Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Seattle Series: Olympic Orchids - Blackbird (perfume review)

Blackbird wasn't a scent I sought out, but at some point I happened across a generous sample through some friendly swapping. I briefly sniffed the sprayer, threw it in my pile of samples and promptly forgot about it.

Fortunately I was inspired to dig out my sample after a SOTD exchange on NST when a fellow perfume lover mentioned how they would love a scent that smelled of pine trees and crushed blackberries. It reminded me of my summers in Washington. Instantly I suggested Blackbird and knew I should give my sample some skin time. The juice itself is a gorgeous dark purple color and I wore the fragrance several days in a row. It's the first perfume I've actually physically craved.

Needless to say, it has quickly turned from infatuation to love.

photo from

The opening of Blackbird features a thick, camphorous evergreen that is so realistic it feels like you're breathing in the cold mountain air of Mount Rainier. The pine is joined by a sweet, pulpy blackberry and the combination of the juicy berries and the menthol makes for the olfactory version of cherry sucrets. It is both chilling and invigorating.

Over time the chill factor subsides considerably, leaving behind the sticky resinous smell of pine and allowing the blackberries to slide into the forefront. The berries have a dark, sweet succulence about them. The juxtaposition of the berries' sweetness with the bright pine keep Blackbird from veering into gourmand territory and squarely out of Christmas territory.

By the late drydown, I get very little pine and Blackbird focuses primarily on the blackberry. The amber and blackberry combine into a plush, sweet blackberry clouds that shimmer in the Seattle sun.

Interestingly, I've noticed that the first wear of Blackbird (initially or in a while) proves the most camphorous. Subsequent wearings seem to highlight the sweetness of the berry much more. I'm not sure why this is the case, but if you find it too 'medicinal' upon first wearing, perhaps try it again the next day.

To me, this scent is a warm blanket, well suited to fall and winter days. I haven't had the opportunity to try it in the summer yet, so I'll have to wait and see if it shines in the heat as well.


My rating of Blackbird: 5

1  -  - -  -  2  -  -  -  -  3  -  -  -  -  4  -  -  -  -  (5)
    Nausea/Gagging        Meh        Decent       Great         Olfactory Elation        

**please note that the ratings are in no way indicative of the quality of the perfume, but rather, my personal tastes!  I encourage everyone to try for themselves.  :)

Blackbird as described by the Olympic Orchids website:

Family:  Winter Woods

Blackberry, Elemi, Olibanum, Dry Grass and Woods, Cedar, Amber, Fir Balsam. 


Have you tried Blackbird? What are some of your favorite Olympic Orchids or blackberry scents?


  1. Oh Sun, this sounds delightful! Glad you found (or should I say 're-found'!) it.
    For some reason your review reminded me of DelRae's perfumes, esp this one that LeftCoastNose (she no longer blogs, and she's missed!) wrote about here (I know there is no berry in this, but something about it niggled my brain)

    1. Hi Carol! It is delightful - in a really different way. Thank you for pointing out this review for me! I can definitely see the connections - fruity, forest, rated 5 - they're like review twins! LeftCoastNose's love for Bois de Paradis is apparent and nearly infectious. I only say nearly because I actually blindly swapped for BdP and it sadly didn't work for me. I can't remember why off the top of my head, but looking back at the notes my guess is it's the cedar. Cedar often gets very sharp and BO-like on my skin if it's too prominent. That being said, LeftCoastNose's review was so compelling, I'd like to retry BdP to see if anything has changed!

    2. :)
      Would be interested in hearing your thoughts on BdP is you do re-test. In the meantime, have a great upcoming weekend!


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