Review: Chronotope Perfumes

Chronotope is an amazing new perfume brand that you need to know all about. The perfumer, Carter Weeks Maddox, has created these amazing fragrances that speak to the heart, mostly because they come from his heart.

Chronotope’s Carter Weeks Maddox

There is a passion and cool elegance to the Chronotope aesthetic and it runs through the scents to the visuals. It’s fun and approachable but also feels like it should be revered. I think that’s because Carter really loves perfume so much that every drop of every bottle is a true ode to The Art Of Perfume. Chronotope isn’t just a New Brand™️ with big VC behind it, here to capitalize on the margins. Chronotope wants you to try these beautiful smells on your skin and feel the stories. To me, a proper perfume has a story, even if that feels more like a vintage perfume thing these days.

Sweet baby Carter

Ok so the perfumes. There are three, see below in 15 ml bottles available as a set. The orange thumbprint (the thumbprints came as a happy accident due to a label mishap) is Playalinda, the yellow is Buen Camino and purple is Spite. FYI Carter has both the standard stock of his three scents and also vegan versions of each, also available as a sample set.

Playalinda is the fruity and fun one. It’s a peachy jasmine & osmanthus , with soft musk, vetiver & grapefruit and feels like the end of a summer day at the beach. The trifecta of the peach, jasmine and osmanthus is quite delicious and feels like the loveliest iced tea-fruity punch combination of my dreams. As the sun sets, there’s a driftwood bonfire nearby, with the scent of wood and grass smoke. I can still smell the sun on my skin and I feel happy. Playalinda is a happy scent and doesn’t smell overly feminine or masculine (in the old fashioned traditional senses of those words).

Buen Camino is a more emotional fragrance, as Carter based it on his own very intense experiences on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. And while I can’t relate to that particular personal memory of his, for me Buen Camino is also emotional. It opens with an immediate and gorgeous lavender-immortelle aura – I say aura because while I feel it surrounds me and is somehow all-encompassing, it’s still transparent and shimmers. It does not overwhelm. It dries down to a drier lavender, almost with a a sweet hay note. It feel comforting and warm. There is a “dusty” accord and a faint burnt accord that makes me think of an old church. Again, I find this immensely comforting. As it dries down I catch whisps of a gourmand-y lemon that is just lovely. Carter really did something with Buen Camino because it has feelings. It feels like a blessing to me. Almost holy. I’d wear this to church and feel reverent.

There are sample sets you can buy!

And then there is Spite, which is my favourite of them all. Well. Tied with Buen Camino of course. It reminds me ever so slightly of a favourite perfume of mine, Guerlain Après L’Ondee, but if she planted some roses & switched up her raincoat for a leather one. Roses, violets and iris in the rain, with some woodsy incense in the foggy distance and then *crack* there’s a snap of leather in the smoke. In my humble opinion that’s what feels “spiteful”, as if the fog had a spite at the flowers. It’s all very smoothly blended and seems to happen all at once, but yet each note pops up ever so gently.

Sample set of the Chronotope perfumes in vegan format

Chronotope perfumes are sold on their website, prices start at $10 USD for a sample up to $145 for 50ml. Shop here.

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