Perfume Reviews : Euphorium Brooklyn Usar EDP

Euphorium Brooklyn Usar EDP

Euphorium Brooklyn Usar EDP

All of above achievements are even more remarkable when we consider this perfume house was founded less than two years ago!

The first three releases from Euphorium Brooklyn were in oil-based formats, which certainly suits the Victorian period in which this perfume house has its fictional backstory. There is definitely appeal to oil-based formats, in my opinion: lower sillage, skin-moisturizing properties, enhanced longevity, a certain roundness and fullness that it brings out in the heart notes and base notes. That being said, I generally reach for eau de parfum format if it is available, and moreover, an atomizer bottle rather than splash, so I’m excited to see these beautiful scents in my preferred format.

Euphorium Brooklyn’s Stephen Dirkes is having a busy year. In addition to re-launching fragrances Cilice and Usar in Eau de Parfum format (and Wald is next, slated for September), multiple art events in Brooklyn this spring, a turn at Sniffapalooza Spring Fling (as reported by our dear Ida), a residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute and preparations for the upcoming Tranoï New York Parfums Expo in September, Stephen found the time to enter his short film in the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival, where Case #432, Euphorium Brooklyn’s short promotional film for 100 Tweeds, was an official selection of the Festival and a nominee for Best Visual Effects, Best Art Direction, Best Creative Concept and Best Sound Design.


Usar fragrance bottle with a slice of lime

Stephen and I discussed the subtle tweaks he made to Cilice for the alcohol format when I attended the Euphorium Brooklyn Voluptuary Set launch in February. Such adjustments are often necessary when a perfume changes format, as certain ingredients perform better in alcohol or oil (or lotion base, or candle wax, etc), and/or require a different quantity to achieve the same effect. I found the EDP formulation of Cilice very similar to the oil-based formula, but with alcohol giving the fragrance notes a subtle lift.

With Usar, Stephen took the opportunity to tinker a bit with the formula, resulting in a lighter, more tea-like effect. If you love vetiver, no need to worry: Usar still has plenty of it. As with the oil-based format, you can smell the gorgeous vetiver note throughout the life of the fragrance, but the mood of the scent has shifted slightly.

Usar Eau de Parfum 50 ml atomizer with ginger and lime slices

The oil-based formula has a darker, earthier quality. The effects of the ginger and lime are dampened somewhat by the oil format, and the fragrance has pronounced woody and rooty aspects on my skin. It is smoky, a bit heavier and more somber overall, making it a great scent for Autumn and Winter.

In the EDP, a new addition—Cassia, which has a cinnamon-like aroma—enhances the ginger and lime. I can smell the sweet sugar in the top notes now, and the beautiful opening recalls a freshly-brewed cup of spiced tea. There’s even a bit of a clean and classic ‘barbershop” scent to the opening, likely due to the lime. About 20 minutes in, the EDP format begins to resemble the oil format more closely, but with a more lighthearted feel. Those roots have pushed up through the soil and are basking in the sun. The woody notes are softer and sweeter, with ambergris cushioning the overall effect. Usar EDP has a levity not found in the oil format and is easily a perfume for all seasons.

Bottom line: While I’m drawn to the dark, earthy aroma of the oil version, the EDP feels like a more developed and sophisticated perfume. If you’re sampling this for the first time, I recommend starting with the EDP. If you enjoyed Usar in the oil format, you’ll find the EDP familiar and possibly more wearable and suitable for more occasions and seasons than the oil version. Both versions last 10+ hours on the skin.

Choice is a beautiful thing!

Thank you to Euphorium Brooklyn for the opportunity to try the new Usar EDP, and I look forward to exploring the dense forests of Wald EDP this Fall!

Usar is available in 15 ml and 30 ml oils and 30 ml and 50 ml EDP atomizer bottles, along with sample sizes in each format, exclusively at Twisted Lily, with international shipping available to most countries.