Perfume of Sherwood

By Jo Phillips

That well-known folklore fable, stealing from the rich to give to the poor, Robin Hood, Maid Marion and his Merry Men are a permanent fixture of British culture. Set around the mythical but real Sherwood forest in England during the reign of King Richard the Lionheart, the adventures of Robin Hood follow the noble thief as he woos the beautiful Maid and thwarts the evil Sheriff of Nottingham.  A British classic that has been made into numerous films yet no one can quite pinpoint the actual person; Did he exist or is he a romantic lead in an apocryphal romantic tale set in perfect English greenery? Ultimately how does this story smell?

The origins of the legend as well as the historical context have been debated for centuries. There are numerous references to historical figures with similar names that have been proposed as possible evidence of his existence, some dating back to the late 13th century. yet he remains an enigma, a shadow intertwined within the woods.

However, the roots of Sherwood Forest, unlike the many varied tales stands strong. Unlike the misty mysterious character, the forest itself is as full of life as it ever was. So much so it has become the inspiration for the new fragrance for the perfume brand Memo.

Meet the simply named Sherwood. So what would you expect vibrant green notes alive with the tones of the forest? Well no actually it is a celebration of soft musky woods, creamy and cloud-like almost an embodiment of the fable of the dreamlike ‘unreal’ Robin himself and the forest he and his merry men cocooned themselves in.

The Memo brand says of the scent:-

 A botanical palace in which each root hides a tender shoot, each variety of tree surprises by its skin-like bark. Smooth and sweet like orange blossom absolute. Like rose. The treetops whisper Robin’s name, swap secrets of pink pepper and carrot seed oil. Only the cedar knows them. Where is the coveted treasure hidden? Suddenly an arrow flies down the middle of a path lined with blackcurrant buds. It skims past the birch and leaves a pervading trail of sandalwood oil that slips between the leaves, hugs the trunks, takes advantage of every ounce of quivering air to make its presence known. It points to the destination, leads the way to a fragrance: as generously discreet, as gloriously alive as the forest host.

As for the woody, spicy notes for this smooth soft wool-wrapped scent find top notes of Black Currant and Pink Pepper, followed by middle notes of  Spices and Oak, and base notes of Sandalwood and Cashmeran. Carrot seed oil, Violet, and Damask rose have been added giving a depth whilst Iris and dried fruits are used to give faceted accents to the wood spicy and ‘cashemere’ via cashmeran

Interestingly Sherwood itself having been in full life for thousands of years didn’t provide the wood notes for the scent as this New Caledonian Sandalwood is cut from branches and dead wood for a more sustainable approach.

“I crafted a spicy and captivating sandalwood cream. The deep and mellow woody signature of sandalwood is enhanced by the richness of sensual cashmeran and the precious oakwood”

Juliette Karagueuzoglou, perfumer

A sandalwood cream, is truly celebrated here with facets of other notes that sparkle like the light through forest leaves, that momentarily catch and move on.

Within folklore it is thought that it was via the oral tradition of troubadours’ songs that reported news and events as to where the story originates. Also, a monk from 1460 Witham Priory suggested that the archer had ‘infested shirwode’.

The Flacon golden hinting at the Major Oak from Sherwood forest and a wink to Robin Hood’s legendary arrows.

Now we can ‘infested shirwode’ into our lives directly, the green, the woods, roots and wild fruits and the mysterious dreamy story.

To find out more about memo and Sherwood please follow the link Here

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