Garnet wine and rubied roses with iridescent flashes of green-black earthiness; tart, tangy cherries with bitter almonds; syrupy fruits and sweet dessert — these are a few of the faces of Sadanne, a new fragrance from Slumberhouse, an indie brand out of Portland, Oregon run by the highly respected, talented Josh Lobb. I found his latest creation to be joyous, bright, and cheerful, not to mention very fun to wear. At times, Sadanne took me deep into Germany’s Black Forest with its tart Kirschwasser liqueur centered on sour Morello cherries and bitter almonds. On other occasions, it conjured up “Old Vines” Zinfandel wine with a dash of fruity Pinot Noir, and Ernest Dawson’s famous phrase about “days of wine and roses.” In short, it feels like an alcoholic’s gourmand interpretation of roses, and I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. Regular readers know just how much I love boozy, alcoholic, or wine-like notes in my perfumes. (I swear, I’m not a lush!)
Theoretically, Sadanne is a rose fragrance, but it was created by a man who shudders at the note and has always avoided making any floral scent up until now. I share Mr. Lobb’s squeamishness, and prefer my roses to be gagged, drowned, and then beaten to a whimpering pulp by other elements — preferably of an oriental nature. So when I heard that a rose-hater had made a rose fragrance that he could wear, partially as a challenge to himself, I knew I had to try it. I’m glad I did.