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Blog

January Scent Project thoughts and musings.

 

Winter, Twisted Lily, Currier Museum, Perfumology, New Reviews and Olfactif

John Biebel

There is much to celebrate this New Year, perhaps most excitingly that January Scent Project was featured in a review of “log cabin scents” in the New York Times in December. 

Earlier this season in December, I had the incredible pleasure of releasing the latest perfume, Dinudisit, at Perfumology in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. This special niche shop run by Nir Guy is an oasis of great smells just a hop away from Philadelphia. It was a hugely successful venture and I’m glad to be represented with Nir and team.

Highlights from an evening at Perfumology, King of Prussia, PA.

Highlights from an evening at Perfumology, King of Prussia, PA.

I also curated and presented an evening at the Currier Museum in Manchester, New Hampshire, “Components of Smell,” in which I allowed museum goers the opportunity to smell separate “parts” of perfume in 14 different glass cloches. It was a broad range of smells from the smooth wood-musk of Cashmeran, or the pungent sourness of Oakmoss essential oil, to the almond and fruit flourishes of Heliotropex (Heliotrope reconstruction.) It sparked a fascinating array of conversations, memories, and very mixed reactions (particularly when people were smelling Birch Tar, that strong, smoky essence that helps to make the Russian Leather accord.) This was part of the Currier Museum of Art’s Art for the Senses program as part of the Currier After Hours event.

Evening of Scent / Components of Smell at the Currier Museum in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Evening of Scent / Components of Smell at the Currier Museum in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Only two days later, it was off to Brooklyn for the launch evening at Twisted Lily. It’s with much excitement that I can say we have a representative in New York City, a goal I’ve wanted for January Scent Project since its inception. The evening was a great success, and the shop became a packed house by 7:00 pm. Huge thanks go out to Eric, Stamatis, Olivia and Shawn for all their dedicated work in making this happen.

Reception at Twisted Lily, Brooklyn, NY. Photos courtesy Mathew Underwood.

Reception at Twisted Lily, Brooklyn, NY. Photos courtesy Mathew Underwood.

This February, January Scent Project is also included as part of Olfactif’s Up in Smoke collection for women, featuring our perfume Smolderose. Join this fascinating subscription service for monthly curated scent experiences.

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January Scent Project has also been the subject of a wide range of video reviews over the past few months. Tommelise gives an in-depth review of our latest perfume, Dinudisit (water flowers), the legendary Joey Cannoli reviews a number of scents from January Scent Project in his very particular style, the British duo Wafts From the Loft take on three of the scents in their particularly poetic and energetic review. Burvuvu has had three reviews in particular, by Redolessence & Brooklyn Fragrance Lover, Aetherelaist, Steven Sturgill, and The Scentinel. The release of Burvuvu has been a particularly fascinating journey for January Scent Project because it seems to have struck a chord with a number of wearers, something that you can never quite imagine when you compose a perfume... but you always hope for the best when you send it out into the world.

Collection of Vloggers from YouTube: Tommelise, Joey Cannoli, The Scentinel, Wafts From the Loft

Collection of Vloggers from YouTube: Tommelise, Joey Cannoli, The Scentinel, Wafts From the Loft

As we move forth through the end of winter and into spring, new adventures await as plans for a new fragrance take shape. April will see some more travel, and some possible collaborative projects may appear, all in extremely early iterative stages. Meanwhile, for the next two weeks, please enjoy the following discount at January Scent Project. Through the end of February, enjoy 20% off all orders over $30. Simply use the code FEB2019 at checkout to receive your discount. Offer valid through end of February 28th, 2019.  Thank you again for your interest in January Scent Project, and I hope you are enjoying a restful but energizing start to the new year 2019. 

Best, John

Burvuvu, New Season and New Location

John Biebel

So much has been happening for January Scent Project in the last few months that it would be hard to summarize, but I will do my best. Most importantly, the enterprise made an important move to a new location in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, just a few miles over the border south of Massachusetts. The operation was becoming too large to manage from my painting studio so now it has a space all its own. I've spent the summer relocating the works there, continuing development on the latest perfume release, and working on what will be the next release later in 2018. 

Prior to this big change, I was able to join a number of my colleagues at Excense in Milan, Italy as a reporter for Fragrantica, and had some wonderful exchanges with perfumers, writers, bloggers and all kinds of enthusiasts from the fragrance community. It was an unforgettable experience, completed with another week soaking in the arts of Firenze. One of the highlights of this April was meeting the fantastic video blogger Yanna (Tommelise). It's one of the few times that I really felt pleased with the results - she is a natural interviewer!

While I was there, I passed around a prototype of a cedar-based fragrance that I had been tinkering with, but wasn't quite sure if it was ready. I got some great feedback from folks and a few months later after the move was complete and I was able to put the last bits in place, Burvuvu was finished. I smelled about 12 different kinds of regional cedars in order to find the ones that worked best for this. I narrowed it down to three: Texas cedar, Canadian White cedar, and West Coast red cedar (Californian.)

