Last week quietly launched the new Dover Street Market Beauty Space in Los Angeles with Blackbird sharing shelf with Gucci, Tom Ford, Meo Fusciuni, Stora Skuggan, and of course, Comme des Garcons perfumes.
Every night my mind is filled with alternate universe dreams where every detail down to the macro level is nothing like anything you would see on this planet earth. I can't say having my perfumes sold at Dover Street Market is something I've dreamed of, but in an alternate reality type of way, it's possible that it was.
608 Imperial Street
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Jessica Murphy of PerfumeProfessor.com takes us on a journey to the moon to find our Triton is the perfect companion.
"July 20, 2019 is the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s spaceflight to the Moon and the first human contact there. “One small step for man…” (You know the rest!)
I don’t think Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Michael Collins were wearing cologne on that historic voyage—they had other things on their mind!—but I couldn’t help wondering, what perfume would I wear for a fantasy visit to the Moon, or simply for an evening of moon-gazing?
Here are a few ideas…
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Shimotsuki (Frosty Moon). I reviewed this fragrance on Now Smell This when it was released as part of DSH’s Haiku/Japan: Moonlight series.
It’s cool yet comforting, perfect for a night of contemplating the infinite skies above us — “a delicate and snowy soft perfume with frosty freshness in the top note, a contemplative hawthorn and orris heart, and dry woods in the base.”
Blackbird Triton. This lunar-themed fragrance is actually named for one of the moons of the planet Neptune, so I’m cheating a bit here! It’s a gender-neutral fragrance that evokes “finding and relishing the beauty of a frozen landscape.” I’ve also reviewed this one for Now Smell This.
Blackbird is a small indie perfume line based in Seattle and it’s worth checking out, imho.
Pilar and Lucy Tiptoeing Through the Chambers of the Moon. If you were planning on glamming up for your voyage to our mysterious space-neighbor, or just for a moonlit picnic here on Earth, you could wear a retro tuberose-and-amber scent like this one.
One of Pilar and Lucy’s other fragrances is named Exact Friction of the Stars, so I’m sensing some sort of celestial theme…
Demeter Spacewalk. Yes, Demeter has a scent for everything. Spacewalk was inspired by astronaut Don Pettit’s olfactory description of outer space: “It is hard to describe this smell. . . .The best description I can come up with is metallic; a rather pleasant sweet metallic sensation.”
I wonder whether its recent release (May 2019) was intended as a tie-in for this anniversary?
Penhaligon’s Luna and Endymion. This his-and-hers duo is named for the Moon and her mortal lover. Penhaligon’s tells us, “In ancient Greek mythology, the Goddess of the Moon placed Endymion, the most handsome son of Zeus, into a perpetual slumber so that she could gaze upon him forever.”
Luna is a fresh floral fragrance, while Endymion is an “oriental” blend with notes of lavender, spice, and leather.
Bonus! Schmidt’s Moon Flower Natural Deodorant. Here’s a stick deodorant that you could apply in case you’re nervous about your space travel or just thinking that you might get a little sweaty inside your astronaut gear.
(It’s actually inspired by night-blooming flowers like datura and it’s supposed to smell like “a desert retreat, with notes of palo santo, jasmine, and woody undertones.”)
And an unobtainable home fragrance: Cire Trudon Odeur de la Lune. I loved sniffing this candle at Aedes and I wish I’d bought one when it was still available, as expensive as it was. Now its weird mineral-metallic scent is just a memory.
What perfume would you wear for a trip to the Moon?"
Check out this review of Y06-S on PARFUMO (in German). Here is the review translated by Google Translate
"The scents of Blackbird are already special. To appreciate them, you probably need to know that people are big fans of science fiction. And so you should explore the fragrances best under the label "futuristic".
According to Blackbird, this fragrance represents a dystopian future in which bananas no longer exist and rich people carry synthetic fruit scents. Since I have to think inevitably of the film "Bladerunner" (the original). Imagine a future in which there are no more fruits, only artificial fruit notes. And since there are no more originals, the fruit notes become more and more artificial over time. For banana circles, for whatever reason, a tantalizing myth that makes them all want to smell banana smells all around them.
Curtain up for "Y06-S". Banana totally and of the most artificial variety - but the poor banana-free future people just do not know how real bananas smell. Jasmine, you may find ultra-sexy, so this must not be missing in any case. And, uuuups, there are a few burnt cable leftovers in the mix-tub - but that's hard to avoid, because Bananalessland is: cables, cables everywhere!
(You just have to admit that Blackbird actually made the overheated electronics note in the scent)
You do not have to find sexy Y06-S now. Or portable. Or mass suitable. Or suitable for the Sunday visit to the Omma. You just have to imagine that in another possible world, one that may be in the distant future, people find it sexy. And portable. And suitable for mass. And suitable for the Sunday visit to the Omma hologram.
