Pineward Perfumes Boreal is my third sampling from the house, a 2020 release in their initial year, described as a mix of pine needles, mint, cedar, resins, moss. Like Bindebole, it’s a fittingly cold weather-reminiscent pine-rich scent that fits with the concept of the house as described on its website by perfumer/owner Nicholas Nilsson. The mint aspect predictably fades a bit within the first hour of wearing but remains a part of the blend, which, with its high concentration (31%) and dark green juice, is appropriately strong, even from the dabber, even if perhaps note quite as strong as Bindebole. Frankly, Boreal’s greenness and the minty tingle associated with some outdoor plants makes it a bit more realistic and familiar than Bindebole, even.
Another immediate comparison that occurs to me (as a way of describing Boreal) is something midway between Dasein Winter and Winter Nights, with a good balance of darkness (resins), brightness (mint), and greenness/woodiness (pine). Within the house, it’s a touchy mintier and brighter than Bindebole, which leans darker/woodier/more resinous, overall. Still (and I hope this continues to be the case), it’s nice to have two great entries in the house that have similarities but different emphases, with Bindebole perhaps being the night to Boreal’s day.
Pricing is consistent throughout the line at $135/80 for 37/17ml and again, the performance is very strong.
Bravo to Nick on these fragrances—I’m really impressed with the line through my first three tries of Pineward, and the concept seems so perfect for the cooling weather in the US.
Boreal goes on skin with an herbaceous aromatic mint underpinned by coniferous pine before quickly transitioning to its heart. As the composition enters its early heart, the coniferous green pine takes the fore with the aromatic mint leaf remaining now in support, pairing with stark, natural smelling aromatic cedarwood. During the late drydown the mint vacates leaving remnants of the now subdued pine supporting the natural cedar that takes the fore through the finish. Projection is minimal, and longevity below average at 5-6 hours on skin.
Coming off my impressive sample of Christmas Wine from Pineward Perfumes yesterday, today is the next randomly chosen vial from the sample bag, Boreal. The posted notes for Boreal sounded wonderful on paper save for the mint, which before wearing the perfume had this writer puzzled whether it would work with the rest of the notes. Now wearing the composition I am happy to report it actually does. The closest approximation I can use to describe the mint, is the fragrance of aromatic mint leaves in Moroccan Mint tea, for example. When you add them to the coniferous green pine the combination surprisingly blends together rather well, with the natural smelling cedar adding a hint of sharp supporting bite to balance the mint. The late dry-down is a bit of letdown in comparison, as the pine and cedar tandem while pleasant is extremely subdued... too subdued for my tastes. The biggest disappointment with the otherwise impressive Boreal, however, is its ho-hum performance metrics. The perfume is more of a personal journey, as projection is very poor. That in and of itself could be a positive depending on the wearer's objective, but the below average longevity isn't. Too bad. The bottom line is the $128 per 37ml extrait bottle Boreal is a "very good" 3.5 stars out of 5 rated effort that smells great but drops the ball a bit in its relatively poor performance, still earning a solid recommendation to coniferous lovers.
Boreal is the conifer lovers Eau de Cologne. It is piney, fresh, and wonderful! The mint note is blended perfectly with the pine needle resin and is so refreshing. I plan to bring a small sprayer bottle of Boreal with me throughout the days that I wear it to keep refreshing myself as it wears down. That's not to say that it doesn't have good longevity and sillage because it does, just at an Eau de Cologne strength, which fits it's character perfectly. This lasts around 5 hours on my skin before I feel the need to re-apply. When Pineward released Boreal and I was able to get my hands on a sample initially and then a full bottle, I realized that Nick had captured what I had hoped for from Dasein Perfumes Winter Green but didn't get. Boreal is worth every penny and then some...a true conifer lovers delight.
Edit: If I could give this stuff a 20/10 I'd do it. I love it that much...so fresh and incredible. Boreal may be my favorite coniferous fragrance overall because it makes me feel so happy when I smell it. I love Fanghorn, Bindebole, Murkwood as much, but they are different moods for sure. Boreal is happiness bottled.