As a new mom, I am more conscientious than ever about what I put on--and into--my body. This includes my favorite beauty indulgence, perfume.
My search for a natural, vegan, and cruelty-free perfume led me to Seattle’s Meredith Smith, owner of Sweet Anthem Perfumes.
Her work has garnered considerable attention among perfume makers, and she is growing SAP’s wholesale partners, which means you might soon find them in a store near you.
Smith sent me five Sweet Anthem perfumes to review. I looked at how well each fragrance matched its description and its initial impression, how it dried, and its staying power. Because I received samples, I can't speak to the packaging (though you can buy gorgeous solid perfume compacts).
My rating scale is one to five, with one the equivalent of wanting to take a hot shower upon application and five something like being enveloped in a bouquet of cherub-blown, scented bubbles.
NOTES: Sea salt, jasmine, osmanthus, white amber.
I was kind of underwhelmed by my first whiff of Annabelle. But this is why we TRY IT ON, people. Once applied, Annabelle is a delicate, almost beach-y smell, thanks to the head note of sea salt, mingling with a heart of jasmine. I didn’t pick up on the amber until later, after it had dried down a little. On my afternoon walk with my baby girl, I surreptitiously sniffed my wrists and congratulated myself for smelling so good.
I used the solid perfume version, which my skin absorbed almost instantly without leaving any greasy residue. Smith recommends solid perfumes for those who work in close proximity with others (moms, teachers, healthcare professionals) and want to keep their fragrance subtle.
NOTES: Sea salt, jasmine, linden blossom, amber, rosewood, tobacco.
Floral without being flowery, I can see why Lucille is SAP’s top feminine fragrance. It smells like an evening walk in the summer through a forest. This scent is sophisticated but earthy, and the tobacco base adds a cool smokiness that complements the linden blossom’s bright, watermelon-like note.
After I finished prancing around the house and instructing my husband to “smell my wrists!” I moved my sample of Lucille to my “favorite perfumes” tray.
NOTES: Almond, yuzu, honey, milk, oatmeal, sandalwood, Turkish mocha, vanilla.
I’m not a big almond oil fan, so my first whiff of Emily wasn’t entirely pleasant. However, I adore sandalwood and vanilla, both of which came through after about an hour’s wear. Emily was definitely the sweetest fragrance of the five I sampled, so I would say that if you’re someone who enjoys wearing candy-like scents, you’ll appreciate this one. It just wasn’t for me.
NOTES: Benzoin, black currant, neroli, agarwood, amber, black tea.
My first impression was that Sophie is a great date-night perfume. It’s richer than Lucille, with a more prominent amber base. The black-currant heart comes through and hangs around for hours, marrying beautifully with the bitter orange notes of the neroli. A fair amount of spiciness keeps it from being either a floral or citrus scent. If anything, it reminded me of a really lovely incense--sultry, not churchy.
NOTES: Apple, horseradish, black pepper, orchid, opium, teak.
Smith told me that customers have described Anton’s scent as “wearing your boyfriend’s T-shirt.” It was love at first sniff for me since I’m a sucker for any fragrance with a hint of pepper. The perfume dries down to something subtly masculine. I’d go as far as to classify this scent as unisex, so give it a try if you’re a lady who enjoys an unorthodox take on floral fragrances.
Sweet Anthem Perfumes can be purchased online and you can follow Smith (who is the sweetest) online via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, and Instagram for behind-the-scenes information, as well as upcoming sales and discount codes.
- Which of these fragrances would you try?
- How do you feel about solid perfumes?
- What was your latest scent discovery?