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August 1 2014

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Of Songs And Scents

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Strange Invisible Perfumes founder Alexandra Balahoutis has made a name for herself by producing a niche range of frequently custom-made fragrances that use only organic, wild-crafted, or biodynamic essences set in a base of 100 percent organic grape alcohol. But her fondness for finding inspiration in unlikely places also sets her collection apart. There’s the brand’s name itself, which comes from a line in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. (“I love literature and rich narratives,” Balahoutis—who dabbles in poetry writing on occasion—once told us.) Then there’s the fact that she readily turns to the cosmos when blending oils: Her astrological collection paired opposing signs together—Pisces and Virgo, for example—and each was meant to be the olfactory equivalent of its individual personality profile. For her latest release, Balahoutis mined another unlikely perfume muse: indie rock. Taken with the Jack White-and-Danger Mouse jam “The Rose With the Broken Neck,” Balahoutis was compelled to spike a classic rose essence with spicy hints of nutmeg and Tahitian vanilla, adding a fresh zing of vetiver and using the warm tinge of white cognac as a surprising base. It amounts to a limited-edition rose scent that by any other name would not smell as sweet, because the sweetness here is so well tempered, it’s not overpowering, but incredibly inviting, unique, and addictive.

$350, available exclusively at Strange Invisible Perfumes, 1138 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, CA; 310.314.1505, www.siperfumes.com.

Photo: Courtesy of Strange Invisible Perfume

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