Published on May 7th, 2016 | by The Perfume Expert
House of Matriarch Perfume Review
One of the Top Indie perfume brands on the market, House of Matriarch’s award winning scents are not only unique but MAGICAL!
As a perfume expert, I am always searching for new independent fragrance brands, and am delighted to explore the creative and innovative world of niche perfumery!
House of Matriarch is one such brand that I have recently become familiar with not only because of their unique scents but also because of their creative story-telling philosophy behind perfume.
“We believe in the transcendent power of fragrance to connect us to the past, captivate our being to excite the present moment and help us to write the future.”
I too believe in the power behind perfume to transport us to a different time, place, or mood, so I was excited to explore House of Matriarch and see where their scents take me!
First of all, I must tell you a bit about this “new” brand. Although, I say “new”, I mean relatively speaking compared to the longstanding traditional powerhouses of perfume. But that in no way takes away from the knowledge and expertise that this company houses.
Christi Meshell, the nose behind the brand, has had a lifelong study of natural correspondences, sacred cosmology and plant medicine, which has inspired the Matriarch fragrance creation and the storytelling of their innovative journey.
Her way of fusing the old world and ancient natural remedies with the aesthetics of modern perfume wearing makes her somewhat of a 21st century medicine woman of scent!
This talent led to Top Artisan Fragrance Awards in 2015, 14 gold, silver & bronze medals in Artistry, Uniqueness, Seductiveness, Ingredient Combinations, and Best Aroma.
Before that, in 2013 Christi received TOP ARTISAN PERFUMER at the International Fragrance Awards and was also named the TOP INDIE FRAGRANCE HOUSE of 2013 by Cafleurebon.
Many perfume experts speak the hight quality of natural ingredients and rare fragrance notes used in her creations, but they also talk about her magical ability to marry scents with the environment.
In fact, one of her passions is to pair scent with music, translating numerous songs into scent, creating concepts such as the Experience Perfume Project, Scent Sessions: Music & Fragrance and the Peace, Love & Perfume Project.
It’s easy to see how one could get swept up away in this dreamy house of perfumery!
So without further ado, let me introduce you to a few of the House of Matriarch fragrances: Trillium, Madrona, and Orca
A fresh floral fragrance, Trillium is a zen-like mixture of rich layered Tea, delicate White Flowers, warm Amber and soothing Chamomile.
“And invitation to an enchanted tea party”
Now Available at Nordstrom here
As you arrive to this outdoor tea party, you are greeted by the crisp, perky, and green notes of the vegetation that surrounds you. Fresh Green Tea is immediately picked up along with herbal notes like soothing Chamomile and minty Shiso, (an Asian herb that isn’t officially listed but has been mentioned by the creator regarding this fragrance). These add to the organic and almost rustic beauty of the fragrance.
Rare Aglia flower which is a tiny Asian sweet flower is also combined with Mimosa, to reveal a powdery and tip-of-the-nose quality which further lightens the scent.
But as you enter this fairytale party you are tempted by the teas!
With the clear emphasis on tea, if one concentrates long enough, you can smell a swirling blend of fresh Green, floral Jasmine, tart Roobois, to deep Black teas. This is my favorite aspect of this fragrance.
And when you’ve had your fill of tea, there are other delights to entice you like unique notes of Coffee Blossom that add a hint of the gourmand, slightly nutty and Nigori Sake, which has notes of sweet plum blossom is said to further smooth the scent (not listed officially as a note but has been mentioned by the creator in regards to this fragrance).
Followed by your usual base note subjects of glowing Amber, and warm Balsam. These notes make up the bulk of the scent experience so although listed as a fresh floral, the experience is much more deep, warm, and glowing.
To be honest, I find it misleading to class this as a fresh floral. Instead, I find Trillium to be quite subdued, demure, and quiet. It really ought to be in a category all it’s own….dreamy floral, or zen floral.
