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Let's Get Acquainted with Fairia, an Australian Clean Perfume Brand Fragrance Reviews by Yi Shang at Fragrantica

When pregnant with my first child quite a few years ago, I sought clean products to refresh my bathroom. However, I abandoned my clean perfume quest shortly after realizing how underdeveloped the rules and regulations were in the emerging ‘clean’ trend, and recalling the importance of considering lethal dosage that my undergraduate chemistry lecturer emphasized to prevent unnecessary paranoia, anxiety or stress.

That being said, it’s still truly wonderful to discover an Australian brand specializing in clean perfumes, incense, and fabric care products from my neighboring state. This makes gift shopping much easier for those picky individuals in your life who enjoy scented products, but who would be more pleased to see brownie point winning labels like ‘clean’ and ‘vegan’.

Initially, I was more impressed with Fairia’s clean incense products and viewed the perfumes as accessory items for the incense. This was due to their incense being on the pricier end, $49 AUD/$32 USD for a bundle of 37 sticks, while their perfume seems to be rather fairly priced to me, $138 AUD/$90 USD for a 50ml bottle EDT, or $49 AUD/$32 USD for a sample set.

I had to share a word about Fairia’s incense. They burn much cleaner due to the use of various essential oils, and are similar to Aesop’s but rather different in scent character. Unlike the Indian incense often found in new age stores or milk bars (Australian/New Zealand equivalent of corner shops or convenience stores), which often makes my throat hurt due to being too permeatingly fragrant for my liking. I guess you are paying for the premium experience. Fairia’s incenses also evoke childhood memories of Chinese temples, with a refined and enlightening quality. It’s more like a fantasized version of what a Chinese temple would smell like, without the actual smoke and fire which could be too much for some.

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Back to my impression of Fairia’s perfumes, I was initially captivated by Whispering Trees, a beautiful blend of Australian eucalyptus and Chinese incense that avoids certain elements that can make eucalyptus feel cold or even depressing in a perfume to me. As I tried more, I realized that the whole range of five perfumes is relatively easy to wear. They exude a mellow essence, reminiscent of the relaxed feeling one might experience during a yoga session or after a nice bath. Although Fairia perfumes may lack complexity due to the absence of flashy larger molecules found in the base of many mainstream fragrances, for autotuning perfumes to something ‘pretty’, Fairia’s clean perfumes provide a good option when I specifically want to wear something less demanding on my nose, with a lighter or more breathable demeanor akin to your favorite luxury shower cream, but with moderate projection and lasting power. Here’s my experience with each individual scent:

Rose Dew

Fairia’s Rose Dew indeed hits the mark succinctly, showcasing the essence of fresh rose and dewiness. Fairia suggests that it represents the values of ‘hope, purity, elegance’, and showcases the energy of a new dawn. However, I find it an easy pick-me-up for any time of the day.

At the outset, the perfume offers a fresh, dewy rose scent that brings to mind dewdrops and roses. However, it also evokes a sense of familiarity, reminiscent of popular rose-scented products. This association is not negative; rather, it suggests a widely accepted fresh rose scent. Occasionally, there’s a hint of citrusy sweetness in the fragrance, along with a lychee-like fruitiness often associated with dewy roses. It also brings to mind the partially green and shell-like scent enveloping me when peeling open a lychee. At times, it reminds me of a time long ago when rose scents were more powdery and grand, like YSL Paris, and when I first experienced Serge Lutens’ Sa Majeste la Rose, with its astonishingly realistic fresh rose scent. Nowadays, the trend towards realistic, dewy rose scents is not rare, so the sense of astonishment has faded. Naturally, Rose Dew can’t compete with Sa Majeste la Rose; after all, not everyone can match the majesty.

Gradually, Rose Dew evolves into a very familiar scent of rose mixed with clean, non-burning, soft, and gentle woody incense—reminiscent of the atmosphere found in my local Eastern furniture and accessory franchise called Ishika, known for its Indian oils and incense. The packaging always exudes a quiet and sweet blend of incense and rose. Ultimately, the rose loses its dewiness, becoming a fragrance reminiscent of Turkish delight with a hint of powdered sugar—the aroma without the cloying sweetness upon tasting. Easy on the senses, everyone’s happy.

