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I think the most important thing I’ve learnt from California-based1 perfumer Terri Bozzo is that you really never can tell where life will take you.
Terri’s Bachelor of Science is in Nutritional Sciences, but the type of lab she spends her time in these days isn’t the kind that researches properties of soy (at least not anymore!)2. Her perfume business began the way most good businesses do – through the founder’s passion. On her website she recalls her first-ever perfume (a Chanel) and the learning journey it initiated.
A self-proclaimed ‘gourmand nut at heart,’ Terri’s fragrances (unisex by default) have delicious names such as Douceur Brulee with edible notes to match; chocolate, whipped cream, caramel and sugar all make key appearances, as do some more unusual ones such as butter and birch leaf.
I had the pleasure of sampling all 9 of Terri’s current fragrance lineup in what she calls Discovery Set #1 and #2. At $5 each3 these sets are a perfect introduction to Bozzo’s brand, a sweet treat that any fumehead with a sweet tooth would covet.
The most recent release from Perfumes by Terri is the one that got me interested in the brand initially. When I saw this brilliant quote on it, how could I not be intrigued? How could anybody?!
“This week we released Oui Plus! our EDP based on S’mores… of course with a bit of a twist to make it darker and more mysterious4.”
A s’mores scented perfume so exciting that it comes with its own exclamation mark? Count me in!
Every order from Perfumes by Terri is blended, bottled, labeled and wrapped by hand5. Despite her brand’s growing popularity as a niche destination Terri remains humble and a delight to work with. Her package arrived quickly and intact, a true feat if you know anything at all about how Canada Post works! (Hint: parcels eternally missing in Post-Limbo.)
I wanted to take a moment to appreciate the presentation. If Terri takes the time to put together such elaborate packages for every single order then color me impressed!
I went into the sampling process expecting sweet, girly perfumes along the line of Aquolina Pink Sugar. What I got instead truly surprised me. Oui Plus! smelled heavily of graham cracker in the bottle, but upon application I found a surprising twist on the popular dessert. The fragrance, which uniquely leans towards the masculine end of the spectrum, indeed has a sweet graham cracker cookie scent and an airy note of puffy marshmallows (reminds me of a Bath & Body Works candle from a few years back called Summertime S’mores).
Where this differs from the classic childhood treat is in the chocolate accord; I found that the chocolate note in Oui Plus! leans towards a honeyed nougat combined with a heady note of pine. Put this one on and you’ve got yourself a cologne that smells like ending a day spent hiking on a camping trip with the man of your dreams with a fun delicacy, nestled in the fresh woods and without a worry on your mind.
Oui Plus! is ideal for men of all ages who want to smell pleasant, with a little somethin’ somethin’. I can see wearers of this fragrance constantly getting asked where they got it from – make sure to keep it a guarded secret! 😉 The full size bottle of Oui Plus! retails for $29/30mL6 and would make a great gift.
Truly impressed with the originality and wearability of Terri’s latest release, I decided to forge ahead. Another of the scents that stood out to me from the lineup were Mandorlo Cioccolato, a blend that’s noted for taking a longer time to create due to the curing time of its natural ingredients7. MC is a really luxurious boozy chocolate orange with fresh green notes. It would make a perfect companion for Oui Plus!’s outdoorsy character. When I put it on I imagine a clean lake and good friends – Terri has me itching to get my hiking boots on, for sure!
A final highlight, Elegance Sombre is an olfactory stunner. If you’re looking for a velvety, buttery, creamy, luxurious cocoa fragrance then this is it. With just a hint of berries, this cocoa, tea and praline gourmand is almost bitter in a way that makes it 100% unisex. Guys, prepare to break your diet and fall in love!
In case you’re interested, here are my thoughts on the rest of the collection:
- Confit de Rose: a rather strange blend of cookies, sweet berries, and a stunning rose absolute of the highest quality. The effect brings to mind those sandwich cookies with jam in the centre. I wish the graham crackers note was eliminated.
- Vanille Debauche: meant to be a dried-fruit driven perfume, but to my nose it was all olive oil. Again, it is of the best variety, but not what I expected and quite odd.
- Frollino Lavanda: this is a clean blend of lavender and vanilla. I did not get excited over it, but my mom’s a fan.
- Douceur Brulee: this scent is absolutely scrumptious. Somewhere between caramel, sugar, cinnamon and maple it smells like fresh French toast with a hint of citrus peel. This is the sugary goodness I’ve been expecting from the start, and it doesn’t disappoint!
- Vertigo Cuir: a green scent on steroids. Kind of has a cream cheese smell. Very peculiar.
- Sucre et Fleurs: a simple and unadorned vanilla that brings the word ‘sleepy’ to mind.
One (relatively small) criticism I have for Discovery Set #1 and #2 is that the samples come without atomizers and without the option to order them as an add-on. While it won’t be a big deal to most, I prefer the even application of a spray and find it harder to judge projection and longevity based on a dabber. Of course there is an easy fix to this – namely, ordering some atomizers myself – but it’s something for producers to consider.
Verdict: I expect great things to come from Terri Bozzo in the future. She is talented, creating unique blends that bring to mind specific moments in time. Her discovery sets are affordable and so cute, and I am sure that you will find a favourite among this lineup.
1Fragrantica: Perfumes by Terri perfumes and colognes
2Perfumes by Terri: Our Story
3Perfumes by Terri: Discovery Set #1 Prices true at time of writing.
4Fragrantica: Perfumes by Terri: Introduction and Giveaway
5Perfumes by Terri: Shipping
6Perfumes by Teri: Oui Plus! Prices true at time of writing.
7Perfumes by Terri: Mandorlo Cioccolato
Giveaway time! Five lucky winners will get their choice of Perfumes by Terri’s Discovery Set #1 or #2, sent by Terri to anywhere in the world for your sampling pleasure. Please use this Rafflecopter link to enter. Giveaway closes May 9th, 2015.