Sunday, January 17, 2016

Await the fate of the cruel sea: Sel Marin by James Heeley

Sel Marin by James Heeley




And the sailors, they sing sad songs,
About the sea that eats them whole.
And the sailors they sing sad songs,
Food for fishes shoals...

That was not by me, it's Tiger Lillies' song. Few years ago when I was an audience of an absurd theatre, sitting at the utmost corner of the last row of seats, I discovered this song which was a part of the show. It immediately evoked a strong sense and I knew at the moment that it would entirely preoccupy my mind for tomorrow. The song, the show and my mood in that days overlapped like a syzygy of planets after a millennium. Such understandings make big shakes and Renaissances.

Sel Marin conjures up such soul. This perfume has strong ego on me and truly shakes me whenever I try it. The first time I came across it, it was when I got a smelly envelop in my mailbox from Heeley with eight samples which Sel Marin was smashes - thanks to all the time irresponsible postmen!

It was raining outside. Surprising rainy night tied city center traffic. Red rear lights of front cars were deformed by raindrops on my front window like red neon ice-creams. The traffic was so heavy. I reclined in car like wounded and escaped, driving like snail, but I was still in the theatre. I had enough time to dive in imaginations and think about absurd parts of my own life...


Painting by Gregory Thielker

Years later, once I was thinking about unexhibited and undiscovered face of perfumery. Perfume as a product, an art or whatever it is, evokes all positive vibes, happiness, excitement, style, fanciness, carnality, blah blah… so what if a perfume emerges sadness, gloom, grief, thrilling vibes? Of course no one would wear such smell cause we still want perfume to be or motivator. But let me assure you Sel Marin is an artistic perfume that doesn't provoke the positive senses. Although it might not awaken the opposite, but it makes me think deeply to an abyss. An abyss you cannot share with anyone, it's the abyss makes us artist, we are all alone in this ocean…


Sel Marin is an exceptional marine fragrance for its quaint dose of weedy aquatic air. In general speaking, it's not another Calone-loaded aquatic fragrance to invoke happy summertime fun, ice creams and swimsuits. The fragrance has almost a linear and continuous performance like been floating alone in tranquil ocean with no sign of land in bygone horizon.

Sel Marin inaugurates with very vibrant and vivid saline Italian bergamot and sour lemon, mingled in soft salty/aldehydic note. The salt is the king, the whole fragrance reminds smell of sea salt and rounded astringent smell of ocean, smell of wave-cracking rocks with seaweed wigs and some tiny crabs climbing down into the water. There is no joke with citruses here and this shivers down my spine like a perfect piece of flamenco solo guitar in just less than a minute. The core of fragrance is fresh, salty, zestless, realistic watery, and so weedy green. In fact Sel Marin is a simple fragrance with high complexity and unique texture of aquatic smell much higher than Calone. Sel Marin has smell of rain washed soil within the ozonic accord. The same accord used boldly in Iris de Nuit.


The gloomy fusion intensifies. The fragrance dries down in tarry leather but it doesn't go with mere tar smell and keeps it in touch with the main aquatic theme. Moby Dick comes to mind. Sel Marin is strange, it's both sad and exciting, gigantic, crispy, odd fresh, unique, very quaint and very stylish and minimalistic.

Aquatic fragrances are usually the first with which people and generally males start being addict to fragrance (personally, Bvlgari Aqva) and the first they leave behind to go through deeper in fragrance world. Also this group is the most commonplace type in designer groups and the frequently searched for summer colognes. Barely happens one keep faith to aquatic fragrances when settles in niches and orientals and harder compositions. Why? Cause they look like the silliest compositions ever, although they're not in fact. Sel Marin, nevertheless, is not an aquatic fragrance you engage with in beginner level and not a perfume you easily get rid of. It's an intellectual fragrance that is not aquatic, it is aqua itself. The most realistic smell of sea this around and the most professional one.

As expected from aquatics, it has marvelous longevity. Over 9 hours on my skin with very pleasant dry down. Great projection, not that vast to punch in others' faces. But the smell of a sailor survived from a smashed fishing boat, arrived to civilization after weeks of wandering in ocean, is not a common  type of smell you gonna blind buy. Not also like pseudo-marine fragrance with smell of aquatic wood. It's a real seashore, real saline and marine perfume.

Carpe Odor!

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