Whispering Trees

Fairia’s Whispering Trees perfume pleasantly surprised me with its beautiful symbolic combination of Australian and Chinese/Asian elements—a journey through eucalyptus and incense. It’s the most joyful eucalyptus-themed fragrance I’ve ever experienced, carrying a hint of Zen but with vibrant energy, akin to the uplifting effect of eucalyptus oil in aromatherapy. The incense feels both near and far, enveloped in a certain spacious and sunny vibe. I can see why Fairia assigned Whispering Trees to morning, with values like ‘Alert, Confident, Insightful.’

At the outset of the perfume, there is a distinct and fresh scent of eucalyptus essential oil, as if you’ve just applied a few drops of oil or crushed a eucalyptus leaf. However, the initially vibrant, almost camphorous hint unique to the eucalyptus dissipates, revealing a slightly minty, slightly sweet, and cool sensation that complements the lingering eucalyptus undertone. This makes the overall scent fuller, avoiding the dullness and lack of vitality that can result from burning essential oils for too long. I particularly appreciate this gentle introduction of eucalyptus in the perfume, as many eucalyptus-themed fragrances I’ve tried tend to evoke a tobacco-like, cold, and mysterious ambiance, which personally doesn’t resonate with me, especially on overcast days. I prefer my eucalyptus expansive with optimism, closely resembling the energizing feeling I always get from a walk in a eucalyptus forest.

Gradually, the fragrance transitions into a softer and sweeter aroma, reminiscent of the coolness of Tiger Balm, but soon brings incense forward. The incense here has a transportive quality that takes me back to those Chinese Buddhist or Taoist temples I visited in China a long time ago. It’s a rather particular smell that is not as papery or grey as some Zen-themed Japanese incense, nor as somber or woody with a piquant edge as what I recall from some Christian churches. The incense here speaks of a more relaxed sweetness coming from a certain woodiness. Occasionally, there’s a hint of mild spiciness, rosy or vaguely floral sweetness that comes and goes. With warmed-up eucalyptus and its ability to trigger Tiger Balm associations, the dry down of Whispering Trees feels almost omniscient to me. It has the transportive magic of bringing to mind happy and content feelings while browsing those New Age stores and self-care items, mixed with childhood memories of visiting Chinese temples, ancestral worship, and a festive feeling of being with family. Just like a distant memory, the incense in this fragrance brings whiffs of temple incense in the background without getting too close to the fire and heat.

The eucalyptus and Chinese temple incense duet lasts until the curtain drops. I really enjoy this interesting constant push and pull dynamic between these two. It brings the vastness of nature (eucalyptus) and spiritual elements (incense) into perfect harmony.

Floating Lotus

Fairia’s Floating Lotus is a fragrance that completely surprised me, as it was not what I expected from a lotus scent. It is full of vitality, without the presumed aquatic aspect. When pressed for time, this becomes an easy perfume to throw on for a whole day’s energy boost. Little did I know, I ended up finishing the entire sample within days of trying out the brand’s discovery set. For someone like me, who feels that it would take several lifetimes to try or use up all the samples I’ve gathered, to accidentally be so enamored with a scent (perhaps because it is so easy to wear and versatile, allowing me to use it without worry) was quite a pleasant surprise.

At the beginning of the perfume, there is a distinct and fresh scent of lemon, bergamot, and other citrus plants, reminiscent of the refreshing sensation of a brand-new lemon-scented soap. This also immediately reminded me of a sour candy with a powdery lemon coating that I enjoyed in childhood. However, in the background, there is already a sweetness and softness, somewhat reminiscent of baby powder, evoking the gentle musky base of a floral-scented soap. The soapy base adds a refined cleanliness to the overall scent, preventing it from being overly candy-like or reminiscent of gourmand fragrances.

Having tried lotus essential oils before, including powdery-sweet and somewhat silky pink lotus, white lotus, and a more spicy blue lotus (which I believe is actually a blue water lily) I was particularly excited about the yellow lotus mentioned in the fragrance notes of this perfume. However, what I predominantly smell is the lively citrus elements, akin to the invigorating effect of lemon candy, which initially made me feel like there was no lotus presence at all. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that the smooth and silky yet somewhat powdery and waxy type of soapy feeling that reminded me of a freshly opened floral-scented soap must be from the lotus here, which imbues it with the moisturizing sweetness and powdery smoothness similar to pink lotus. It’s just that here, the lemon and lotus are partners, and the lemon’s scent is too prominent, leading me to simply categorize the remaining scent as floral-scented soap. In my first few tries, I instinctively felt that this almost simply imitated a lemon soap, and I didn’t think it would leave a lasting impression. However, after finding myself reaching for it without hesitation for several days, I suddenly realized that it’s precisely because this scent is so comfortable and smooth that it has elevated itself into a fragrance I enjoy smelling on myself all the time—a lemon floral-scented soap!

