This fragrance is likely to take you back to your own summer of love, or conjure one for you. I find it brilliant—sensuous, passionate, and not remotely crass.

Kudos to Neil Morris. I expect to find more loves among his creations.

To be continued …
Last edited by ScentFan on 09.07.2017, 15:52; edited 3 times in total
5 years ago
Now to the accomplished rest of the Signature Collection …


Another outdoorsy scent, based on the memory of a bicycle ride, per the website. The grapefruit and linden blossom top note with resin/mint center do evoke clear days beneath these trees. For me it's Lake Geneva where I rushed to and from meetings under the Linden trees. This is an open, clean scent. I'd say it's refreshing, but for the musk and cedar base which makes it deeper—more tree, less air.


Per the website, this interesting fruity-floral is Laguna Beach and with the rose, pomegranate and fig, the woody, musky, resinous base, I can picture sand and flowers. It feels like a sultrier version of Lalique's Amethyst, one of my faves.


An October night in New York, evoked by black pepper and quirky yuzu in the top, narcissus and rose in the heart and a fabulous base, all resin and animal and leather. For me it's a standout, a smell experience I want for myself or hubby.


To experience this scent, you either have to try this perfume or get caught in an actual thunderstorm. I recommend the former because it's more beautiful. Papaya and lime in the top are followed by dark flowers then a complex base of tonka, musk, earth and marine notes. It's not a loud perfume, but one that will leave you feeling part of the natural world.


A very pleasing mix of tropic fruit/citrus top; honeysuckle, lily and white tea heart with amber, musk and sandalwood in the base. Inspired by the memory of a soft breeze on a hot day, Zephyr is a fragrant, fruity delight.

Though they occupy opposite poles of the scent spectrum, Zephyr and Gotham are my favorites of this group, which concludes the Signature Collection.

Next installment, four from Morris's The Vault Parfums.
5 years ago
Final installment, from Morris's The Vault Parfums.

The name says it all, thank goodness, because I can't find notes anywhere—perhaps freesia and iris or magnolia and marine notes? In any case we are at sea and perhaps there are whales because there could be a little ambergris. I don't see it still offered on the website so on to the next…

Dark Season

On a quick advance sniff through this group, only Dark Season closed my eyes. Its star is the luxurious oakmoss/labdanum combo which make this a near-chypre. Intead of bergamot and amber though, vanilla, cinnamon and myrrh introduce a gourmand feel and the woods (patchouli and fir) make the whole thing thrum. Winter is the dark season, especially in Nordic countries, and this is a winter forest, inspired by a walk on a "cold night, Finnish fir trees, warm fires burning on distant hearths" … and warm mugs waiting inside. This is a richly beautiful and narcotic scent.


Now to Fetish, a review of which introduced me to Neil Morris Fragrances. Bearing in mind that they are all accomplished, loving or not loving any specific Morris fragrance is only a matter of personal preference. I don't consider any of them flawed. However, this very interesting fragrance is a no-go for me. I wouldn't wear it, but I'm holding onto my sample because I like smelling it. Ambergris-leather-oud-musk announce serious funk, to which patchouli, rosewood and myrrh add resinous, woody beauty. There's benzoin and I always forget what that smells like. Reaching for perfumery notes kit … oh, right medicinal, like a kind of resinous iodine. All I can say is that, though a number of scents now range along my arms, Fetish took over the atmosphere. I could get addicted to it, like a kid sniffing something under the sink in hopes of getting high. That's why I'll keep it handy, but not wear it. Full disclosure: hubby, irreverent jokester that he is, said, "If your feet don't smell like feet, spray this on them." Guess he's solidly in the not-in-love-with-Fetish camp. I'm in the Fetish DMZ.

Midnight Tryst

Very funky indeed, due to its animalic base sporting not only castoreum, but civet and musk. The floral heart isn't helping as much as I'd hoped because narcissus (in its swampy guise) dominates gardenia, magnolia and rose. The top of sweet spice adds interest, but for me not beauty. Later in the drydown a dark beauty does arise. If you love Fetish, try this, too. I prefer his glorious Summer of Love.

The Neil Morris website says his fragrances are inspired by memories and intended to evoke emotion. They certainly do. Discovering his artistry has been a joy. Off to put things in my Neil Morris cart and get more samples.
Last edited by ScentFan on 02.09.2017, 18:41; edited 1 time in total
5 years ago
Thanks for such wonderful review. I personally didn't know some of them exists, you have worked so hard Smile recognized
5 years ago
Appreciate it, Lovefrag16. I'm in search of good niche perfumers these days and happily share the results. I bought Aegean for hubby's birthday and he's now in love with it. Bought Summer of Love for myself. Additional future purchases await.

Thanks for such wonderful review. I personally didn't know some of them exists, you have worked so hard Smile recognized
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