In short, few will probably want to wear the fragrance, but to smell it is an experience. And you can have a lot of fun with him, if you get involved in the slightly weird world of Blackbird."
Fragrantica snuck up on us and wrote about the new release of Universal Supreme. Enjoy!
"Readers may have encountered the changeling company Blackbird in one of several incarnations. It began in 2004, and gained traction as a men’s clothing store in Seattle, Washington, before the boutique expanded its vision and products, gradually shifting attention toward scent-based retail markets. Blackbird’s founder Nicole Miller develops the fragrances; their efforts are stocked at trendy boutiques across the United States, internationally, and from numerous online purveyors.
Along with an ever-shifting collection of personal fragrances, Blackbird is well reputed for its extensive selection of potent cone incenses. In all their concoctions, Blackbird strike upon unexpected combinations of ingredients and staccato compositions that forego balance in favor of well-timed weirdness and intrigue. Several years back, the brand announced the motto for their creative pursuits is “Do it wrong.”
Pipebomb—a vaporous ocean mist and metallic number that seems to pause time at the start of some extravagant chemical chain reaction—and its flankers really define the experimental territory Blackbird seeks to explore. Y06-S is ripe banana and overheated circuit boards: it’s like wearing a glitching smoothie in The Matrix. The 2012 Hallow, regretfully discontinued with calls for its rerelease aplenty, may be among my favorite perfumes of all time. It’s distinguished by the brand’s practiced instincts for refined incense notes paired with marzipan and agarwood. For those who can still find it, Hallow is an extraterrestrial gourmand that manages to be both quirky and splendorous in its play of olibanum, smoke, and almonds.
Blackbird’s latest release is Universal Supreme, an instantly likable, polyphonic paean to swirling fruit, wood, and summer parties on beaches, in backyards, or along the music festival circuit. Universal Supreme is the unabashed anthem of summer 2019. Its first run has already sold out, with new stock available for pre-order and anticipated availability in mid-July.
Universal Supreme is a nocturnal dip in a swimming pool filled with icy cherry cola. Jammy roses float across the summery surface of the scent, evoking in high definition every kind of soda pop bubble and fluttering petal. The multifaceted strawberry at play in the composition flirtatiously shifts across top and heart note phases, starting fizzy before swooning into languorous, lovesick berry compote in which plump fruits bob in a boozy, brightly balsamic-tinged brew. Warming, coumarin hay bales stack along the volatile edges of this reverie.
Ambrosial puffs of incense wind through these well-appointed fruit notes, while reminding wearers of Blackbird’s particular Pacific Northwest aesthetics in the brand’s burnt incense accords. Amidst the growing trend of cola references among new perfume releases (and you’ll get no complaints from me for this cultural turn), Universal Supreme is possessed of a strange, fragrant smoke veering on religious fervor, included in place of the clove-and-cinnamon flourishes typically used with citrus in other cola scents to effect those nose-tickling, soft drink sensibilities.
Performance in Blackbird scents is decent. Not ghostly in the hasty departures of other niche conceptual lines, without conversely lingering the way some flacons out in the world have been perversely engineered for post-nuclear persistence. Blackbird scents have purposeful longevity. They will accompany you through your day, occasionally reappearing after you’d thought all was lost.
The brand excels at rich, holographic woody bases; their Ophir, for example, is a masterpiece of ornate carpentry. In Universal Supreme, complex, opulent, layers of dry and oily precious wood stretch like an old-fashioned roller rink into the backdrop for a pop synth music video delirium.
Universal Supreme is for the thinking reveler, as much artful analytics as spirited abandonment. Hybrid in its genre referencing and multivalent in its appeal, it plants a flag at the point of intersection of Blackbird’s many exploits, adventures, and ambitions."
Matt Morris is an artist who works in painting, perfume, and conceptual projects. He has presented artwork nationally and internationally. He writes for Artforum.com, Art Papers, ARTnews, Flash Art, Pelican Bomb, Sculpture, and Fragrantica; his writing appears in numerous exhibition catalogues and artist monographs. He is a transplant from southern Louisiana who holds a BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and earned an MFA in Art Theory + Practice from Northwestern University, as well as a Certificate in Gender + Sexuality Studies. In Summer 2017 he earned a Certification in Fairyology from Doreen Virtue, PhD. Morris is a lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
5 INSPIRED HOLIDAY GIFT SUGGESTIONS FROM THE STAFF OF SONOS
Five people who work at the company famous for beautifully designed home sound equipment make their recommendations for great holiday gifts this year.
