Poesie Perfume

Eclectic and charming adventures in fragrance

Miss, Behave!

News & Fun StuffJoelle Nealy

“Well-behaved women seldom make history” -- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Inspiration for a new fragrance can come from anywhere, and it’s always fun to delve into the rabbit hole once I’ve come up with a source for a new collection. Our new Miss Behave Collection feels particularly apropos, and reading about the bold and brave women of history is a brilliant reminder that we, too, can fight battles against injustice. Whether it was through a deceptively simple act like challenging social mores, or through - oh, you know -- an actual battle involving swords and samurai, some mighty women have gone before us. We can follow in their footsteps. And we’re going to smell amazing while we do.

Ada Lovelace, the badass mathematician and mother of computer science, sparked our first fragrance in the collection. Her strange, restrictive childhood was designed to reinforce her rationality in defiance of her father’s wild genes. (You may have heard of him -- the infamous Lord Byron.) It worked...mostly.

Enchantress of Numbers, inspired by Ada Lovelace, features  notes of clean lemon and fresh lavender, corrupted by a ribbon of caramel and sweet amber.

Amelia Earhart is almost unavoidable when you’re examining badass women of history. Both her achievements in aviation and her infamous disappearance as she tried to circumnavigate the globe land her on most lists of this kind. But she showed courage out of the cockpit as well, challenging social norms and speaking out about women’s rights.

Atchison, inspired by Amelia Earhart, features notes of juicy red grapefruit, bright geranium bourbon, peppery freesia, earthy vetiver, warm oud, musky ambergris.

Unlike Amelia Earhart, Claudette Colvin’s story was almost lost to history. She was only a teenager when she challenged the bus segregation laws in Montgomery, but she knew her constitutional rights and had the courage of her convictions. Her singular act of defiance against an unjust law went all the way to the US Supreme Court, overturned the law, and lead to the desegregation of the bus system.

Montgomery, inspired by Claudette Colvin, features notes of lemony sweet viburnum blooms, plush Peru Balsam, delicate neroli, a hint of green foliage.

Cleopatra needs virtually no introduction. As one of the most famous women rulers of all time, her story has been told and retold -- usually from the perspective of her enemies (coincidentally, men), who cast her as a femme fatale who used her beauty and charm to seduce and get her way. The truth is that she was highly intelligent, and used her charm, her allies, and every other resource she had to keep her vulnerable Egyptian dynasty free of Roman rule. She succeeded for almost three decades, against all odds.

Lovelorn Wind, inspired by Cleopatra, features notes of intoxicating pink lotus, honeyed peach skin, sweet jasmine sambac, delicate rose de mai, crystalline musk, creamy sandalwood.

An unlikely heroine born into an intellectual and pacifist family, Indian princess Noor Inayat Khan nevertheless acted as an effective and brave fighter in the Resistance movement during WWII. She worked as a spy in occupied Paris, evading capture until her betrayal by a double agent. After her capture, she made multiple escape attempts, and courageously faced torture and interrogation by the Nazis. Ultimately, she gave her life for the cause of liberty.

Codename Madeleine, inspired by Noor Inayat Khan, features notes of rich butter cookies, heady jasmine blossom, bright cardamom.

Tomoe Gozen was a legendary samurai of the twelfth century, one of the few female warriors in Japanese history. Born to be a concubine and considered quite beautiful, little is known about the details of her life, but she was famous  for collecting the heads of those who fought against her and was said to be a warrior worth a thousand men. Although her side lost the ultimate battle for control of Japan, in the centuries since, her story has inspired retellings from Noh plays to a manga series.

A Thousand Warriors, inspired by Tomoe Gozen, features notes of juicy ume plum, bitter yuzu, divine hinoki wood, fluffy vanilla.