SOIVOHLE' is the perfume line created by Liz Zorn. Soivohle' is an acronym standing for: Sending Out Inspired Vibrations Of Healthy Loving, pronounced “see-vo.”
Liz Zorn is an indie perfumer who is making waves in my perfume wardrobe. I often read other perfumistas lamenting that “such and such new perfume is just ‘meh’ it isn’t different or edgy enough.” Here’s my suggestion: if you want to smell some unusual and difference fragrances, that are obviously made with the highest quality ingredients, get yourself some Soivohle’.
Zorn makes two different perfume lines; a natural line (100% natural without synethics) and a moderne collection (mix of both naturals and some synthetics). Personally, I’ve found treasures from both lines, and I’ve also found the longevity of her fragrances to be very good, especially for the naturals.
Zorn seems fearless. She creates some funky, edgy, artistic perfumes. Soivohle’ scents are breathtakingly realistic and abstract at the same time. I know that might not make sense, but I’m confident it will, once you her smell her work.
GREEN OAKMOSS – from the moderne collection
Green Oakmoss is the fragrance I was most excited to try. Initially, I was concerned it would be bland and flat, because oakmoss is generally used as a basenote, not meant to be the whole ensemble. But this is, indeed, a whole perfume, based upon the idea of the scent of green and oakmoss. It doesn’t just smell like the essential oil of oakmoss but instead contains it’s own top, middle and basenotes.
This stuff is genius. It starts off with an earthy green, almost black tea/bergamot vibe atop a mound of moss. Green Oakmoss isn’t particularly dirty or skanky, it’s a clean rendition of oakmoss, much like dirt doesn’t actually smell “dirty” when you’re gardening and scoop up a handful of soil.
I love Green Oakmoss, I think it’s brilliant. I enjoy wearing it solo, but it also occurs to me that you could layer it with other fragrances that you think need an injection of green earthiness. Sillage and longevity are very good.
ACOUSTIC FLOWER – from the moderne collection
Acoustic Flower is a fragrance originally created by Zorn a few years ago as a bridal scent, then reworked a bit and introduced as it is now. She describes it as a gardenia soliflore but I smell much more going on here. In fact, call me crazy, but for a millisecond, it bears similarity to Amarige by Givenchy, which is a floriental, created by Dominique Ropion. Now, many people hate Amarige, but I happen to love it, so any similarity with Amarige is an enormous compliment coming from me.
Acoustic Flower is potent, sweet and sassy. I think it smells like gardenia, jasmine and tuberose, although I know from reading Zorn’s notes that tuberose is not in the mix. As much as I love Amarige, these days it seems I adore the memory of it, because it’s a bit cloying and synthetic smelling. Acoustic Flower strikes me as a stripped down natural version of Amarige, one I can wear. Sillage and longevity are very good.
HONEYSUCKLE BIRD – from the moderne collection
Honeysuckle Bird is a sweet, floral, uplifting and joyful fragrance. The notes are listed as honeysuckle and white lily but once this fragrance dries down I smell the most delicious golden honey elixir. I mean thick golden amber colored honey in one of those ball mason jars sitting on the window sill with sunshine gleaming through it. Honeysuckle Bird is luscious.
GENUS ORCHIDACEAE – from the moderne collection
Ok, this is one of the strangest perfumes I’ve ever smelled. I really like it, and yet it sickens me a little bit. It causes me to keep smelling it over and over again, because I’ve never smelled anything like it before.
I hardly have the words to describe it, but here goes. Vanilla comes from an orchid plant. It is an orchid which produces the vanilla pods and long threadlike “beans” that are used in cooking and perfumery. Therefore it’s natural to combine vanilla and orchid together in a fragrance. Genus Orchidaceae seems organic and alive and causes me to visualize a gigantic vanilla orchid plant, much like the monstrous plant from the play Little Shop of Horrors.
Genus Orchidaceae smells sweet, vanillic, and green; but this is a textural green, one I can physically touch, the meaty soft petals and thick pale green shoots jutting out of the moss and bark. This green is very far from your usual perfumery green, it’s more like the feeling of bamboo shoots or hearts of palm in your mouth.
Surely this seems odd. An explanation might be that I grow orchids, I have about 26 plants, so I’m well acquainted with them. Zorn has captured an orchid plant in an almost supernatural way. I’m a bit haunted by Genus Orchidaceae. It is very sweet – about the same level of sweetness as Serge Lutens Chergui – and perhaps there is a similarity between these two scents – because while I also like Chergui, I find it a bit sickening, too. Maybe sickening isn’t the right word – perhaps a better word is haunting.
Another Soivohle' fragrance that I'm working on finding the words for is Purple Love Smoke. This stuff is very interesting. I need more time with it before I can write anything though. I'm also trying Tobacco & Tulle as well as Violets & Rainwater and her newest Mexicali Rose. Zorn has created an amazing palette of fragrances that just seem to keep getting better and better.
PHOTO CREDIT: above photo by Nathan Branch of www.nathanbranch.com