As for the dry down of the perfume, I did not detect much moss or frankincense here; instead, the transition was very natural, the brightness and sharpness of citrus fade, yet overall there is still a lively, somewhat subtle scent reminiscent of floral-scented soap. Throughout, the fragrance is vibrant and dynamic to me, giving off a sunny, joyful feeling, much like taking a refreshing warm shower with luxurious lemon-scented lather. Invigorating, and rejuvinating.

 

White Forest

Fairia’s White Forest is a fragrance that would likely appeal to enthusiasts of fresh and sophisticated white floral scents. It reminds me of classic, poised white floral fragrances from 10 to 20 years ago that remain timeless, akin to Estee Lauder’s Beyond Paradise, with a Beautiful vibe. It features honeysuckle, a slightly bitter white floral that hits all the right notes of freshness and floralness, without been overly voluptious or intoxicating. While most white floral dominant perfumes are not my cup of tea, I recognize its classic appeal that would have no trouble attracting abundant fans.

The opening of the perfume is bright and lush, featuring bitter and fresh honeysuckle draped with a certain full-bodied yet light-textured hint of sweetness from fig and a fruit sourness. Gradually, the fragrance evolves into a more intimate sweetness, with a delicate, sweet, powdery floral note that enhances its overall gentleness. It evokes the image and scent of seeing a whole fence covered by passionflowers—full of energy and liveliness. Occasionally, I discern a nuanced fruity sweetness reminiscent of a blend of soft rose, pear, and lemon, resembling my imagined passionflower.

Perhaps it’s the curse and blessing of this clean perfume brand and its floral-dominant perfumes; similar to Rose Dew, and Floating Lotus, that the dry down of White Forest also gives me a floral soap association. There’s something smooth like soap lather yet powdery and fluffy like bursting soap bubbles. This makes someone like me, who typically avoids white floral perfumes, find the mid-stage to dry down of White Forest comfortable enough to wear.

Star Dust

To me, Fairia’s Stardust is a clean perfume tribute to Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium and similar classics, offering a simplified, modern palette akin to training wheels for newcomers or a spa retreat for fans of classic spicy and oriental scents.

At the outset, this perfume opens with a fresh and bold spice punch, notably featuring a distinct clove note reminiscent of the grandeur of oriental fragrances popular in the 80s and 90s. However, Stardust’s breathability and freshness highlight its modern and wearable nature. As the scent evolves, lemongrass becomes more pronounced, complemented by a blend of rose, smooth velvet, and woodiness that forms a prominent base. This combination presents a classic oriental fragrance reminiscent of Opium but with a touch of Monet’s light and shadow. The velvety, smooth rosewood occasionally hints at a certain lightness and brightness compared to its more serious, full-bodied, ambery, and spicier counterparts.

For me, Stardust creates an atmosphere that is exotic and intriguing, like stepping into a tarot reading shop for the first time, yet warm and comforting, akin to a winter family gathering.

I detect a subtle waxy or candle-like note in the base, perhaps unique to this clean perfume brand, there is something in the base evoking a feeling akin to floral soap in its floral perfumes, and that particular something reminds me of fresh candles when companied by light festive spices from a spicier perfume like Star Dust.

As the fragrance evolves towards dry down, the clove note finally recedes, and the overall scent becomes slightly warmer, smoothing out into a warm, spicy, subtly sweet, and intimate aroma.

Among Fairia‘s lineup of five perfumes that I have tried, Stardust appears to be the token ‘mature one’ to embody a vintage and grand oriental fragrance theme, contrasting with the fresher profiles of the others. Perhaps, like many new brands, Fairia‘s initial releases are aimed at catering to the olfactory preferences of as broad a community as possible.

Fairia currently ships domestically within Australia. The brand is actively developing international shipping solutions and anticipates implementing them by May.