2. INCENSE PYRES
“If you want to give the gift of the ultimate home scent, nothing beats my hometown Seattle-based company Blackbird and its Mars incense cones–a rich, spicy, amberlike scent.” –Brian Beck, Global Head of Music
Big thanks to Elle Magazine for featuring Y06-S in their December 2018 print and digital publications. Although they spelled our perfume name incorrectly, we are happy to see ourselves alongside friends Zoologist and Timothy Han - A great article. Click through to read it in its entrirelty.
The Best Perfumes Your Vanity Needs This Season
Find your perfect scent soulmate with this helpful guide.
Top shelf: Zoologist Tyrannosaurus Rex ($175), Imaginary Authors Whispered Myths ($120), Timothy Han Edition Perfumes Against Nature ($170), Sixteen92 Necromancy ($60), Etat Libre D’Orange I Am Trash ($149), Blackbird Y06-S ($88); Middle shelf: Juliette Has a Gun Liquid Illusion ($285), Editions De Parfums Frederic Malle Dawn ($1500), Byredo Eleventh Hour ($250), Serge Lutens Le Participe ($230), Le Labo Tonka 25 ($270), Chanel No. 5 ($160); Bottom shelf: Mugler Cologne Love You All ($70), Dolce & Gabbana Sicily ($495), Louis Vuitton Ombre Nomade ($330), Francis Kurkdjian Gentle Fluidity ($215), Mugler Cologne Fly Away ($70), Hermes Eau De Citron Noir ($130), Harmonist Yin Transformation
Before the Web, if you wanted to buy a new perfume, you had to trot down to your local department store and smell whatever mainstream mists you could find. But the Internet has completely changed the way consumers discover fragrances. Now you can order thousands of samples from thou- sands of independent perfumers with the click of a button. The new digital scents- cape has led to a rise in weird, challenging fragrances, the kind you’d never find at a mall. Their creators have pushed into ever-stranger territory as a way to capture the hearts (and noses) of millennials, who want to smell truly unique. Sixteen92, a four-year- old house from a self-professed “spooky ’90s goth kid” named Claire Baxter, has thrived online. She started with 15 scents, and now makes more than 200 for her loyal fanbase. Baxter’s perfumes are often witchy and avant-garde. For Necromancy, inspired by “a Victorian funeral parlor,” Baxter included notes of “ancient spirit boards” and “ceremonial incense,” in addition to more traditional ingredients, such as balsamic resin. If smelling like a haunted house isn’t your thing, there’s still something (strange) for everyone this fall: I am Trash from Etat Libre D’Orange uses recycled materials to conjure up the aroma of ripe fruit and cement; Imaginary Authors Whispered Myths smells like eating flambeed peaches in a log cabin; and Zoologist Tyrannosaurus Rex features sticky pine, tart geranium, and smoldering juniper oil.
(vintage photo stolen off the Internet)
We were so humbled recently when one of the most important perfume critics, Mark Behnke of Colognoisseur requested a sample of Y06-S for review. Mark works in chemistry and is the hardest working perfume blogger around. As I can tell, he wears a new fragrance every day and reviews it in depth. His reviews are technical, historical and full of magical. His nose is so detailed he can find the winners out of all the garbage celebrity scents, and his mental database of every perfume ever made is a little scary.
Here's the review he wrote...
"The way we all experience perfume is unique to each nose. We can agree that something smells like a rose. From there it might remind one of us as a cosmetic rose; another might see it as a fresh cut stem. The difference of perception is why one person’s holy grail fragrance is another’s scrubber. It also carries over when I hear from others about a perfume. I tend to have to battle through that to find my personal interpretation. This would be the situation with Blackbird Y06-S.
Blackbird is the Seattle, Washington-based brand owned and creatively directed by Nicole Miller. I have met Ms. Miller on a few occasions and one of the things which delights me about her is her fearlessness at producing perfume. Particularly over the last couple years, nothing which has the Blackbird label on the bottle is produced to be easy. Ms. Miller embraces an aesthetic which asks the wearer to confront their idea of what fragrance means to them. I also admire that Ms. Miller doesn’t feel the necessity to produce new product every few months.
Y06-S was released at the end of 2017, but it has taken six months to find its way to me. In my community of fellow perfume lovers, it has been one of the things I have been most asked about which I did not have the chance to try. The consensus description was it smells like bananas and skanky jasmine. Sounded like something I would like. When I received my sample a few weeks ago and sprayed some on a strip it was bananas and jasmine but that’s not what came up in my mind’s eye. Y06-S smells like my organic chemistry lab.
There is a reason for this disconnect. The organic molecule in banana oil is isopentyl acetate. Ms. Miller, as perfumer on Y06-S, uses a lot of this to produce her banana effect. For me it crosses from banana to chemical. This is not unpleasant in any way, but it is because I work with so many esters in a laboratory setting it is sort of the ambient sweet smell of a research lab. What is also the ambient scent of a laboratory is the heated electronics of the equipment. Ms. Miller wanted to use a metallic accord as contrast to the banana overdose. It achieves that but instead of contrast it completes the laboratory accord for my nose. The indole-laden skanky jasmine does come next. This will provide a floral complement to the strong fruit for most. For me the indoles are just more of the lab milieu. A figurative pinch of oud provides more of that as it amplifies the indoles over the floral in jasmine.
