I tried out Yosh Han‘s limited edition Winter Rose perfume recently. San Francisco-based Yosh is one of those bewitching perfumers who manages to speak about her work with a perfect blend of abstractions and specificity. I’ve heard her talk about her inspirations at Apothia at Fred Segal and she blew the other perfumers away.
To me, Winter Rose smells of East Africa. When I got off the plane in Africa for the first time the primary scent that greeted me was of scorched earth. It’s one of those smells that is almost not-nice, but then it grows on you and you associate it with the ground and verdant things.
Winter Rose has something earthy at the base of it, plus the sweetness that you get from smelling the epicenter of a rose, and lots of cardamom, which always reminds me of milky, Swahili tea. When I told Yosh that the scent made me think of Africa she told me that she could see how that would happen, since she was inspired her travels throughout Turkey (another country that uses lots of exotic spices in their cuisine).
Yosh also offers aura-fluffing at her press events. You select one of seven perfumes (each one represents a different chakra), rub a drop between your palms, spread your hands apart, then slowly lift your perfumed hands in front of your body and then above your head like a crown.
I tried Stargazer 7.71 (a piercing, fruity, green scent) and when I placed my hands above my head, a knot in my back released and I almost toppled over. Strange, wonderful stuff.