I’m honestly shocked at how expensive international fragrances have become, especially those from the designer brands. I think this is in part due to COVID, but mainly because of our depreciating Rand. It really is a sad state of affairs.
So, I set out to try find some well-priced local options.
About 3 years back, I popped into the Rain store in Cavendish, Cape Town & saw the most beautiful ceramic fragrance flacon. It’s simplistic conical design, natural cream tone and general aesthetic caught my eye immediately. Nestled in this ceramic flacon was a fragrance called Leaf. I spritzed it on with trepidation – would this be another fruity, sickly sweet, typically mainstream scent?
To my utter delight, I couldn’t stop smelling my wrist – the scent was that good. Also, amazingly, the scent lasted the whole day! I went back to Rain two days later and purchased the scent in the ceramic flacon.
Now, I’m so very sorry to tell you this, but the ceramic flacon is no longer available from Rain – because y’all didn’t buy it when it was!!! Luckily, you can still purchase the delightful fragrances.
But before I get to showcasing the fragrances, I just wanted to briefly chat about how the Rain brand approaches their fragrance making. Rain has two highly skilled African perfumers who travel to remote parts of the continent in search of environmentally sustainable raw materials. They work very hard at establishing relationships with micro suppliers and small-scale producers. These essences, absolutes and resins are blended into Rain’s artisanal natural perfumes, which are handcrafted in small batches.
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Leaf (R599 for a 50ml – BUY) is a very unique artisanal fragrance and my favourite of the three available. As the name ‘Leaf” suggests, it’s fresh, green and very easy to wear. The first crisp notes of citrus, orange blossom and indigenous green fynbos evoke the hills and orchards of the Elephant River Valley which winds through the wild arid Northern Cape and remote Namaqualand. The deepening heart notes include intense florals, which are underpinned in the dry-down by sensual musk, sandalwood and kapok bush – a white flowering indigenous plant long prized by the local Nama and Khoi tribes for its aromatic and medicinal properties.
As I mentioned, this is a crisp, green, citrus, lush scent and those you like Be Delicious by DKNY, Happy by Clinique or Clean by Shower Fresh will LOVE Leaf.
Twig (R599 for a 50ml – BUY) reminded me of India the first time I spritzed it on. It has that typical patchouli scent so often associated with all things oriental. It’s warmer & has a headier scent that Leaf, but really is just as lovely & wearable. For me, Twig would be more of an evening scent as it’s fuller bodied than Leaf.
Twig opens with a hint of cool breeze from a fynbos mountain fringed with a citrus orchard and fields of lavender. The fresh beginning warms on the skin to reveal a heady floral theme underpinned by spicy notes of cedar. As the fragrance deepens, it surrenders the resinous sweetness of the Namibian Omumbiri, the treasure of the Himba people, as well as smoky Muhuhu from East Africa and a honey scented Labden blended with vetiver, oak moss and patchouli. If you like oriental scents that are patchouli based, this is the fragrance for you!
Nectar (R599 for a 50ml – BUY) is the scent my daughter loves most. Delicate florals intertwine in a scent that grows in complexity as sensuous jasmine, rose and lily assert their subtle sweetness. Underpinning this intoxicating bouquet is the spicy warmth of resinous cedar, redolent of the spectacular Cedar Mountains – ancient home of the San whose profound botanical knowledge is the inspiration behind Nectar – a celebration of the harmony between man and nature.
In addition to Leaf, Twig & Nectar, Rain have a few other fragrances (which I’ll hopefully get around to reviewing soon) that are just as lovely. Also, the unbeatable price of R599 for a 50ml fragrance that’s as beautifully constructed as these is actually an amazing bargain. And, as mentioned, all of the above scents have FANTASTIC longevity of between 5 – 8 hours. Come on ladies (& gents reading this), let’s show local fragrance some love & support.
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