Y06-S has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Ms. Miller has continued the avant-garde aesthetic Blackbird is becoming synonymous with. Most others are going to smell a skanky banana; which it is. I just have a different view. Y06-S reminds me of happy days working in the lab. It is all a matter of perspective except that Ms. Miller is one of our most daring independent perfume producers.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Blackbird."
BLACKBIRD Y06-S IS A CRUELTY FREE BANANA PERFUME THAT SMELLS LIKE BANANAS AND JASMINE!
Let me start this banana perfume review out by saying that I LOVE the smell of bananas – especially candy bananas. I know some of you are with me and some of you are like what? Ew! Blackbird Y06-S is SUCH an amazing cruelty free perfume – it’s very layered and complex, and the banana smell wears off very quickly to give you a lasting jasmine scent. This scent is very classy and interesting and I don’t want you to get the idea that it’s some cheap, artificially scented perfume for preteens. Not the case at all!
I first heard about Blackbird perfumes on my friend and fellow Lipstick League blogger, Eau MG. Read her review here – she is much more of a professional perfume connoisseur than I am, so definitely check her review out! So, I finally got a sample of Blackbird Y06-S from an online shop called Sportique. They have a huge array of cruelty free perfumes, beauty products and other fun stuff. I love when I find a shop that has off the beaten path products plus some of my tried and true favorites.
Honestly, based on the description alone, I was sold with this cruelty free perfume. This is obviously a cool company who treats perfume like an art form, which is something I can appreciate.
In the future there will be no bananas.
SCENT NOTES: banana, electronics, agarwood, jasmine and milk
BANANA PERFUME DETAILS: Y06-S starts off as friendly floral with a clear and contrasting electronics note to distract you from the fact – that what you are truly smelling is banana. Once the zap dies down, jasmine backs up the banana and keeps the room bright and happy with moments of milky, plasticy cream. Like a good banana, it holds strong almost until the end, with oud revealing itself as the mastermind behind the entire composition. This is not a novelty scent. This is not a gourmand perfume.
I hate 90% of the perfumes in department stores and I’m always on the hunt for something unique that doesn’t smell artificial. I know I just said I love the scent of artificial bananas, but that scent can still be created from “real” ingredients. I’m probably not making any sense, but I promise you my sensitive schnoz can tell the difference between a dollar store perfume and one created with care and higher end ingredients. And Blackbird is on the high end for sure.
After the banana scent dies down (which is in about 30 seconds), you’re left with an interesting floral that is MOSTLY a sexy jasmine but I smell a lot of “electronics” which sounds odd, but when you smell it, you get it. It certainly makes this perfume unique and edgier than the usual. I don’t notice the milk scent (and by the way – it’s vegan – there is no actual milk in the formula), and I’m not sure what agarwood smells like so I can’t say if I’m getting that or not. The end result is a very sophisticated, feminine jasmine perfume that has just enough “bite” to keep me interested. It feels like a scent you would experience in a warm tropical climate, and reminds me a lot of my hometown near New Orleans.
I’m definitely going to be trying more Blackbird perfumes in the future and exploring more of what Sportiquehas to offer! Would you try a banana perfume? Know of any others I should try? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Instagram! Next on my list to try? The Body Shop Banana Body Butter!
After so many people told me “oh, you should visit Blackbird, you will love it,” and after two days of trying and not getting even close because of so many people visiting the booth, on the third day of the show I went there first thing in the morning as my personal mission. Everyone was right. I loved meeting Nicole Miller and Henry Aesoph, as well as their wacky wonderful fragrances. One of them completely fascinated me: Y06-S.
“Things were starting to look the same,” says Henry, who is also a designer, “so, we started making our own perfumes to fill this void.”
P.S. This may be the embodiment of the color yellow in olfactory terms. In fact, I was wearing yellow shorts and a yellow cap after writing this review. Afterwards, I went to a vintage shop and had the urge to buy a yellow shirt, which I decided to wear with the yellow shorts and cap...
The New York Times ran a little travel journalism piece on Seattle where our favorite Ballard neighborhood store for gifting and treating yourself right was mentioned along with little old Blackbird.
There’s so much that is new in this rapidly growing city: restaurants celebrating the bounty of the Pacific Northwest, an ever-evolving beer scene, and architecture that surprises and delights.
