Clean Perfume Quest #6: Abel Organics, Vintage ’13

Adventurers, shall we have another moment of fragrant excellence? Please meet this 100% organic & sustainable vegan fragrance for Him & for Her.

“I’ll have an Adventure, please!”

Once upon a time, the New Zealanders Frances and Dave had arrived in Amsterdam, looking for a new Adventure…
The Adventure has shown its pretty face as Frances found herself unable to find an all-organic perfume that would smell great, and set her mind on creating one.abel-vintage-13-closeupPaying homage to history – the Dutch Abel Tasman who had discovered New Zealand –  she named her company Abel Organics, and, with a background in wine trade, gave the first fragrance the name VINTAGE ’13. Local artists and artisans create the recyclable glass bottle, the oakwood shield, and the recycled paper box.

The Recipe

Crafted by a fellow New Zealander Nez Isaac Sinclair (Symrise Brazil) whom the down under readers might know for his ECOYA Candles work, VINTAGE ’13 consists of organic ingredients only.
Here’s a full disclosure:
grain alcohol,
love Bud Oil (Madagascar),
Bergamot Oil (Italy),
Black Pepper Oil (Madagascar),
Ginger Extract (Indonesia),
Thyme Oil (Spain),
Vanilla Absolute (Madagascar),
Vetiver Oil (Madagascar),
Sandalwood Oil (East India),
and Amyris Oil (West Indies).abel-vintage-13-sample-spray

VINTAGE ’13 reviewed

Like any all-natural scent, VINTAGE ’13 can oscillate somewhere between baby-I-could-eat-you-up and wash-it-away-now.
Funnily, I have experienced both. My first test was torture.
Since the fragrance is pretty intense, it took me two rounds of rubbing my wrist to get rid of the scent. I then let it sit on the shelf for a while, because I love the ingredients (in theory).

Another day, another try.

I am alert.
But suddenly, the dark warmth of woods and spices clings to my skin like wild honey.
There is delicate bitterness and green sharpness, a woody, mild calmness of a sandalwood duo.
Vanilla is hardly perceivable, and I’d say it’s a “black”, oily, rather dark vanilla, too.
Despite this intensity, the fragrance is modern, not heavy – if applied in moderation, of course – and pleasantly long-lasting.
Clove and pepper are at the peak in the drydown.abel-vintage-13-fashion abel-vintage-13-golden-frame abel-vintage-13-whats-vintageOf course, I know that by “vintage”, the makers refer to fine wines; the oak bottle frame is yet another nod to winemaking. However, my personal notions are those of the library in my parents’ home, a room with lots of dark wooden shelves, carved golden frames, and heavy green and ivory curtains, designed to keep out the street noise. A bar is ‘hidden’ in one of the armoires; gobelin and silk pillows are draped nonchalantly… Such is my VINTAGE ’13 journey 😉

Say ‘hi’ to Abel

Find Abel Organics online, on Twitter, and on Facebookabel-vintage-13

Where to buy

I got my sample at Amazingy for about €5 which is sensible, given that the VINTAGE ’13 full-size 50ml EdP costs €115.
As usual, no affiliate links.

abel-organics-fragrancesExciting: there is a new fragrance by Abel Organics coming next.

find my “detoxed” fragrance picks for men and women tagged SAFE PERFUME or find out here why a perfume can be not safe.



Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)

16 Responses

  1. Thanks for the review – I loved hearing about your different experiences! Isn’t smell potent and emotive? …Changing from one day to the next (one moment to the next even). Pleased you enjoyed, Frances

  2. Heather in Arles

    Whoa! Those ingredients sound amazing! It kind of makes me think of the original Comme des Garcons perfume?? Am I right in that or barking up the wrong tree?

      1. I haven’t always been so good about commenting – sometimes I need to think about what you wrote and then forget to come back. But I think that you are amazing and we are so, so lucky to have a beauty warrior like yourself out there fighting the good fight! 🙂

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