Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sharp by Andrea Maack

Two days ago was my birthday and the fragrance I chose to wear that day was "Sharp" by Andrea Maack. It turned out to be a very good choice. As I have two little kids I don't have to much time for pursuing my own interests (perfumes are an exception, thinking about how you smell is one of the few things you actually can do while taking care of small kids). But since it was my birthday I got a few hours to myself in order to bake a decent cake.

The cake I went for had had 2 chocolate cake layers and a filling consisting of vanilla/mascarpone cream and strawberries. I didn't manage to get a photo of itcake before it was gone, but I found a photo of a cake made from the same recipe ("Strawberry Celebration Cake" from Bittersweet by Alice Medrich, highly recommended btw) at the Mad Bakers blog, and this is what it looks like:

Sharp, my scent of the day, started out very much like the cream filling in the middle. Lots of soft, sweet, dreamy vanilla mixed with wild strawberries. The note that I interpret as strawberries is an interesting one. It's milky and a bit artificial, like those strawberry milkshakes that don't contain any real strawberries. It also reminds me of paper. This I find very intriguing, I've never thought of strawberries and paper smelling anything alike before. After a while the strawberries left and there was mostly vanilla left. I also got chocolate at times and that really made me really feel like my cake :)

The official sales texts talk about Sharp being a soft scent with a subtle poison note hiding behind all the lull, hence the name. First I thought this being  just nonsense. I can imagine a sales person coming up with something like this in order to make a scent seem more interesting. I could also imagine people, wearing Sharp, going "Ehhh.....ummmm... yes, now I do get a little sharpness..... ehhh....ummmm....very interesting...hmmm", but really not feeling a thing at all. An "The Emperors New Clothes" type of practical joke.

But then, after spending some hours inside a cloud of vanilla, there is this tiny hint of something dirty. All of a sudden I'm getting sawdust left on stable floors to soak up the horses urine. Later during drydown there is sea water and musky sweat. And that paper again, but different now, not as sweet. What happened? This little darling of a scent went from a super sweet vanilla to a salty, dirty one. A birthday cake stumbling upon hard times? Or did she grow up into a pony girl?


All the scents in Andrea Maacks line are interpretations of her artwork. Above is the picture that goes with Sharp. I'm not sure I get the connection, but maybe it's about a facade breaking up and you get to see what is underneath? Or about how life moves in mysterious ways? Or maybe something completely different?

I'm rating Sharp a 4 out of 5. The start is way to sweet for me. I'm fine matching a birthday cake scentwise one day in a year but not more. Great for people who like sweet foody vanillas though. The drydown, however, I love it! I don't have a straightforward relationship with vanilla but with enough dirt and edge mixed in, then we're talking! I'm overall very impressed with both Andrea Maack fragrances I've tried. They are interesting and unique and longlivity is great.

12 comments:

  1. Happy birthday! (although somewhat belatedly) :)

    Btw, I love the look of that cake. Is there a recipe online that I could use?

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  2. Thank you Ines :)

    I haven't found the recipe online but here is a film of a very similar cake being baked: http://video.pbs.org/video/1174161648/

    Only use strawberries instead of raspberries (I think they word equally well, though) and mix the cream with mascarpone and vanilla extract and you'll get "my" cake. I also used blackcurrant juice to soak the cake layers to get them moister. Turned out very nice.

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  3. Thank you. :)
    Although, I'll have to write your instructions down as I'm not going to remember them. :)

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  4. Happy belated birthday! And I agree, the cake looks delish.

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  5. Thank you! I'm about to send Ines a photocopy of the recipe from my book, as well as some Swedish liquorice. Would you like to get a package like that as well?

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  6. I would love the recipe, if you don't mind sending it! Thank you so much for offering. No licorice for me, though, I'm on a wee bit of a diet. (Cake can be made later) :) I will email you.

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  7. Oops. I can't find your email. You can email me at anotherperfumeblog at hotmail dot com if it's not too late.

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  8. No, it's not to late. I've mailed your private mail now so that cake will be within your reach very soon :)

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  9. Belated Happy Birthday, Sigrun- hope you had a wonderful day..That cake looks deelicious!!

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  10. Thanks! I had a great day! And that cake really is as god as it looks :)

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  11. i love this cake wanted to gift it to some one will it stay out of he refrigerator for 2 hours, however will be planing an ice bag underneath.

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  12. Hi, I think the cake will be ok out of the refrigerator for 2 hours as long as you keep it in room temperature, and not out in the sun or anywhere else warm. Good Luck with making it!

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