I’ll admit it, it’s entirely the name which is to blame, so perfectly evocatively cute, and the perfumer has come up with this description; ‘This blend is an artisan rendition of the sweet slightly musky smell of a kitty who went out for a winter walk and came back with chimney smoke and brisk air lingering in his fur’ Aaaaaaaww, you see, I had to try ‘Winter Kitty’ by ‘For Strange Women’!
Evergreen, fresh and zesty, while also silver cool, with a small bit of frostbite, and a little smoke starts the perfume oil off. My impatience got the better of me; where was the kitty in this winterscape? As it turned out, he just hadn’t quite arrived yet, rather the brisk winter outdoors entered before him. It’s snow and fir trees and so cosy it reminds me of postcard winters, rather than the cold that stretches without end, making anything but staying at home all curled up unpleasant. And the opening is a gorgeous blend, the fir, mint, vetiver and incense making up the perfect quartet. I love the way the vetiver makes the fir greener and the mint tones down the vetivery aspect while playing the cool metallic sides of both the incense and the fir for that‘ Jack Frost nipping at your nose’ kind of feel.
I’m not sure that, without the gorgeous little description, I would have come up with the story of the winter kitty myself from testing the fragrance. However, I can imagine that at this stage the cat would have had enough and would want to slip back indoors to a comfy sofa and a fireplace. As the fragrance warms up through the layers, it does gradually go a little sweeter, cosier, the way kittens paws still smell sweet like spicy cookie dough, not like a grown up musky feline. However, it really isn’t sugary in any way, just a little sweetness, from the rose and vanilla with a little of the incense and fir still lingering around in the little creatures coat.
Bollywood was quite the opposite of Winter Kitty. I did not order it because the name was sweet music to my ears and I do not have a soft spot for Bollywood movies. But the notes; Saffron, Cardamom, Black Tea, Sandalwood, Lotus and Rose… I love saffron and cardamom, and paired with black tea and sandalwood I simply had to try this.
‘Bollywood’ opens exactly as I had hoped for; sweet chai, cardamom buns straight from the oven with a glorious saffron note floating above it all- think a deeper and more golden Safran Troublant. As the sandalwood enters, so does quite a strong incense note. Gorgeous as this part is too, I’m so in love with the beginning of this fragrance that I should be happy if it had lasted forever longer, but that’s really being fussy. Bollywood is a great fragrance, which I can truly recommend to lovers of both DSH’s Cimabue and Safran Troublant, all three although of a similar nature, are different enough for me to excuse owning them all.
The perfumes are available as solids and oil. The oils last about 5-6 (WK) and 6-7 (B) hours at least on my very dry ‘Winter Woman’ skin. My skin also tends to ‘eat’ sweet notes, and these being natural perfumes others might get different wearing time as well as more sweetness/ other notes acting a little differently, which I find so utterly charming with natural perfumery. Although I generally much prefer alcohol based sprayable perfumes (edp/ edt), it doesn’t bother me here, and it would be the cat’s meow adding winter kitty as an oil in the morning to top up during the day from your solid pendant.
*As with a lot of indie and all natural brands, owner and creator of ‘FSW’ is located in the US. Her other perfumes have a.o. such graphic names as; London Fog anyone? Or perhaps Violin in the attic or Satin Corset, or perhaps Evergreen Mountain?
**Disclaimer; I bought the samples from FSW’s Etsy shop
Feature cat picture is mine, leopard in winter from gde-fon.com, kitty sample pic mine and chai pic from boxofspices