I found this fragrance by John Pegg to be a disconcerting and strangely affecting scent. I have sampled all of his work to date and enjoyed his tenacity and olfactive alchemy. Not everything has come off; you can sense the experimentation and challenges in the blends of materials and creativity. Certain notes smell untamed, clawing away from themes and structures. Some formulae feel a little too grainy and unfinished. But John’s imagination is an extraordinary thing, building scent upon scent in his self-taught mind and just doing it, fuck opinion. Dirty Flower Factory, his most floral and unusual composition to date is a compelling blend of blue-collar romance, yearning and acquiescence.
Todd Hido Witness 7 (2009)
John used to be Kerosene Trewthe, posting online fragrance reviews on YouTube. The name refers to an old MySpace band page John had, the trewthe part referring to his strong spiritual beliefs in a search for God. Now, I’m not a huge fan of online video reviewing, it’s just not my thing, but it’s hugely popular and some people are really good at it. It’s an informal and direct way to speak to people, usually in a straightforward this is me and my bottle sort of way. In the US it’s very dude-y and in the UK oddly nerdy or generally just a little toe-curling. I don’t like the amateurishness, which I guess is sometimes the point. It some ways it feels like a reaction against the oft-perceived pretensions of fragrance blogs and niche reviewing. Everyone is entitled to an opinion mind you, it’s just that occasionally I feel the dominance of generic guy/street style scent reviewing feels forced, an attempt to butch up and reclaim a traditionally ephemeral industry.
The projection and presence of Dirty Flower Factory is wonderful, a quiet glowing aura of tainted blooms, woods and amber. John has used the strong indolic nature of orange blossom and jasmine to hint at machine oil, spilt fuels and a weird bitter soapiness that keeps reminding me of scrubbed hands and oil-stained overalls. The complexity of the aroma mix is quite striking in comparison to his earlier work, this dense and heady machinist floral smells layered and multifaceted. The chilli pepper seems to just lift so many of the elements, adding an edge of metallic spice to the skulking rose note.