Burvuvu Retro Ad Poster 

Burvuvu Retro Ad Poster 

There are many other notes as well, including some spices (ginger,) and some balsamic greenery (basil,) and some unusual notes that bring out a particularly leaf-scattered, peaty kind of cedar that I'd been hoping to arrive at (mushroom, henna, honey.) Burvuvu is now available and will be shipping on September 7th, 2018 in the 30 ml size, and at the end of September for the 100 ml size (when new packaging has arrived.)

Burvuvu 100 ml

Burvuvu 100 ml

Special offers will be available to accompany the new fragrance, so stayed tuned for details, and thank you again for your support for January Scent Project.

 

Reviews, Products, Action, Awakening

John Biebel

Greetings my friends, it has been a busy and somewhat hibernating few months of winter. During that time, I created a new scented parfum oil, Treebuoy, for the fantastically ethically-minded perfume shop Avé Parfum. It was an exclusive for February and is now also available here on JanuaryScent.com. I'm excited to have begun with this relationship with Avé Parfum and their exciting line of work.

Treebuoy Parfum Oil

Treebuoy Parfum Oil

 

January Scent Project has received some extremely thoughtful reviews and some awards wrapping up 2017, many of which have peered deeply into the fragrances and made them come alive. Now Smell This wrote about Vaporocindro in December 2017, saying about the lilac note: "as though I'd stumbled across a lilac bush growing in an abandoned factory yard, rooted in gravel and dusted with soot." I am so stirred by this stark depiction, it's poetic! Take One Thing Off, a particularly fascinating blog, wrote an earnest review of all the perfumes, with a great analysis about why niche and indie scents make sense in today's world, vis a vis some of the sameness of department store offerings :

Although like most fragrance wearers, I am personally drawn to polish and creaminess and well, a certain slick mouthfeel to the perfumes I wear, the lack of real creativity and new ideas in niche can be a bit of a turn off. Increasingly, I am asking myself if the price bump for nicheyness is justified if I can find the same ideas and the same polish on the department store shelves.

That’s why I have been gravitating more and more towards the indies and the naturals. Raw and weird they may (occasionally) be, but when I want to experience real creativity over mouthfeel, that’s where I go. The January Scent Project fragrances, by artist, Fragrantica editor, and all-round good egg John Biebel, are the perfect embodiment of long tail thinking. Highly unusual, kooky, outlier scents that would go down like a lead balloon at a department store but flourish online because there is enough people in this small, scattered, but passionate community of ours who love outliers and want to buy them.
— "January Scent Project: Selperniku, Smolderose, Eiderantler - Reviews (Sort Of)" Clair, of Take One Thing Off

JSP was on a number of Best Of lists for 2017, which was humbling and makes me grateful for how far this has come within one year since the big releases of last March. The Muse in Wooden Shoes, a Netherlands blogger, listed all the scents as Best Of's for the year, saying "I’m still not sure any of these are “me,” but they are bold and unexpected and, best of all, wearable. Hurrah for the indies."

A true highlight of the year was talking to the author of A Scent of Elegance / The Silver Fox, and his minutely detailed reviews of the perfumes in his piece "Strange Pilgrims". He not only describes the perfumes at length but also makes comparisons to the surrealist painter  Leonora Carrington, drawing mythic parallels between her work and mine. It's not only apt, but extremely revealing about process, intentions, and psychic reality. His writing is intense, fruitful, and super revealing to me about my very own process of working. It was a pleasure to get to know his writing through this process.

CaFleureBon awarded January Scent Project two excellent commendations for 2017 including Rising Star, and Top Ten list of Ida Meister for Eiderantler. This was particularly nice for me because Ida had offered some important guidance as I showed her early "drafts" of some of my work as I began - and her feedback was sincere and helpful. 

Work has begun anew on a new perfume which is coming closer and closer to a finished state. Along with that, I've been engaging in some excellent side projects that could easily turn into proper perfumes themselves! I have been working on a perfume challenge with Alexander Chesebro of Fitzgerald and Guislain - our project has been to assign ourselves a perfume type to each work on individually but then to pass along samples to each other for critique. The process has been illuminating for as I get to understand a more collaborative way to working, and speaking directly to what I'm doing, want to do, and hope to achieve. It's one thing to have a notion and follow it along as it snakes an unfamiliar territory, but quite another to be more methodical in one's approach toward an end goal. This has helped me maintain a focus I may not have had before. I hope to keep working with Alex and Fitzgerald and Guislain, as they are excellent perfumers with a vast collection of ideas. Alex writes about the Evergreen Challenge here.

More will come soon about the new perfume, the Evergreen Challenge, a lecture and workshop planned for May at the de Cordova museum in Lincoln, MA, a visit to the Esxence festival/perfume conference in Milan (which I will be attending, representing Fragrantica,) and more. JB