12) Noon. LOCAL PRODUCTION
Whatever the weather, crowds convene at the Ballard Farmers Market where vendors peddle Washington state products — from fresh produce and shellfish to charcuterie, cider and cheese — in the neighborhood’s historic heart. Browse the seasonal bounty, jostle among buskers and street performers, and visit Prism, a market-adjacent boutique where offerings recently ranged from artwork by the local illustrator Sierra Graves to unisex perfumes from Ballard-based Blackbird. Then detour to Venue, a nearby art studio, gallery and shop where products from dozens of area artists include pretty hand-printed letterpress cards from Seattle’s Ilee Papergoods.
"BLACKBIRD's new fragrance Y06-S is based on a banana accord, but not as simple as it sounds. They promoted a clear scent, contrasting to flowers and fruits, of electronics, plastic and oud in the very end, but altogether it is simply a good banana fragrance."
The scent to try: YO6-S would be the easy one to pick, but Broken Glass had, for us, a real spine-tingling energy."
Victoria Jent over at EAUMG went a little bananas for our latest fragrance, Y06-S.
Blackbird Y06-S Perfume Review
By Victoria Jent | January 25, 2018
Blackbird is a Seattle-based indie perfume brand with a minimal aesthetic and fragrances with backstories delving into science fiction, art and oracles. Throughout the years, I’ve reviewed a few Blackbird perfumes. In all honesty, I have never wanted to try one as badly as I did the newest launch Y06-S. Why? BANANAS. I am one of those weird people that loves the scent/flavor of artificial bananas. It’s so sickly sweet, unnatural but if you really focus on a real banana isn’t it as well? Bananas (real and fake) are so distinctive. As a note, it’s not really used in perfumery. I think because it’s polarizing (many people hate the smell and flavor of bananas). But, then there are people like me. I have been wanting a banana perfume for years (weird, I know).
Y06-S opens like banana-flavored Runts (candies). It’s isoamyl acetate, one of the few things I remember from an undergrad chemistry class. It then becomes banana peels and a heady jasmine. And this is how it mostly wears – a banana white floral. The jasmine is heady, humid and very realistic. The banana, at this stage, loses that candy-ness and is like a banana peel. You can smell the phloem bundles, those (annoying) strings within a banana peel that act almost like the banana’s umbilical cord.¹ As far as electronics, I don’t pick that up at all. I get more of a synth oud and something green like vetiver with a very faint “unwashed scalp” of costus.² Most of the wear on me is a humid, tropical banana meets white floral. It’s really pretty and something I see myself wearing a lot of when it becomes warmer.
Blackbird says in their copy, “This is not a novelty scent. This is not a gourmand perfume“. I agree. It’s a fruity-floral that plays up the banana quality that a lot of creamy, custard-like white florals have by deliberately adding an extra dose of banana. I’m happy to see a modern brand not rely on the usual charred woods or leather that has been popular for years within indie/niche perfume brands. I’ve been saying this for years, but I’m so ready for indie/niche brands to give us their interpretations of florals and “femme”. In 2018 and beyond, I’ll be happy to try any new launch that doesn’t smell like smoked brisket.³
Notes listed include banana, electronics, agarwood, jasmine and milk.Launched in 2017. PERFUMER – Nicole Miller
Give Y06-S a try if you like banana, fruity white florals or the thought of a banana floral. I can’t really compare to many other perfumes since there aren’t many perfumes that highlight banana like this. Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Banane is much more sweet, gourmand and creamier. LUSH Ladyboy (discontinued), a “banana chypre” is much greener than Y06-S. Demeter Banana Flambee is like banana bread, so nothing like this perfume. Then there are tropical florals. Y06-S is more along the lines of M. Micallef Ylang in Gold or Serge Lutens Datura Noir but with a noticeable addition of banana candies/banana peels and a humid jasmine.
Projection and longevity are average.
Y06-S comes in a few sizes with the 1 oz retailing for $88 at Blackbird.Samples are also available for purchase.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Banana white floral. It’s really pretty but not the usual “pretty fruity-floral”. Remind me to pick up a bottle of this in the summer.
¹The entire pop-science article here for those that really want to know more about bananas.
²Note that neither of those notes are listed by the brand. I’m not saying they’re in there, just using those notes as references/descriptors.
³If you read EauMG or do a search, you’ll find that I’m not opposed to smoky perfumes. It’s just that I’m burnt out on smoky woods because everyone was launching a campfire fragrance. I’m not the only one, many people have chimed in saying they are also fatigued by smoke and sharp woods.
Over at Men's Fitness, they're dishing out the best stuff for oily skin, including our very own Universal Face Oil.
The Best Ways to Combat Oily Skin
By Adam Hurly | December 21, 2017
LIKE THE COLOR of your eyes and the texture of your hair, the oily nature of your skin is a genetic trait. If yours produces more oil than the next guy’s, this is just a reality with which you have to live.
Oily skin doesn’t have to haunt you, though: It’s easy to minimize the shiny side effects of oily skin, and to keep that oil production in check on a daily basis.
