I recently attended a trunk show at Tigerlily Perfumery in San Francisco, featuring the exquisite creations of Neal Peters, the nose behind Mirus Fine Fragrance, a San Francisco Bay Area-based line of hand-crafted, artisan perfumes.
When I walked into Tigerlily, Neal was greeting customers and chatting about his perfumes. I was very attracted to the simple yet elegant 15ml clear bottles with their electric blue wax seals. On another tray, Neal had a nice spread of some individual essences. He took a lot of time explaining his creative process and even allowing us to take a sniff of some of the essences he uses, including white and silver ambergris, sandalwood, white musks, ambroxan, etc.
Neal is a wealth of information, which is really exciting and refreshing. I love perfume so much that I want to know absolutely everything about it. I also love to simply discuss opinions. Perfume is art, so it is truly a pleasure to learn what inspires an artist, what each piece means to its creator and what mediums an artist uses to take his vision from his imagination into tangible reality.
Speaking of meaning, "Mirus" means "wonderful" or "amazing" in Latin, and it is the root word of "miracle". I think the name is fitting because I find the perfumes to be wonderful and amazing. Far from being something you will find at Sephora, each perfume by Mirus is like a tiny little work of art, independent of all others within the collection.
And that leads me to something I wanted to point out about Mirus. When you read the perfume notes on their website, what you see is what you get. That doesn't mean you will 100% be sure to like what you get, but the odds are good that if you are anything like me, you can read notes and just know that the perfume will be "your kinda thing." Another thing you might notice about Mirus is that they use a lot of those beautiful, natural-smelling notes such as ambers, incense, woods and rich florals. Almost everything in they make is something I would wear.
On my other arm, I wore the sultry Wicked Stepmother...and let me tell you, that stuff is WICKED GOOD! So good that it's in competition with Driftwood as my next Mirus purchase. It has the intense, full-bodied quality of many perfumes of days gone by. With classic notes like heady sambac jasmine, amber and carnation, Wicked Stepmother seems like a modern perfume with vintage inspiration. But it doesn't smell "old," you know what I mean? It smells like we are in 1940 and just opened a brand-new bottle of perfume. Hmmm I'm thinking that if you like L'Air du Temps, you might enjoy Wicked Stepmother. They are not the same, but they have some notes in common and, if anything, they are good examples of nice carnation perfumes. The nose also skillfully uses fruity notes in the composition, much to my delight. Read full review.
Mirus will eventually release two more perfumes. We had the opportunity to test out the "prototypes" at the trunk show (I smelled them on other people or on tester strips). While they are still in the works, they already smell incredible! In the meantime I have my mind set on sampling a couple more, such as:
Amber & Oud - While oud is definitely not one of my favorite notes, and I am very, very tired of Middle Eastern style oud perfumes, the nozzle of Amber & Oud actually smelled distinctly non-Middle Eastern. It didn't smell terribly dark as perfumes containing oud often smell. Very intriguing, as it would be nice to find a new interpretation of oud to enjoy.
December Kiss - This perfume was originally a bespoke fragrance. The client fell in love with the perfume...AND the perfumer. She moved to the Bay Area from Brooklyn so they can be together. With such a romantic story, I must sample it next time! I also had the pleasure of meeting this lovely client-turned-girlfriend at the trunk show =)
Thoughts about Mirus Fine Fragrance that I would like to leave you with: