With the tick of the calendar over to 2014, something in my mind also went “tick” — as in, shut off. I focused on one task at a time. I slowed down and enjoyed the moment. I checked my e-mails and texts only a few times a day. It was all very “new year” cliche, and it was great. Some of the choices just felt like the right way to start a new year, but others I am hoping to cultivate as longer term habits.
Along with this mindset, I craved something different in my perfumes. I didn’t want to wear anything mass produced or mass marketed. I reached for a lot of perfumes from smaller companies, and some of those that I wore the most were a set of perfume oils by Sage.
Created by Sage Machado, an LA-based designer who started in jewelry and branched out from there, the oils are inspired by and named after gemstones. I asked Sage about the process, and she indicated that she looked for a perfumer who would allow her to be involved from A to Z, incorporating her own ideas about the gemstones. “I have researched where the gemstone is found naturally, and tried to use notes from those regions … In addition to really capturing the essence of what that gemstone has meant to me after working as a jewelry designer for 20 years. I try to evoke the color, the total essence of that stone,” she said.
My favorite (appropriately, since it is one of my favorite stones) is Onyx, a blend of black coconut, tobacco, oakmoss, vanilla, amber, and musk. It is heavy on coconut, which of course I love. The difference from other coconut scents in my collection is that it is more sultry than beachy. At the other end of the spectrum, I really like Pearl, which combines sandalwood, vanilla, and oakmoss. It goes on sweeter than I expected, but the milk-cream sandalwood note is great, and after 15 minutes on skin the delicate green notes are a fresh surprise, like mint leaves on a slice of cake. (Although not, obviously, minty.)
Garnet is the biggest surprise, a combination of gardenia, rose, amber, and vanilla that is super rich and full blown. Regular readers know I love gardenia, and pairing it with rose and (I think) some earthy elements that aren’t in the note list lets the gardenia stand out like a bright white thread against the black silk backdrop of the rest of the fragrance.
The last of the four oils I have is Amber. The note list is blood orange, labdanum, amber, and musk. I mostly smell a chocolate-orange-amber that is by no means unpleasing, but I wish Amber was more refined. It doesn’t have the same level of nuance as the others.
For those who are looking for serious longevity: one “squiggle” of the roll-on of these oils lasts 8+ hours on my skin before even beginning to enter the drydown stage.
I have to credit these oils with doing away my prejudice against 100% oil perfumes. I have often felt that completely oil-based perfumes are blunt and murky, but that isn’t the case here, except perhaps a little bit with Amber. Best of all: Sage perfume oils are 100% cruelty free.
Disclaimer: Product provided by Sage. Opinions are my own. Reviews are never paid or compensated. Read my Media & Disclosure page for details.