To me, perfume oil is as American as apple pie. A certain kind of fragrance oil that is at least. Not the kind sold in the souks or boutiques of the Middle East redolent of roses, jasmine and oud. I mean made-in-America musk oils designed for the dating scene. Dating is very American. The Art of Manliness blog bemoans the death of dating and wants to resurrect it (thanks for the picture below!). It is a form of modern courtship with its own rules. When a dating perfume is called Essential Faith, it is even harder to miss the allusion to the religious American sensitivity, one of the highest in the world, and the next anticipated step, marriage, marital bliss.
"The scent of spirituality [...] Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible. Embrace the personal, seductive scent of the body, soul, and spirit."
This is just a line to tie in sexuality and religion, how erotic is that?
Next comes the aura of confidentiality that surrounds a product that is not sold everywhere yet begs to be better known for its qualities and defects. A brand that rests on a unique perfume indeed shows real faith in its product and signals a certain level of unreported popularity when this scent has been in existence since 2005.
Essential Faith was originally launched under the name Faith but due to trademark registration issues had to be changed to its current one in October 2008.
A central claim for this unisex fragrance is that,
"Essential Faith works with each individuals own, natural body chemistry, activated by body heat, providing each person with their own unique fragrance. It smells slightly different on everyone, and no two individuals will smell alike." ...
Some people will argue that this assertion can be applied to all fragrances. Others will remember that not all perfumes are advertised in this manner and some are specifically designed to bind better with the skin scent of a person, like Absolument Absinthe.
It seems indeed to work in this way. Essential Faith at first is barely there yet present and overtime signals its persistence more and more. It has that undefinable quality I found in The Body Shop White Musk White Hot Summer, but several notches further down on the scale of vague and hard-to-pinpoint.
The initial impression about Essential Faith however is that this is a murmur-like musk and citrus scent which corresponds well to the descriptive terms used by the brand giving it as being simple and fresh.
The passages about "natural essences" and "hand-selected oils from Indonesia" sound rather romantic for a musk oil which would have to rely on synthetic provenance. After a while, some incense-y and woodsy nuances make the mental trip to Indonesia seem slightly more plausible.
Essential Faith smells not unlike a cross between Auric Blends Love and Gap Sueded Musk (discontinued) but as if it had been more precisely calibrated to be barely perceptible above the level of the skin and then more radiating. It is one of those sexy and clean skin scents that seem to be all the rage amongst showbiz, L.A. celebrities.
I remarked when reviewing Kai that curiously enough for people who must be endowed with particularly big egos - ACTORS - the rule of thumb seems to be to wear as discreet a scent as possible, the kind that enhances the beauty and personality of an individual without overshadowing it.
In other words, in that world, big perfumes would be for little egos who need some propping up and reassurance, or so it seems at times. Barely-there scents like Essential Faith is for bringing a subtle aura to the wearer. It is the only way that a scent will make you come across as unique; it seems to convey the idea of being low-key enough to let the natural olfactory medley of your skin play out.
Essential Faith is thus very soft and subtle and I can foresee that a number of people will be anosmic to this scent or will simply not understand why they need to spend $65 to get such a non-statement fragrance.
Well, actually there is a big statement of sensuality about this scent, but it operates under the sign of a secret aphrodisiacal signature that must probably work like a silent ally for many because it has managed to come out of Venice, California to become something of a cult fragrance in L.A. I could see this enhancing scent work well as a sort of universal base for other perfumes when you want to sex them up.
For people who believe in the power of their own seduction more than in the fireworks of perfume.
You can find it at www.essentialfaith.com