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
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!
Blackbird's incense is in good company in this nifty feature over on Hello Real Life.
By Mindy White on December 8, 2017
Now that The Beach Boys are stuck in your head, what I really want to talk about is energy. Ever since I was little, I’ve been intrigued with magic, energy, angels, spirits, faith—you name it—I was always curious. I think it’s just the unknown itself that fascinates me, especially energy.
There’s a lot more to the saying “good vibes only.” It’s because we, as in humans, people, plants and objects constantly give off vibrations. We’ve all been around people that have a negative vibe, been to a place with amazing energy (like the ocean or a park), and met someone with addictive spirit that we want to be around more and more. That’s energy working. And, that’s why it’s important to learn how to control your own energy so you’re not as easily affected by other’s. That’s where things like crystals, oils, smudges, and other metaphysical findings come into play. In a similar way that people wear crosses around their necks, when used correctly and spiritually, these items can help you control, deflect, and even attract certain energies. Not to mention, they’re just beautiful and comforting to have around.
Visit the blog post to view the entire gift guide.
Blackbird's Triton was recently featured in Joshua's winter fragrance feature.
November 23, 2017
Triton, named after the moon of Neptune that was in turn named after the son of Poseidon, is a cold fragrance. Its scent carries the nose to the icy surface of its namesake moon, but is not unrelenting.
It's about finding the beauty of a frozen landscape.
I don't know who invented the dopp kit (and I refuse to fall down that wikipedia blackhole), but I suspect this person had a lot of obsessive grooming habits and had never heard of travel sizes. We'll forgive them. But we should not forgive every dopp kit maker that came afterwards.
There is no reason you need a shoebox worth of product when you’re going away for a long weekend. Somehow what should be a simple, small pouch has turned into a leather-and-canvas arms race.
I'm here to set the record straight: A dopp kit should be about the size of a pencil case. I keep mine fully-packed at all times, so I can just throw it in my backpack and go. (This, by the way, is the true power of a small dopp kit: it fits neatly in your backpack, staying easily accessible and not taking up space in the roller bag.) I’ve taken the same combination of supplies on one-night escapes and on two-week-long, multi-city voyages. It is tried and true. Here is everything you need:
1. Collapsible toothbrush.
Quip makes a good one.
2. Small toothpaste.
Available at every drug store.
3. A small vial of dry shampoo
You do not need to bring your industrial size containers of shampoo and conditioner when you go away for a week. (And by the way, you’re washing your hair too much anyway. Skip a day.) Go to Flight 001 and get a few cheap plastic vials. Then invest in some dry shampoo. Why? Because it does the same thing as the regular stuff, and because after a long, gross red-eye, you can duck into an airport bathroom, run some of it through your hair, and be good to go for the rest of the day. I like Empire Apothecary Hair Dust. It’s organic and it smells like clay. I bring a tiny vial of it everywhere I go. It looks like cocaine but I’ve been back and forth from South America three times this year and it hasn’t been an issue.
4. A small vial of your favorite body wash.
Fill up one of those little plastic vials you bought. A couple of liquid ounces should be fine. This one isn’t even mandatory–most hotels have soap. If they do, and if you happen to like that soap, take an extra mini-bottle home and stuff it in your kit for next time.
4. Shave Oil
Shave oil is your all-in-one solution, and a little bit goes a long way. A good oil preps the skin, moisturizes, and helps the razor glide smoothly over the trouble spots. I swear by an organic, house-made shave oil from a barbershop in Brooklyn called Blue & Black. Love the stuff, but I don’t know how easy it is to find. Blackbird also makes a good one.
Read the full story here.
Wow! Looks like our Tea No.1 The Moon was featured on Stylecaster's 50 Best Gifts Under $50 to Give This Year.
READ MORE ON STYLECASTER
Blackbird Pipe Bomb Intense recently had a shout out in Acquire magazine:
Blackbird's "explosive" new scent, Pipe Bomb Intense
Remember back in the day when you and your friends all wore the same fruity body spray and your whole friend group would smell the same—like a cloud of synthetic fruit running down the halls of your grade school? Luckily we all out-grow that berry-melon-mist phase of life. But still it’s smell just like everyone else. If you’re someone who enjoys bonding with friends (and strangers too) over your shared love of Elizabeth and James’ Nirvana, then fragrance shopping is a breeze for you. If you’re someone who prefers a bit more mystery in her perfume, this is the guide for you.