All you need is the right products—and these six are a good place to start.
1. Try a serum
If you have oily skin, you may want to ditch a moisturizer for two reasons. The first is logical: Moisturizer can make you sweat, which only aggravates your shiny situation. You need to apply something lighter to the skin, and a serum is the perfect candidate since it packs even more nourishing ingredients than a moisturizer and can permeate all three layers of the skin. (Try Lab Series Future Rescue Serum.)
2. Consider a face oil (seriously)
Second, you may want to ditch the dense moisturizer because it isn’t doing anything to balance your skin’s oil levels. The skin will produce oil until it reaches its natural equilibrium. (Which, in your case, is excess oil.) Oddly enough, the solution for this is often applying more oil. By putting a face oil on in place of a moisturizer you’re getting all the same hydration benefits: Face oils absorb quickly and can even help balance your oil production. The skin registers that there is already oil present, thus it produces less oil. How novel! (Try the Universal Oil from Blackbird Ballard.) Best of all, oils give you the same protective benefit as moisturizer, so you aren’t sacrificing service by applying one.
3. Try zinc-packed SPF moisturizer
If you’d rather not substitute your moisturizer, then at least buy one with SPF and zinc oxide. (Like Harry’s Face Lotion with SPF 15.) It’s easy to find a product with SPF, but when you do, double-check for the zinc oxide: It’s a broad-spectrum shield against UVA and UVB rays, and it actually mattifies the skin in the process. Thus, you get sun protection and eliminate excess shine.
Best of all, zinc oxide can minimize the agony of a sunburn, can help disinfect cuts, and is FDA-approved for infants since it’s a natural mineral. Suddenly, “reducing shine” feels like a backseat benefit—even if it’s still a major win for you.
4. Switch cleansers
It’s possible that your garden-variety cleanser is doing the bare minimum to rid pores of excess grime and buildup—that is to say, it’s too gentle—or that it’s dehydrating the skin and creating an entirely new problem, it’s too potent. So, you should get a cleanser that deep cleans pores without overdrying, with the added benefit of dissolving dead cells. These toning benefits are all obtainable with a salicylic acid-packed cleanser: You get smoother complexion minus the shine. (We like Murad’s AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser.)
5. Get toned
The oiliest amongst us should consider adding one step to their skincare regimen: toning. A good toner is a hydrator, exfoliator, and cleanser all in one. It deep-cleans then tightens the pores while regulating oil production in each. So, when applied after a cleanser and before a moisturizer, toner ensures that you get less oily throughout the day.
It’s imperative that you use a toner and not an astringent, however: The latter contains alcohol and can severely dry out and damage the skin. Instead, get a toner packed with nourishing ingredients, like Ursa Major 4-in-1 Essential Face Tonic, which uses aloe, birch sap, willow bark, and green tea to soothe and smooth the skin.
6. Carry face wipes
You’ll still get oily from time to time, even if you employ all these strategies. (You’re genetically designed to shine, and its going to happen on hot days or before big meetings.) As such, it’s wise to tote a few skin-toning face wipes in your pocket or bag for instant mattification. Fulton & Roark’s After Shave Cloths are perfect on the go, and are equally helpful for cleansing and soothing the skin after a shave.
Sometimes we get so busy that we miss things, like this sweet little shout out in Fragrantica's 2015 Best Of list. A heartfelt thanks to our friend Jodi for including Broken Glass. For more recent news, you can read her review of Y06-S.
FRAGRANTICA Editors' Favorites of 2015
by: Elena Knezhevich
This year we would like to list the personal perfume favorites of 2015 of our Fragrantica editors. We all have different fields of expertise and interests, we live in different countries and participate in different perfume events. But we love what we do and gladly share our personal unbiased opinion of what we think is best among the numerous perfume launches.
Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison
Fragrantica Writer & Editor
Serguey Borisov writes about perfumes for GQ.ru and Vogue.ru, and contributes on the subject for glossy magazines... more
Sandra Raicević Petrović
Fragrantica Writer & Editor
Sandrina started her work at Fragrantica from its very beginning of the site... more
Eugeniya joined Fragrantica team in 2013 to work on perfume news and reports from perfume events. more
Fragrantica Writer & Editor
An appreciator of fine fragrances since childhood, she tried her hand at natural perfumery and fragrance-mixing for a number of years more
Fragrantica Writer & EditorElena Vosnaki is a historian and perfume writer from Greece. She is the founder and editor of Perfume Shrine... more
Ida Meister has been an avid collector and sniffeuse for over 40 years. She adores consulting and collaborating with niche... more
Fragrantica Writer & EditorJuliett Ptoyan is a perfume journalist who collaborates with several glossy magazines... more
Bella van der Weerd
Bella van der Weerd studied Communications at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands... more
Fragrantica WriterJohn Biebel is a painter, musician, writer and software designer currently living and working in Boston, MA... more
Fragrantica Editor-in-ChiefElena Knezevic founded Fragrantica together with Zoran Knezevic in 2007.. more
Editor Jodi Battershell discusses the unique appeal of our latest, Y06-S, and calls it "intriguing," for a start.
