Now Josh is a relative late bloomer in terms of perfumery, really only starting his conversion to the scented arts in 2010, launching his lines in 2102. Quite impressive considering the quality of the fragrances he has imagined. After a peripatetic youth he settled in Portland and wondered how to channel his intense creative spirit. Everyone toys with music, art, words and performance in their lives and in a very charming interview with Olfactif, Josh reveals that his preoccupation with straight razors and interacting with the obsessive Badger and Blade community put him in contact with a guy who started including scent samples from brands like Knize Ten, Parfumerie Générale and Annick Goutal that slowly began to re-shape Josh’s senses regarding the world of fragrance, a world until then he had dismissed as conformist and somewhat suffocating.
The Imaginary Authors collection portfolio consists of Falling into the Sea (Nica Galas 1950-2007), Violet Disguise (Lenora Blumberg 1909-1983), Bull’s Blood (Devante Val Reo 19325 -????), The Soft Lawn (Claude LeCoq 1893- 1956), L’Orchidée Terrible (Audrey Blavot 1919-1999), The Cobra & The Canary (James Spund 1933-2001) and Memoirs of a Trespasser and Cape Heartache, both by Philip Sava (1867-1923). There is also a collaborative scent called Mosaic in association with Spruce Apothecary in Portland which has a very strange and compelling ‘limestone’ note. I admired elements in all of the perfumes, each one has presence and eccentricity. The more I lived in them, the more I noticed in the blending, atmospherics and spaces between the notes.
I have added Cape Heartache and The Cobra & The Canary to my collection, while my friend Murray treated himself to Bull’s Blood and Memoirs of a Trespasser. A delightful note and a set of bookmark blotters accompanied my original sample set from Josh, with info on the scents, authors and notes. It is this studied and singular attention to detail that makes me love niche. These little details are a reflection of Josh and his perfumed vision and therefore matter. It is not just mere collateral or PR padding.
There is a motif of the outsider that carries through so much great American writing, the struggle with oneness played out against complex psychological backdrops be they Boston Brahmin social gatherings, whaling ships or Harlem jazz bars. Suffering, aloneness, quietude and redemption.