While visiting Tigerlily Perfumery in San Francisco, the lovely owner, Antonia Kohl, introduced me to a new house based in Malaysia called Auphorie. The house was founded by two brothers, Eugene and Emrys Au, as an East-meets-West luxury perfume house that is both 100% cruelty-free and humanitarian. Pretty amazing, actually! Auphorie donates ten percent of all profits to carefully selected charities.
"Cruelty-free" means that the perfumes never been tested on animals, their individual ingredients have not been tested on animals, and none of Auphorie's third party associates test on animals. Cruelty-free status in perfumery is not common. Despite great advancements in synthetic "animalic" ingredients, as well as some very conscientious noses' best efforts not to use natural animal essences, the industry is still ripe with animal cruelty, such as truly horrific farming practices of civets and a history of whale poaching and deer poaching that goes back hundreds of years, at least.
Miyako, a winner of The Art and Olfaction Awards 2016, wows me with it's fruity yet earthy opening of dried apricots, swiftly followed by its fresh osmanthus flowers and its compelling and distinct note of rough, animalic leather. When the base creeps up, there is something distinctly green about it. A couple of hours into the drydown, I get an almost chocolatey effect that I find very comforting. I also notice something that smells like incense, as though it is clinging to the skin and hair after having walked out of a sacred temple.
This perfume is like a lesson in abstract art. There are so many notes tumbling around, weaving in and out of one another. You have the darkness of earthy notes and brightness of botanical notes contrasting one another with every fascinating inhalation.
Miyako showcases what perfumers can achieve with modern botanical interpretations of "animalic" notes. The leather note is huge and so believable! I did not see the notes ahead of time, but I when I smelled it, I knew it was leather, and I was surprised because I know Auphorie does not use real animal essences. Please try this if you love love love leather but you do NOT love animal cruelty.
Miyako takes me back to a memory of a thrift shop I poked around when I was last at Tahoe. Sniffing from a distance, the perfume has this old, worn-in scent about it, like the scent of clothes with just a bit of mildew, old books, and old leather jackets that might or might not have been worn by a smoker, but they have definitely been worn. If I put my schnozz close to my skin, I really pick up that beautiful, clean, fruity and sweet osmanthus.
Leather is definitely not my favorite note, but oddly I enjoy the (few) excellent botanical interpretations of it much more than the real animalic stuff. Miyako is one of those perfumes that feels like it becomes part of you, just like your favorite leather jacket. This perfume is beautifully done and cruelty-free. Projection is great. Love it!
Don't forget that 10% of profits go to charity.