November 4, 2013

{review} abel vintage ’13

abel vintage 13After the experience I had custom blending an organic perfume I gained a small insight into just how hard it is to make one. Combining the various top, middle and bottom notes to create a scent that not only lasts, and beautifully develops, on your skin, but one that is also pleasing to a very discerning nose is truly a work of art. Your nose can differentiate between thousands of individual scents making the process a labour of love and discovery.

And that’s what I feel Abel was to founder Frances Shoemack, a true journey. Unsatisfied with any other organic scent on the market she set out to make her own. The concept behind the brand is an interesting one and was influenced by the time she spent working in the New Zealand wine trade. For her perfume, a ‘vintage’ blend would be released each year in limited quantity; the recipe would remain the same, but the nuances of the yearly harvest would dictate the unique characteristics of each batch. abel vintage 13_frances shoemack scorecard

ingredients: bergamot, black pepper, clove bud, sandalwood, vanilla vetiver, thyme

packaging: the wood casing is handcrafted in the Netherlands using reclaimed oak, sourced from old railway carriages (neat huh?!) that protects the perfume from heat and light damage

price: €115.00; purchase here

performance: frances has indeed created quite a unique product; between the addicting scent (the bergamot and vetiver notes really take center stage on this one) and longevity, it’s an impressive option for anyone looking for an organic perfume.

for-the-win? unfortunately, for me it wasn’t a win, but the label does state up front that this is not for every man or woman. Perfumes are a very personal product meant to embellish the wearer’s personality and I found this one didn’t quite suit me, or my skin’s chemistry. I did however love it on my boyfriend as I find the scent to be more masculine. On him it’s a very powerful, take-charge kind of aroma; however since he’s quite attached to his jean paul gaultier cologne I would have to run after him post-shower to spritz it on. I do have to admit that once you’ve smelled non-synthetic perfumes it’s almost impossible to think anything synthetic has a beautiful scent. Perhaps one day I’ll convince him to give it up.

noteworthy: the perfume was named after Abel Tasman who discovered New Zealand in 1642

  • Margie

    Organic perfumes should become another very desirable step in greening your world. Dip your finger into a puddle of petroleum oil and dab it on your wrists… Well essentially that’s what you are doing when using synthetic perfumes!!
    Very interesting review.

    • what an great comparison! Yes, no one would dab petroleum on themselves to feel beautiful, but that’s what we do everyday when we apply synthetic perfumes or mainstream beauty products.

  • Frances Shoemack

    Thanks for the lovely blog Sonja and all your kind words on Vintage ’13 – it’s so nice to hear. (Credit on the fragrance to our ‘Nose’ Isaac Sinclair!) I especially love that Vintage ’13 really shone on your boyfriend!

    • kudos to Issac! His nose definitely created a very beautiful, special blend 🙂

      • Frances Shoemack

        He did 🙂