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250 Esten Ave., Suite C05
Pawtucket, RI 02860

Independent artisan made perfumes.


January Scent Project thoughts and musings.


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 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