Patrick (Fragrances of Ireland)

Ireland will always be a happy memory. I grew up spending summers in Sligo. My parents used to take me out to Strandhill, and we'd stop at the corner store and get H.B. ice cream. I would sit on the stone wall overlooking the beach, eat my ice cream, and take in the vast expanse of green and grey before me. The shoreline curled around the bay, its green fingers floating in and out of existence behind curtains of cloud and rain. The air was cold and clean, and full of salt, seaweed, wet grass, and stone. It was like being wrapped in an emerald, freshly dug from the earth.

It's been a while since I've perched on that wall or smelled those incredible smells, but another advantage of visiting Ireland is finding Fragrances of Ireland. The small niche perfumery has quite a pleasant and accomplished range. Unfortunately, almost all of the fragrances are for women. Patrick stands alone as their token fougère. It's a classically-composed fern, full of citrus notes and greens. It opens with a pleasant lemon and aldehydic moss, then switches gears during the drydown. I get a good shot of pine, an impression of wet hay, and eventually a musky wood. 

There's a little peat smoke in there, which is a nice touch. Peat is decayed vegetation mixed with earth. When burned, it smells amazing, a gorgeous blend of woods and minerals. The effect is of standing in a field near a cottage with a peat fire going. The rain is pelting down in lazy drops around me, and I can smell the salty brine of a distant beach. Salt and ozonic notes fuse the pungent pine, oak moss, and dry musk. This fougère is smooth, atmospheric, and green.

If it were made of top-notch materials, Patrick might be Holy Grail material. Sadly, the citrus is a rather naked limonene, and the balance between aldehyde and musk is a tad off. Limonene reminds me of the famous 4711, and here it's virtually identical to that eau de cologne. Sometimes Patrick feels a little too hazy, and I'd prefer better separation between the pine and moss notes. The composition is saved by the peaty woods that snake through the scent's core. 

Having a familiarity with how peat interacts with country air helps me to better understand what the hay-like shadows in Patrick are about. If it were just a citrus, pine, moss, and musk scent, I'd get bored. But with peat and brine in the mix, this enters a very rugged, masculine territory. It's good stuff.

As a green-lover, I'm inclined to think that I'll be repurchasing Patrick in the future. It's a good year-round scent, and the most traditional fern in my collection. If you've never been to Ireland, let me save you $1200 in airfare and recommend you sniff this lovely eau de toilette first.