So last year, I reviewed Lampblack from FZOTIC and mentioned that it gave me strong steampunk vibes. Those vibes continue with Mistpouffer from Swedish fragrance house Stora Skuggan. Let’s take a look at some background first.
Stora Skuggan launched its first fragrance in 2015 and currently has five fragrances up for sale in their shops. You might recognize them for their fancifully shaped bottles with giant round bottle heads polished to pool ball shine. All of their fragrances are handmade in Stockholm.
As far as the house history goes, well… they’re a bit twee for my taste with a very vague rambling about a monsoon. But that doesn’t really matter so much if the fragrances are quality now, does it?
And what of Mistpouffer? To borrow a little, but not all of their site’s description:
A Mistpouffer is an unexplained natural sound, a sonic boom like distant cannon fire that seems to come out of the fog over large lakes or rivers. It has been recorded all over the world throughout history, and is the source of many legends. In Japan the phenomenon is called uminari meaning “cries from the sea”. In Connecticut, the Machimoodus state park gets its name from the native american name for the area, which means “place of bad noises”.What is a mistpouffer?
So we’re definitely going for a vibe here, and while I might not get magic sound cloud, I certainly did get a very vivid and delightful image of my own when I tried this out. Let’s look at the notes.
Top: Immortelle, bergamot
Heart: Fig leaf, pine, ozonic notes
Base: Smoke, vetiver, malt sugar, cypriol oil
Now, if you went back and took a second look at my Lampblack review, you’re going to notice one note, in particular, these two have in common. It’s a note that nearly always tingles my Steampunk senses: cypriol oil.
Also known as nagarmotha or nutgrass, Cyperus scariosus is a plant from the Cyperaceae family that is native to India’s Madhya Pradesh state. Though also known as a very, very invasive weed now spread worldwide, it is still associated with medicinal use (fever, nausea, and inflammation) and is used in, obviously, perfumery. This note in particular is a very rich, spicy, earthy, slightly woody scent and is WONDERFUL to me if you’re trying to have a certain ~vibe going on in your fragrance.
This is absolutely lovely. And very hard to quantify. Yes, you can track all of the notes listed above, but it still feels like there’s something unquantifiable lurking beneath this sweet and smoky blend. The sweetness from the sugar stays in the sillage cloud around you, but up close you’re getting a smoky, inky blast.
As I said, FZOTIC’s Lampblack reminded me of a steampunk aeronaut, and Mistpouffer has something of that otherworldly quality too. Perhaps it recalls an aristocratic lady adventurer who just stepped out of having a quick afternoon tea, one who’s now heading back to her airship, ready to launch on her next outing over the ocean. *As a side note, do yourself a favor and go brew some coffee after applying this. You can thank me for that olfactory treasure later.
Now let’s get to pricing. This isn’t cheap. (Neither was Lampblack.) You’re going to pay a premium both for the very cool bottle and the quality and creativity of the scent it contains. Mistpouffer can’t be found on the grey markets I’m familiar with, and at retail will run you $158 for a 30 mL bottle. You can, however, purchase a 1 mL sample from Fragrance Vault for $7.
Ultimately this is some rather expensive smelly water, which is about a typical price point once you start going into off-the-beaten-path niche fragrance houses. If you have the money and want a very well done, creatively vibrant scent (and bottle) this might be for you! For everyone else who is on the fence, I’d advise at least grabbing a sample.
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