One of the best places I’ve found to source new solid perfumes and brands is actually Instagram. I’m following the hashtags #solidperfume and #solidcologne to keep up with new (or new to me) products. Othús Perfumery is a new-to-me brand that I found in this manner.
“Othús (pronounced oTHooz) was founded with the belief that we need to go back to the start. To the way perfumes used to be made. To the origins of fragrances, where nature was embraced and celebrated. And retell our stories the way they were meant to be told.”Othús Perfumery
Launched in 2019, Othús is the brainchild of herbalist and perfumer Colleen Keenan Nelms. Colleen is also a jewelry artist, and you’ll see some gemstone-inspired motifs in her collection of fragrances. Othús Perfumery offers exclusively solid fragrances at this time, though recent Instagram posts suggest liquid-based scents may be in development. The brand also offers a line of body butters in scents that match or complement the perfumes.
Othús is a natural perfumery, and I know natural perfumes are not everybody’s thing. I acknowledge that some of the most-loved aspects of modern perfumery simply can’t be achieved without the use of synthetics. Some, but not all, natural perfumes fade more quickly from the skin. Some, but not all, natural perfumes have softer sillage. I dabbled in creating natural perfumes a few years ago myself, and had the opportunity to try many natural perfumes in my work for Fragrantica. I have developed an appreciation for the fragrances created within the confines of the natural palette and I encourage people not to dismiss naturals outright before trying some of the very best out there. My shortlist, in no particular order: Aftelier, Velvet & Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery, Providence Perfume Co., La Fleur by Livvy, Therapeutate, Anya’s Garden, Hiram Green (all linked, ’cause I love), and…
Othús Perfumery. Yes, they’re that good.
I purchased a Discovery Set, which includes an info card about the scents and a small black cotton bag containing sample-sized jars of the brand’s five fragrances: Amber, Black Tourmaline, Moonstone, Opal and Turquoise. Each fragrance is indeed a precious gem and a thing of beauty! I like and recommend them all and I actually love two of the scents. My husband also wore and enjoyed all five, and loved one in particular.
Amber is a lovely traditional Oriental amber–warm, spicy and resinous. Black Tourmaline is my husband’s favorite and one of my two loves. It’s a spicy woody fragrance with cinnamon and tobacco overtones, and while it was nice in summer, I can only imagine what a delight it will be in cooler weather. Opal is beachy but doesn’t smell of Coppertone tanning oil, evoking instead the experience of driftwood, seashells, tropical flowers and salty air. Turquoise recalls for me the deep, sexy chypres of the 1970s, with pronounced moss and patchouli notes.
The last is Moonstone, my other love. I have a rocky relationship with cedar but it’s oh so wonderful in this one. Moonstone is a clean, happy scent that evokes for me a spring breeze blowing through clean linens drying on the clothesline in my parent’s garden. I’ve earmarked this one for purchase in the near future and it deserves a full proper review.
All five scents are well worth your time and money. They are eau de parfum strength and each lasted at least six hours–a decent amount of time for a natural or synthetic perfume. I could actually smell the last traces of Moonstone and Black Tourmaline a good 12 hours later. The sillage is arm’s length for at least two hours. The texture of the solids is firm but creamy and spreadable, with a base of vegan-friendly candelilla wax. The Discovery Set is only $15 as of this date and the jars are filled with a generous amount of fragrance, enough for multiple testings and careful evaluation.
Have you tried the fragrances from Othús Perfumery? Let me know your thoughts in the Comments.
All photographs and original watercolor artwork by me.