By Jodi Battershell | December 23, 2017
Blackbird is an edgy design house from Seattle. Probably known best for their world-class incense blends, the brand also offers scarves, a skin care line, tea and a series of artistic perfumes bearing unusual names and original compositions. I've tried and loved several creations from this brand—chilly iris-and-incense-y Triton; woody and smoky Targa; fractured floral Broken Glass. Considering one of their most popular fragrances is named Pipe Bomb (and it's so beloved it got an Intense formulation in 2015), new fragrance Y06-S, with its what-the-hell name and intriguing mix of banana, electronics, agarwood, jasmine and milk notes, was sure to be nothing if not interesting.
Y06-S (which Blackbird have informed us is pronounced "why zero six dash ess") doesn't disappoint. It's completely unique and yes, you can smell the "electronics" note, but I'm pleased to report the fragrance is also completely wearable. The only folks who might be warned away from this one are the jasmine-haters. If you're a jasmine-lover like me, especially natural jasmine with its complex, narcotic and indolic facets intact, you'll find Y06-S an absolute delight.
The "electronics" component (and I have no idea what the notes are that compose this element of the fragrance—not even a guess) appears just after spritzing the fragrance. They're akin to the smell of warm plastic. I once had a new stereo installed in my car and these notes remind me of the scent of that radio/cassette player (it was the 80s, kids) after a Saturday night spent cranking out the tunes while cruising up and down the main drag of my little town. It's a lingering, deliberately inorganic-smelling but not unpleasant aroma, with a slightly fuzzy edge.
Not to be outdone, the banana and jasmine are already competing for attention as soon as they're out of the bottle. The electronic components fade and the fruit and flower take center stage and hold it for a good four to five hours. Which is not to say this is a fruity-floral fragrance. It is far from it, with the banana leaning more green than sweet, and with no additional flowers surrounding the jasmine. (My nose finds the dry prickle of vetiver, too, though it's not listed as a note.) The banana peels away as the fragrance dries down, with pleasant floral soapy aspects emerging at the six hour mark. The last traces of jasmine persist to the very end as the fragrance fades to a soft woody-floral.
Having tried much of the Blackbird collection at this point, I find Y06-S fits comfortably with the brand's unisex aesthetic while simultaneouisly taking it in a new direction. Blackbird fragrances are distinctive among the sweet and fruity fragrances that continue to dominate the fragrance market. The brand seems to specialize in the woody, earthy and resinous notes that burn well in incense and many of their perfume compositions use these notes as a jumping-off point, but with recent releases like Y06-S and 2016's Anemone (a striking aquatic oriental fragrance in a category all its own), they show us there is still something new to be done with those ancient woods and resins. Y06-S is a great fragrance for jasmine fans and banana fans, but also has something to offer the woody/oud fans, too. (Y06-S is available as a 1 ml sample for $5, and in 10 ml, 30 ml and 60 ml eau de parfum atomizers, from $58.00 to $138.00.
LIMITED EDITION GIFT SETS FOR THE HOLIDAY
Blackbird are also offering a cool thing on their website: limited edition gift sets featuring 10 ml pairings of their fragrances in rollerball format. The quirky names suggest something about possible recipients and predilections (such as "Weird Wife" which features Y06-S with Anemone and "Smokey the Bear" which pairs smoky/incense-laden fragrances Pipe Bomb and Targa). My recommendation: "Lemonade," featuring Y06-S and Broken Glass, a wearable abstract floral that I chose as one of my Top Three releases for 2015. The gift sets retail for $76. Quantities are limited and available only through December 2017.
Thank you to Blackbird for the opportunity to try Y06-S. Please visit the official website of Blackbird to learn more and purchase. Samples of incense, perfume and skin care products are available, with options for international shipping. Blackbird fragrances and incense are also carried at a large number of stockists across the United States as well as China, Canada, Australia and select European countries.
SeattleMet features Blackbird among the Pacific Northwest's finest perfumers, with a shout out to our unique style.
By Rosin Saez | December 19, 2017
Whenever my mom was busy, say, tending to the garden—which really meant weeding for hours, because isn’t that all gardening is?—I’d sneak into her bedroom. There, upon a shelf, lived a row of glass bottles of honey-hued elixirs—fancy, feminine, adult eaux de parfum, like Chanel, Lancôme, and, okay, Cool Water (a department store gift set constant since 1996). One spritz, to a nine-year-old, was never enough, the stealth mission blown by the olfactory assault of the saccharine cloud in my wake.
