Welcome to Tynan Sinks' new fragrance column, Smells Like Trouble. As Byrdie's resident fragrance connoisseur, Tynan will be sharing the scents that linger on in his mind, and nose, and clothes.
I’m from the Midwest where it’s cold as hell. A type of cold you can’t forget and never recover from. Winters seem to last forever, coming to an end in late April and starting again at the top of September. It’s in my bones, always.
When you live in a climate where it gets so cold, you squeeze every possible bit of juice out of the warmer days, because even as they’re happening, they seem like a memory, a dream you might wake up from in the middle of a frigid winter night.
There was always a weird heat wave at the beginning of the year when the temperature would hit the mid-thirties, which, I know isn’t warm, but in the middle of a bone-chilling winter, can almost feel like summer. It would never last for long, but the winter air felt thicker, a little more humid, and it would make you feel like spring was just out of your reach, just around the corner. It was a fleeting feeling of hope that reminded me that one day, I would wear short sleeves again.
When these weird winter warm fronts would hit, I’d always convince myself that spring had come early that year, and that was just going to be how it felt until June, a surprise spring that gave way to an endless summer. It never worked out that way, as these weird warm fronts were inevitably followed by a polar vortex so cold you couldn’t go outside for fear of your eyeballs literally freezing inside your head. But sometimes you tell yourself stories to make it through the winter.
There is a point to this, I swear. What I mean to say is that a new scent fell into my lap that reminded me of this very rare, specific time. This fragrance smells how spring feels.
Snif is a new brand that you’ve probably seen on Instagram. I’ll be honest, at first, I was skeptical, but after trying their collection, I can fully say I’m a believer. Their latest scent, A Scent By Harry Hudson, is a collab with, you guessed it, singer Harry Hudson (who has a new album that is very good and you should listen to). The scent proudly exclaims “we bottled happiness.” It’s a big claim, but you know what? I can’t say they’re wrong.
A Scent By Harry Hudson smells like spring, whether it’s a phantom January spring or an actual spring. But that’s exactly what I thought of when I first smelled it. It’s everything I love about springtime.
If it helps, the scent is made up of notes of lemongrass, lavender, basil, black currant, jasmine, neroli, gnidia flower (which smells like cucumber and violet,) patchouli, and woods.
Does that sum it up? Maybe. I don’t know. I love lemongrass but that scent can often take center stage and pull focus, but in this scent, it does not. Instead of using a traditional citrus, which would have been so easy to do here, lemongrass gives it the sweet and bright citrus vibes without any of the sticky sweetness.
The basil does a really lovely job of adding this fresh, airy green note that doesn’t smell herbaceous or pungent, but rather naturally effervescent. There’s an aquatic note in the scent that I think I’m tracing back to the gnidia flower, which is cucumber adjacent. There is a watery element that is subtle, but unmistakable, every time i notice it, I don't want to let it go.
Notes like black currant and neroli add a sweetness to the scent without ever taking it into sweet territory. Finally, the patchouli and woods pull up through the scent to be surprisingly noticeable throughout wear, adding depth and earthiness to the scent without ever weighing it down, despite how apparent they are.
It’s just…really nice. I know I’ve beating the springtime idea into the ground here but truthfully, this would really be lovely all year round. Snif calls all of their scents “genderless” which, thank god, hello it’s 2021, but you really can’t even say this one leans masculine or feminine, whatever that would even mean. To me this is a “daytime” scent, only because it smells like sunshine, you could definitely wear this at all hours. I think what I mean is this is just point blank a great fragrance, and when something is that good, you don’t want to waste time classifying it, you just want to wear it.
But back to springtime. Maybe I’m caught up in this idea of a phantom spring because we are in the middle of January and this is exactly when it would happen. Or maybe, since I live in New York now, the winters just don’t get as cold as they would in the Midwest, so perhaps I did get my surprise spring after all. Or maybe it’s global warming. WHO KNOWS.
Whatever it is, I really like it. A Scent By Harry Hudson really strikes a specific chord in me and brings me nothing but sunshine and joy. Even if I never get my surprise spring, this sure smells like one.