READ MORE ON BYRDIE
This week only, you can win three bottles of Blackbird's new 30 mL perfumes on one of our favorite style blogs thisheartsonfire. Click through to sign up to win and spend a second to check out the incredible content.
The smoky extra-fragrant Blackbird Nahk cones re-create the beautiful high of huffing fresh leather."
Joshua's Magazine is an aesthetically beautiful and thought-provoking men's lifestyle magazine out of the UK that aims to present aspirational designers and creators from a huge variety of different fields. Its content is curated to celebrate brands and individuals doing exceptional, progressive work that might be of interest to any guy living anywhere in the world.
In its latest issue, Joshua's Magazine wrote a feature on incense briefly tracking its history and how history has led to the next step forward, Blackbird Incense.
Click on the image to read the full article.
Pick up a copy of Joshua's Magazine at various newsagents around NYC, or at Barnes & Noble across the US.
This month we saw a lot of love for the Blackbird Incense, which makes sense since we're moving into the ultimate time of year for incense burning. Take a look at the latest Blackbird gossip.
We met The Goodsmellas back at Elements and we've been buddies ever since. They put together this recently surfaced interview with one of our Blackbird product masters, Liz, who does an awesome job explaining what we do. We also talked a little bit about Seattle-based perfume line Olympic Orchids. Thanks to Carlos and all of the Goodsmellas!
Ape to Gentleman, one of the clear leaders in the men's grooming blogosphere, gave an excellent write-up for our Blackbird Incense. They remembered that we were not the first to create incense ("incense has been burned since the new stone age, in c.10,000 BC"), but remarked that we are "leading the evolution." For the record, only Ex-Blackbird employees have ended up on the Darwin awards.
Lottie and Doof, based in Chicago, burned Blood Countess on Halloween. Honestly it doesn't smell as scary as it sounds.
The Grooming Guru is on the same page as us, sharing our penchant for fire and burning things. The incense is especially perfect for lending a fitting fragrance to your sterile marble citadel, but as a bonus design feature pointed out by Lee, will also effectively cover up for your smelly cat.
Remodelista featured our May 18th Soap as part of their 10 Favorites: The Best of Black Soap. No, it won't stain your bath tub.
Cool Material pretty much nailed it on guys and soap. I've known several that shampoo with Ivory (bar soap). As they point out, you can now forego the trip to Duane Reade / Walgreens and take care of your soap requirement with the click of a button thanks to our May 18th Soap. Plus, the May 18th Soap smells and feels spectacular.
Welcome to Movember! Beast.com spotted our Beard Oil and now's the time for it guys. Say goodbye to itchy beard face.
Baxtton in France covered our Black Licorice Hand Soap and even captured a little bit of our history in the process. Pictured in their post is our old bottle, but the graphic and idea is the same.
Here's what they had to say about our ink, paper and tobacco perfume Mizuchi:
"Holy shit, Blackbird. This is totally addicting. First, hard-hitting synthetic latex like popping open a fresh can of wall paint. Then a sinister slither into more organic territory. I simply cannot stop smelling its lustful yet lithe oriental accord of amber incense over leather like a censer-cleansed abattoir oozing through an ozonic aperture.
I don't know what prompted that psychedelic eruption or, frankly, where it was going. Maybe it's something in this smell.
You know bacon. And when you smell bacon, you want bacon. All the pleasure centers in your brain light up with the sense-stimulating effect of sizzling lard. When I smell Mizuchi, I want more Mizuchi.
This defies everything I thought I liked about perfume. With a stroke of lazy brilliance, doesn't try too hard dismissing complex accords and arty ingredients. If fragrance could have autism, this would be the poster child of savant hyperfocus. A fascinating kid in the corner of the loft party, it talks to no one. Because it's too weird? Or because it's too cool?"
READ MORE ON WHAT THE SMELL
Number one on her list was Roheline!
Blackbird Incense Pyres in Roheline – Seattle-based Blackbird clothing store has been keeping Seattle gentleman hip and looking more like Copenhagen urban gentleman than geeky tech employees. They have now branched out with some house brand fragrances in their Apothecary. Roheline is a green tomato leaf incense cone. What? You haven't heard of tomato leaf incense before?
READ MORE ON EAUMG