Raven by Teone Reinthal Natural Perfume (TRNP) is the kind of rose chypre that hasn’t been in production since the 1980s – big, tart roses spread strewn across bittersweet, glittery balsams and a dank, woody patchouli that smells more of mold than of the oakmoss it’s standing in for. Something about its opening reminds me both of Oha, a dark, musky rose chypre by Teo Cabanel that has been sadly discontinued, and L’Arte di Gucci, a very civety, rude, ‘full bush’ type of rose scent. At first you think this is going in the moody, Goth-chic direction of Voleur de Roses, but once that peachy ylang and that spiced amber comes in, you realize that this thing is wearing shoulder pads rather than black eyeliner.
I am consistently impressed how Teone Reinthal manages to wring a whole Coco, Opium, or even a Giorgio out of a restricted palette of naturals. Perfumey to the point of abstraction, what Raven loses in clear-sighted focus on the rose or patchouli or ylang it makes up in sophistication: it is something that your mother or aunt would have smelled like on the nights when they came in to kiss you goodnight before leaving you with the babysitter. Ah, the mysterious power of adult women….
All of which to say that Raven is a freak on the streets – the hairspray sharpness of the opening, the wet mold, the gaseous fumes off that hissing ylang – and a Chanel-blazer-wearing lady between the sheets. It is both astonishingly beautiful and entirely too mature for my taste.
Source of sample: My friend, Alex, gifted me her sample a couple of years ago.