As with almost every niche/indie scent I experience, I get a sense of rustic charm. A palate of organic essential oils that give off a “homemade” sort of boho vibe. But in House of Matriarch’s Trillium this seems to work. Not only I believe because of the quality of the oils but because of the uniqueness of the ingredients.
Due to it’s peaceful nature, I’d wear this fragrance while meditating, or doing yoga. It’s a perfect fragrance to catch the first rays of dawn and breathe in the abundance of life!
Capturing the ancient Pacific Northwest, Madrona is an aromatic fragrance that centers around medicinal-like Lavender, woodsy Cedar, and dry Vetiver. Definitely a more masculine scent, Madrona is one that would suit someone who feels that they are “one” with nature, men or women.
Now available at Nordstrom here
It is hard to escape the aromatic intensity of this scent, so instead of their being a usual hierarchy of notes, this fragrance acts as a whole from start to finish.
Although said to feature Lavender, the Lavender appears to meld so seamlessly with the dry Vetiver that it’s hard to tell where one stops and the other begins. A similar situation, though to a lesser extent, happens with the Cedar and the Madrona (or commonly called Arbutus).
Madrona berries are supposed to smell like Anise-like and their flowers slightly honeyed. This sweet licorice-like smell again blends so seamlessly with the Lavender that it’s hard to tell exactly what is present.
Madrona is also said to contain sharp Guaiac Wood, and powdery Orris root, but i found these imperceptible.
I wouldn’t say that this full-on concoction isn’t good just because it’s so linear. In fact, for the type of wearer that I can see wearing this fragrance, it’s probably the most in-tune with nature fragrance. Just like being in nature, you are often hit with a mass of scents from the environment around you that all blend in to one scentscape.
This fragrance is rejuvenating and inspiring to the wearer. Definitely an earthy and woodsy scent, it would be well suited for the great outdoors, in particular men and those who aren’t afraid to dabble into the masculine.
This is the Amber of all Amber scents! Sexy, alluring, inviting, and perfect for both men and women!
First off, you are awaken by a jolt of salty air mixed with an almost driftwood quality before the Amber takes hold.
Combining this salty sea air with Amber to represent the origin of Ambergris is genius (to be greedy I wish there was a touch more sea water nuances in here).
Those of you who are familiar with perfume know that most “amber” perfumes aren’t really amber, instead they are a synthetic version or blended notes to mimic real Ambergris. Ambergris is one of the world’s most rare ingredients for perfume so that makes this scent extra special!
Now available at Nordstrom here
I usually don’t go for amber fragrances so I have to admit I didn’t expect to be blown away.
That’s because typically “Amber” scents use the same combination of synthetic Amber, Benzoin, and other Resins that smell overly sweet and give that same predictable warmth.
But Orca is a different kind of Amber! One for the Amber connoisseur!
Although it still does contain the usual suspects of Amber and Benzoin, it also showcases a suede leather-like nuance of Labdanum and a sticky sweet Honey facet that makes you swoon!
Not only that but the addition of REAL AMBERGRIS takes this scent to a whole other level.
Contrary to popular belief, REAL Ambergris doesn’t smell like the “Amber” we associate it with.
Instead, REAL Ambergris is a lot more subtle and soft. Instead of being overtly sweet, strong, glowing. REAL Ambergris smells more like warm skin.
The other aspect of REAL Ambergris is that it amplifies other notes, more than being a strong smelling note on it’s own.
I believe this is the reason why I am intrigued by Orca! It’s a more natural, hot, sexy skin fragrance that only gets better the longer it’s on!
I may not be an Amber convert yet, but I find myself mysteriously drawn to the allure of this fragrance!
Let’s just say that Orca will never leave me.
I spoke earlier about how niche brands all seem to have that same boho nuance to me, but House of Matriarch moves up a level to rival any of the greats with this take on Amber!
To learn more about House of Matriarch visit their website at www.matriarch.biz
The Perfume Expert Rating
Summary: Usually niche perfume brands all have that same "homemade" boho element, but House of Matriarch uses such quality ingredients and rare notes that they really excel as one of the Top Indie perfume brands on the market.