MAGIC IN THE MAKING ~ Enchanted Forest by The Vagabond Prince

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There is an enchanted forest, yes it really does exist. Mist shrouds it most of the year hiding it from almost everyone who comes near. You have to hike for miles to get there, and you can only find it if you believe it is real. I found it once years ago and as I grew older it faded to nothing more than a fleeting flicker of a memory that floats across the back of your eyelids just before you fall asleep.


When I was very young and living on the wild north coast of California I lived at the edge of this enchanted forest, the great redwood forests of Humboldt County. My dorm was that last one in JollyGiantCanyon on the edge of my University campus. Beyond it was a road of dirt, mostly mud that cleaved the forest right up into the mountains, toward the unknown. Mountain lions, rattlesnakes and the legend of Bigfoot roamed those woods. And I knew there were other things, things of magic up there. Beings, that if you saw them you would be captured by their emerald and gold eyes and fall under a spell. You would in fact, if you saw one of them, become part of the enchanted forest and never return.


   I would set at my desk by the twilight window in my dorm room and look up that road into the dark heart of magic. The amber glow of my reading lamp was comforting. The room was warm and enfolding in cozy safeness, but still I was drawn to look out and dream of what lay deep in that dark place within the giant redwoods. Did I dare go up that road?

When I finally did get the courage to walk alone into the forest I could feel them watching from behind the giant dew laced ferns. Ferns grow there, as old as creation and taller than Adam. As I moved up the road I heard whispers in the wind.  I could hear their twittering laughter mix with the calls of owls and eagles. Despite my fear I pushed myself further up the slippery steep road; where even on the brightest days it is very dark and sinister in the place where the invisible reins over reason.

 echanted forest

I never saw them, never had the chance to look into there eyes. Every time I felt one was near I dropped my eyes to the puddles on the muddy road at my feet only to see my face gilded with foreboding looking back at me. And the smell of the earth came up to flood my senses mixed with wild berries and fresh green leaves, that sweet green sticky smell of new growth and the rotting floor of the primeval forest. All the while I wanted to turn and run towards the lights of the town but something drew me on and on toward the hearth of magic and the home of enchantment.


When I first smelled Enchanted Forest Eau de Parfume by The Vagabond Prince I was hurled headlong into the dark lost memory of that magical enticing yet frightening forest of my youth.  This herbaceous woody blend is so much the smell of a forest that I was quite amazed at all the memory doors that swung open on rusted hinges in my mind at the first sniff.


The opening is a rush of pink pepper, blackcurrant leaves, hawthorn, rosemary and aldehydes that sparkle and spark like the woody wet forest floor after the first winter rains. The rum and wine notes are like the smell of a fairy distillery bubbling over deep in the woods.  There is magic in the making.

The middle notes bring in more blackcurrant notes in the form of buds. Warming earthy carnation, coriander seed and a lush blend of wild roses and honeysuckle with a stinging vetiver blend here to a smooth and more restrained fragrance of the wild woods.

In the sunset of the fragrance amber warms the dying of the dry down with fir, balsam, cedar, velvety vanilla marries the warm glowing opopanax myrrh, there are the animalic of castoreum and musk nestled down for the night in a deep soft cushion of Oakmoss.

In his enchanted forest the Vagabond Prince dreamed of making a perfume based in Blackcurrant, a perfume like no other, filled with danger and mystery that called like a siren song to those with hearts open to invisible dreams. In this Enchanted Forest his dream was realized.

(Release date January 2013 ~ Vagabond Prince website for updates: )

 enchanted forest



  1. Nice review. They say that scent is the strongest trigger for memory and I can well believe it. Do you think this is a scent that you’d reach for often?

    • You know when I first heard of it at Fragantica I thought it would not be my kind of thing. I love orientals and skanky little bombs. But I entered the giveaway anyway because like I said on your blog I want to smell everything. It turned out to be memorable and a bit haunting, so yes I would reach for it again.

  2. I love your descriptions, you make it so vivid. I still have yet to break this one open. I have no idea what I am waiting for…maybe it’s just that I have been suffering from writers block as of late?!

    • Oh boy do I know what you are talking about. Sometimes the nose is working fine but the brain is all clogged up! Take your time but I am anxious to read your thoughts on it.

      Tell you what Hound, have a little Christmas and then see how you feel. If that doesn’t work, take two Chanel No.5’s and call me in the morning.

  3. What a beautiful bottle to match the scent – it looks like something from a fairy tale. Beautiful, rich description, Lanier.

    Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year! (I know I need one!)

    • Lisa! Merry Christmas to you too. Yes isn’t the bottle wonderful. It is designed to look a little like a big Blackcurrant!

  4. If this perfume is half as evocative and hits half as many of the notes of this review then I’m sold.

    Aldehydes, blackcurrants, rum and animal – that sounds like one camping expedition I want in on.

    Excelent Mr Lanier. Excellent.

    • I comes out next month and I have a feeling it is going to be very expensive. So we shall see. I hope you like it and are not disappointed. It is very unique indeed.

  5. Quite the dorm room view I’d say, and replete with all the magical qualities that tug on the heart and speak to the soul. I will be anxious to see if the scent measures up to your masterful review. Something tells me it will not disappoint.

  6. […] WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT ENCHANTED FOREST:  Kafkaesque, Scents Memory […]

  7. I think when you were in the enchanted forest I was watching “The Gnome-Mobile” – if you’re not familiar with that film all the better. I like how you handle the “dark heart of magic” better than Disney 😉

    • Yes…the dark heart of magic and Disney don’t seem to go together in the Gnome Mobile!

  8. A great review and some lovely writing about the forest 🙂 For me the EF intro is very familiar as blackcurrant is common here in Sweden and usually I get bags and bags of them from my mother in law every summer. I keep them in the freezer and whenever I need a quick and easy dessert I get some out, quick-boil with sugar and serve over ice cream. The start of EF reminds me a lot of this berry sauce I do. But soon afterwards things start start to go strange; sulph, wood, greenery and so on and in an instant I’m transported from familiar to almost alien. A GREAT scent 🙂

    • Thank you Sigrun! Oh that recipe for black currants and ice cream sounds great!

  9. […] For a more prismatic stroll you can walk this very same route with Kafkaesque or you could meander alongside Lanier. […]

  10. […] Will you stroll with me? These trees are giant blackcurrent bushes with super fragrant leaves and juicy juicy buds. The light rain is made of pink peppercorns sparking with aldehydes and sweet orange. Once this settles on your skin you feel energized and cleansed. Across the valley is an alembic aroma of wine or perhaps something stronger. Deeper into the heart of this forest you are walking on rose petals, past wild carnations and banks of vetiver until you come to The Balsam Fir Tree and a carpet of pine needles. This spot is where I paused and lay down for a fragrant rest after removing a log from my eye. Which you may need to do too, to appreciate this scent. A dream fragment of been snared by a dictator is chased away by a forest floor of myrrh resinoid, Siam benzoin, amber, oakmoss, castoreum absolute, cedar notes, vanilla, musk and a pure hearted patchouli. The dry down is blended to perfection so I can’t differentiate these base notes; I just inhale. This forest dances in green dappled light – there are no scary places here. For a more prismatic stroll you can walk this very same route with Kafkaesque or you could meander alongside Lanier. […]

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