Imaginary Authors is a perfume house started by Josh Meyer about 5 years back. The inspiration behind this operation was Josh’s view of scents and perfumery as art. This led him to create a fragrance house whose image and persona was born out of careful deliberation from start to finish.
As the name implies, every scent is tied to a fictional book with a so-called imaginary author. The bottle itself can be thought of as a book. The labeling is the book cover, with the scent/book name, the front cover art, and the back cover summary of the scent notes. The fragrance itself is - as you may’ve guessed- the story itself. At the bottom of every scent list is a “fake” note that helps to tie the scent back to the storyline. His creations are meant to be somewhat exclusive in application, so not many are meant to fill the place of “everyday scent”. They are creative, unique, and unisex -- meant to be worn for the wearer and no one else. That’s why we love this sample collection.
Short Story Collection
Josh’s Short Story Collection is a sample set of 8 of his current offerings: A City on Fire, Every Storm a Serenade, Cape Heartache, The Soft Lawn, Saint Julep, Slow Explosions, Memoirs of a Trespasser, and The Cobra and the Canary.
A City on Fire: With a backstory of two matchmakers (literally) who witness a late-night murder, this scent combines cade oil, spikenard, cardamom, clearwood, dark berries, labdanum, and burnt match for an extremely smoky scent. Upfront, I smell pure smoke: ashes and all. This is due both to the notes of cade and spikenard. Clearwood and dark berries then evolve the scent into something much more wearable. A very daring fall/winter nighttime scent.
Every Storm a Serenade: This is modeled after the story of a writer who travels to her mother’s vacation home on the west coast of Denmark during the winter. Lovestruck by a brawny fisherman, her novel is delayed by her countless unsent notes telling of her longing for the fisherman. The dark wood notes of Danish spruce are met with the tang of eucalyptus, while vetiver brings an olfactory gust of grass and smoke. Calone, ambergris, and “Baltic Sea Mist” finally sweeten the accord to make it something very uniform, yet entirely different and unique.
Cape Heartache: Modeled after the 19th century exploration novel of imaginary author Philip Sava, this tells the story of a cabin-dwelling youngster in the Pacific Northwest who falls for a Native American from the area. Douglas fir, pine resin, “mountain fog and old growth” give this an immediate peppery, woody front reminiscent of that which you’d smell during Christmastime. Western Hemlock makes this a more calming “green” profile, and vanilla leaf and strawberry sweeten the accord into something equally magnetic on both men and women.
The Soft Lawn: Following the story written by a Princeton undergrad in the 1910’s, this scent profile tells the tale of a snotty upper-class tennis player whose life is turned upside down. Notes of Linden blossom, Laural and Ivy leaves, Vetiver, Oakmoss, fresh tennis balls, and clay court. This is profile is equal parts sweet, powdery, green, and grassy to yield a scent that is perfect to wear any hot summer day.
Saint Julep: A rundown chapel on a desolate Mississippi road is picked up by the hands of two dozen and carried into the nearest mint field. There, numerous neon signs are brought in, making it a safe haven bar to dance and drink moonshine This scent is definitely not for the faint-of-heart. Sweet mint, tangerine, and “sugar cubes” make this an equally green yet incredibly sweet scent upfront. Magnolia, bourbon, and grisalva lay in wait, making the drydown on this a bit more woody and musky. If you’re looking for a transformative olfactory story, look no further.
Slow Explosions: After Gwen quits her mundane job, a throw of the dart at her local bar lands on the map -- on a country named Goa. Next thing she knows, she’s celebrating the Himalayan New Year, relaxing in a tea garden in the foothills and overlooking the brilliant fireworks display. With a top note of saffron, this is a complexly sweet, yet bitter and sour accord. Very quickly, however, rose absolute, leather, and cashmeran envelope the spice in a dark, animalic heart. Apple and benzoin complete the profile with a light air of fruit in the background. One of my favorites of the lineup, this one is great for a night out.
Memoirs of a Trespasser: “Philip Savan” is back at it again, this time testing the limits of explorative writing with a collection of hallucinogenic-induced writings, with Memoirs of a Trespasser being the most prominent. Philip now spends most days on a ranch in Madagascar. Madagascar vanilla, Guaiac wood, and myrrh combine as an oriental, smoky, spicy, yet sweet accord. Benzoin, resin, and ambrette seeds round out this profile with a molasses-like, woody sweetness. This is a perfect fall/winter scent.
The Cobra and the Canary: Twenty-something Neil Orris finds himself in the Connecticut barn of his late father after a visit to a psychic, eyeing the 1964 Shelby Cobra his father so carefully maintained. After picking up his friend Ike, they embark on a high-speed road-trip west. Destination: Palm Springs race tracks. A series of pseudonyms and personas attends their debauchery and decadence. Lemon and Orris combine to make a green, spicy citrus front to this scent. Tobacco flowers, leather and “hay fields” combine to make this a scent of tire burnout, cigars, and a cup of Earl Grey tea.
As with all Imaginary Author scents (in my opinion), Josh has a way of transforming his scents, using not an extensive list of scent notes but rather a unique combination of the obscure and the common to make a story of a scent. As Josh told us, “There is so much going on within a perfume and its formula; it's extraordinary to be able to help find a language, story, pattern and colors to examine and talk about what it happening within each scent. Scent is the least practiced of the 5 senses and finding that language is a cool thing.” So a sample pack like this gives you the perfect avenue for practicing the art of scent. Each perfume must be worn on the skin, warmed by body heat, and combined with your unique body composition before you know how it really smells -- on you. So, with this pack, you can try each of these amazing compositions to find your favorite. And as Josh says, “Wear perfume for yourself, not for those around you (even significant others).”