JOSH ROSEBROOK ENFLEURIA
Back in March, I was honored (and frankly floored) to receive an email from Josh with an offer to be one of the first few people to try his new botanical fragrance - Enfleuria. As a superfan of the brand for its plant-based performance in skin and haircare, I had a feeling there would be something special with this fragrance launch. The brand's meticulous formulas have become fan-favorites, which is all the more deserved knowing that Josh Rosebrook the person is as kind and genuine as they come.
It's taken two months to really settle into Enfleuria and give it the complete review it deserves. Despite the unusual circumstances at the moment, the timing couldn't be better for trial & testing purposes. Any excuse to wear beautiful fragrance, right?
As the midday sun seeps through vibrant gardenia blooms, an aromatic vapor vibrates outwards from the warmth. An ylang-ylang breeze floats across your nose, creating a stretchy sweetness reminiscent of the mouth-watering sensation of chewing two or three pieces of pink bubblegum at a time. It's elastic, nostalgic, and you can almost feel it massaging your gums.
Underscoring this summery scrumptiousness is a touch of depth from jasmine. There's just enough to lend an earthy quality that keeps the overall experience feeling lush and verdant rather than sticky and sugary. My nose detects a tinge of something indulgent like cacao or vanilla, but don't mistake this for 90's cotton candy perfume. This is white floral heaven, sans any feeling of powderiness or dryness. Josh has explained that gardenia alone contains top, middle, and base notes, and I find that plays out in Enfleuria. There's inherent complexity in its simplicity. This might be the white floral fragrance for someone who thought they didn't like white florals.
TL;DR Somewhere between a timeless bouquet of gardenia blooms perched in a breezeway and the gourmand comfort of tangy skin after a day in the sun.
The sillage, or size of the scent cloud around you is minimal with Enfleuria. It sits quite close to the skin and only hovers slightly above where you've applied it, so it could very well be worn in a professional setting and you wouldn't be the person who let a fragrance fart rip in the elevator. You know the ones...
There's an elegance to the composition that I think lends itself to being a special occasion fragrance. Wedding, anniversaries, holidays, or even the monthly date night. That's not to say you can't wear this just for yourself during an evening of self-care on any given Tuesday, but the precious nature of the juice alone makes me want to savor it during life's brightest moments.
With that said the slightly voluptuous nature of gardenia may be more pleasurable in an intimate setting, depending on your personal preferences. This is the kind of fragrance that I think adheres to Gabrielle Chanel's rule - apply where you'd like to be kissed.
Wear-time will be shorter with any pure botanical fragrance oil since there's no solvent alcohol base to help the scent "stick." The base of Enfleuria is certified-organic jojoba oil, and lasts around 3-4 hours per application on my skin. As it wears down, the gardenia stays linear and the ylang ylang becomes less pronounced. Some may actually prefer this length of wear time, especially if you tend to wear fragrance as a treat rather than all-over, every day.
You can prolong a fragrance's longevity by applying it on areas where you have hair, like on the backs of the arms, legs, and back of the neck. Massage gently, but try to let the oil remain on your skin for as long as possible. You can also 'prime' the skin with unscented oil or lotion first, but you run the risk of altering the scent of the fragrance applied on top.
PS: Regardless of the fragrance, applying on your wrists then rubbing them together is the quickest way to cut wear-time in half!
One has to appreciate the technique and care that goes into making a fragrance like Enfleuria. Because the delicate petals of certain white flowers like gardenia, lilac, and iris cannot be steam-distilled, or don't yield much fragrance from this process, the aromatic components must be extracting using a fatty substance. This process is called enfleurage, and was popularized in France in the 19th century. Back then animal lard was used as the fatty base, but Josh is using plant oils in this botanical fragrance.
The cold or room-temperature fatty substance is spread between two glass plates, then the flower petals are placed on top. The plates are pressed together, put in a frame, and left to soak. The petals are then removed and replaced with fresh ones every few days until the fat is completely saturated with the aromatic components.
After this 'pomade' is produced, alcohol is used to extract the pure aromatic oil from the fat. This end product is known as an absolute, and it's as precious as it sounds. In one study, 1000 kg of tuberose flowers yielded only 801g of absolute. African Aromatics has a great history of enfleurage with photos if you're curious to know more about the technique!
This time and labor-intensive process yields some of the purest and most complex versions of natural scents imaginable. To me they are the scent equivalent of being photorealistic. Enfleuria is no exception. It's truly an example of hard work paying off in unimaginable ways.
Josh Rosebrook Enfleuria
$150 for 0.5 fl oz (15 mL)
*Gifted by the brand. This post is not sponsored.