Ashes fragrance notes

    • green grass shoots, clover, clean earth, gardenia, transparent jasmine, frankincense, white patchouli, haitian vetiver, White musk,

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Latest Reviews of Ashes

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Clean, industrial, misty. It's a sentimental scent that reminds me of nights where I would stare out the window and all i could smell was the petrichor. I imagine it might smell sterile to someone else, but the petrichor brings me to my happy place. Love :)
28th April 2023
Ashes is not at all a linear fragrance. It starts with a hyperrealistic smell of earth, like sticking your head in a bag of potting soil, accompanied by a sharp, ozonic element that at first felt a little dizzying. But that's just the beginning. As it dries, these beautiful bright florals emerge in a way that feels almost poetic. The arc of the experience is in itself interesting--like watching a plant grow, unfurl and bloom in time-lapse. But it's the drydown that really sold me on this scent. For something so fresh the longevity is impressive. I can still smell the gardenia and clean jasmine the next day, wafting gently in and out of my realm of consciousness. It's a beautiful fragrance, and unlike any other I know of.
2nd April 2023

As a previous reviewer stated, this smells like Demeter Thunderstorm. A very (outdated) ozonic. Sometimes nostalgia is fun, sometimes not. Unlike the Demeter, which lasted maybe 20 minutes, this drags on forever. That always happens with fragrance: Perfumes I love are fleeting, perfumes I don't love go on and on and on. If you liked kitschy Demeter fragrances, you might really enjoy this. Ashes isn't a terrible fragrance. But it's not very good either.
3rd November 2022
I’ve gone through half a bottle of this stuff. With a large library of scents like most of us BN members have, you’ll understand what an accomplishment that is in the space of a single season. Varanis, below, is the review to look to if you want to know the ins and outs of this one. I’ll say that it reminds me of a grassier(or at least less floral) version of the brilliant but discontinued Silver Linings by Mirus. This has a more sheer, luminous airiness that can be perceived at first as having an almost mainstream quality but I think that’s a reductive way to view this perfume, especially in light of how truly unlike anything in the mainstream this is. I’d say it’s more of a technical marvel, worthy of a group of highly trained professionals, than a crowd pleaser. Though, from my experience, this one does actually get positive attention. Well, my girlfriend lights up everytime I wear this. Though that may speak more to the challenging stuff that I often prefer. This is fantastic stuff. Everyone should sample the Clandestine Laboratories line.
2nd July 2022
This smells to me like a more-complex version of Demeter Thunderstorm, with the same almost-ozonic, sharp electric smell (probably the 'clean earth' noted). I also get the jasmine peeking through a little later (though originally I mistook it for tuberose). Overall I am intrigued by this and will revisit it, though it's a little too industrial-clean to be approachable as a love at first sniff for me.
22nd May 2022
Ashes by Clandestine Laboratories (2021) has a weird and perhaps unsettling theme for some, yet smells much more optimistic and beautiful than what you might think given that theme. To cut right to the chase, this is a white floral perfume, having some semblance to the "bitchy" white floral chypres of the 70's a la Chanel Cristalle (1974) or Jacomo SIlences (1978); although Ashes is ultimately too abstract for the chypre tag and I think that categorization would maybe even limit its interpretation by the wearer somewhat. Yeah, full-blown "wearable art" perfume is this, perfect for the niche connoisseurs that need to be taken on a perfume journey of the heart, body, and soul with every sniff; forum veterans who sit with folded legs surrounded by new age crystals and the sounds of Enya wafting from their Bose Lifestyle systems somewhere in the pampered burbs, far beyond the reaches of the brand's humble Bronx NYC origins. It's 3pm, better not be late for Yoga class. Speaking of that theme, it's one of death and rebirth, with ashes being less of a an actual note (thank goodness), and more of an implied one with other materials joining hands. Bright, yet also earthy; floral, yet also aromatic; green, yet also airy; Ashes by Clandestine Laboratories is a very delicately-balanced fragrance that is more potent than its apparent transparency leads you to believe, meaning fans of work by perfumers like Jean-Claude Ellena or Christine Nagel should take note here too. There is nothing particularly antipodean or classical here either besides the resemblance to the aforementioned 70's female-market designers, so consider Ashes one of the more thoroughly-modern affairs from the house, however by "modern" I do not mean commercial or overtly synthetic to cut costs in the expected cynical sense.

The opening is fairly sharp and sour at first, with a classic presentation of citrus that to me feels like the shrill bergamot of the old bitter femmes mentioned earlier. This sour sharp freshness may come across a tad bit urinous to those used to the much-softer bergamot notes that tend to be found in commercial perfumery today, but wearers of things from the 60's and 70's will feel right at home with this opening. From there, things taper off somewhat into a green grassy direction, feeling sometimes again like the old galbanum doses of those "bitchy" chypres; but once more Ashes softens and tapers after a few moments, while retaining that strident piercing effect. This is because jasmine and gardenia enter the stage as the main white floral players here. The heavy and sometimes more indolic nature of these florals has been removed, and the fleshier aspects of gardenia that can sometimes remind of tuberose are also removed, rendering the white florals cold and luminous, sheer almost to a fault. This is a serious perfume despite being so bright and ultimately affable, like a firm handshake rather than a soft hug. Flinty mineralic elements that can also remind one of the sharper olfactive points in top soil are also evident, mixing with bits of what the brand says is clover. I've haven't sniffed clovers in recent memory, but I do recall elements of what smells like the outdoor gardening section of Home Depot here. This earthen mineralic quality also recalls Jean-Claude Ellena's work as well, although most likely in happenstance, not intentionally. Incense, patchouli, vetiver, and white musks base this out, and the terpenous elements of patchouli in particular continue the sharpness from the opening on through to the finish. Wear time is very long, and projection is also quite potent. If I said the best use for this was in spring, would you really be surprised?

Like several I've tried from this house, Ashes by Clandestine Laboratories is not mass-appealing in the least, and therefore not for everyone. This one in particular needs confidence to carry it if you expect feedback, but at it's core wears as a clean scent, so it will likewise offend no one. From a practical perspective, I think this is perfectly unisex due to the treatment of the florals; and Ashes reminds me most of something like Creed Royal Water (1997) if it had been handled in an alternate universe by Jean-Claude Ellena as Olivier Creed's underpaid ghost perfumer rather than Pierre Bourdon, since Ashes has many of the strikingly fresh qualities of Royal Water, just with a peaty trick from the mineral notes and more complexity in materials selection. If you liked those colder, sharper, more serious white floral chypres from the 70's as a man, but you could not bring yourself to wear them due to gender norms, then Ashes by Clandestine Laboratories may be the answer you're looking for. And for the ladies, this is a decidedly more-modern and gender-neutral take on that theme with big thorny heart. For me personally, I get more rebirth than death; as the combination of tart citrus openings, piquant earthen elements, bitter white florals, and nostril-tweaking patchouli fumes all just remind me of spring time, with only the earthy sharp bits reminding me in any palpable way of ashes. I think that's a good thing though, as the point of Ashes by Clandestine Laboratories isn't to dwell on the loss implied by ashes as remnants of what once was; but rather to smell like what arises from them in time, life going on undeterred by said loss. Ashes is far more green to my nose than gray, but your mileage may vary as you consign yourself to the beautiful oblivion this scent themes itself around, I seem particularly sensitive to the greener, more stemmy facets of the composition. Thumbs up
20th March 2022