Those were the mass-manufactured perfumes of yore. These days unlikely suspects, wafts of freshly baked doughnuts or salty air from Elliott Bay hanging in early morning fog, can inspire an inventive perfumer. Beyond solely making something smell good, Seattle’s indie scentmakers are storytellers, harmonic translators, and alchemists of the odd.
Natural fragrances, often heavy on the lavender and patchouli, bear a pretty folksy reputation. But for James Elliott of Filigree it’s less folk and more alternative rock and dream pop of the ’80s and ’90s. The local fragrance craftsman possesses a neurological condition known as synesthesia, allowing him to render music into aroma and vice versa.
“I had this weird thing happen,” says Elliott. “I was listening to music, but my nose was coming into play.” Filigree perfumes can start with such sounds as the pummeling rush of the Pixies’ Surfer Rosa and meld into notes of wood, spice, and roses.
Meanwhile, JT Siems is a history nerd and former high school English teacher whose Immortal Perfumes begin with a character or story. That might mean recreating the “feeling of sitting in a library” or imagining what someone like Marie Antoinette would wear—“sometimes I find textual evidence about what they actually did wear.”
One, named Weird Sister, references the witches from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth; after some toiling, no doubt, it smells of earth, ash, wormwood, and apricot.
Then, look to Blackbird’s Nicole Miller, who blends abstract scents reminiscent of ink on paper, burnt rubber, bananas, and “plasticky cream” into refined perfumes that are as idiosyncratic as they are pleasant.
For me, these are tinctures that will decorate my dresser. I’ll dab on something redolent of dulcet vocals or English prose.
And then dab on a bit more because old habits die hard.
Get a Whiff
Three distinct perfumes with three distinct styles.
Pamplemousse, $50 Grapefruit, like most things, just sounds better in French. The citrusy, honey-sweet scent, though, is universally understood: tart yet light, and goes well with your favorite LaCroix. immortalperfumes.com
Hallow, $88 This Blackbird eau de parfum is quite the misnomer: The aroma is full of warmth—amber, frankincense, the starkness of a hot, ancient sun. blackbirdballard.com
Sixteen Days, $79 Inspired by a song of the same name from gothic dream pop collective This Mortal Coil, this tincture is evocative of storm clouds and haunting three-minute crescendos. filigree.co
HuffPo recently included Blackbird's Beard Oil The Present in their feature about beard oils.
By Dana Oliver, December 15, 2017
Bearded men were turning heads long before The New York Times declared facial hair fashionable. There’s just something about a well-groomed guy that makes you stop and stare. You’ll also notice when there’s a hair askew, or the way the not-so-sexy scruff feels against your face.
Luckily, there’s a product to help with that and it’s called beard oil. Packed with conditioning ingredients like jojoba oil, grapeseed oil and argan oil, Dove Men+Care hair expert Jason Schneidman believes it is essential for maintaining facial hair.
“Most men don’t believe they need to use any products at all,” says Schneidman. “Men should take care of their facial hair as much as they take care of the hair on their heads.”
If you’re still not convinced that you need to add beard oil to your daily routine, here are three tips from the celebrity groomer that will make you a believer.
Beard oil moisturizes facial hair and the skin beneath.
Beard oil is hydrating to the skin and helps soften and tame beard hair, which means it also does double-duty as a styling agent. According to Schneidman, the ideal beard should look shiny and groomed — not dusty, flaky and shaggy.
The best time to apply beard oil is right after washing your face.
Schneidman recommends putting on beard oil first thing in the morning after showering or cleansing. “This way, your hair follicles and pores are open and can easily absorb the oil,” he adds. “Caring for skin, particularly cleansing and moisturization, is crucial, especially if you live in a cold or dry climate. We tend to think ‘more is better,’ but just a few drops of most things is plenty.”
Rub the beard oil into your hand, then massage it throughout your beard like this:
If your beard is longer, use a comb to make sure the product coats every hair and moisturizes your skin.
Beard oil keeps facial hair flake-free and smelling fresh.
Thanks to moisturizing oils, a little beard oil is just enough to tame those flyaway hairs and eliminate flakes (a.k.a. beard-druff). And with so many musky/woody essential oils like cedarwood and sandalwood, Schneidman points out that this often overlooked product also acts as a natural cologne.
See HuffPo for their full beard oil recommendations.
Design Love Fest, a blog where type and design totally make out, featured Blackbird's incense in their holiday 2017 gift guide for stockieng stuffers.
Gift Guide / Stocking Stuffers
By Design Love Fest, 12/13/17
DLF: This could be called stocking stuffers or just smaller, meaningful gifts that won’t take up all the room in your suitcase but will still give the receiver a general feeling of glee!
View the full gift guide on Design Love Fest!