Sometimes it can be risky to order a perfume sample based too much on expectation. Heeley Sel Marin is a case in point. I had read reviews beforehand, studied the notes and salivated at the thought of how good it was going to be. For some reason (why?) I thought it would be another Sel de Vetiver, one of my favourite and original takes on a 'marine' theme. I suppose both have the word 'sel' in their title.
The notes from Luckyscent include lemon, Sicilian bergamot, sea salt, seaweed, vetiver, birch and cedar. Not a million miles away in theory from Sel de Vetiver. The opening was totally unexpected, and that threw me, I think. It reminded me strongly of Apres la Mousson by Hermes, which is not what I was hoping for. I don't dislike the Hermes, but it is not my favourite in the line. Sel Marin smells swampy and brackish and not like the sea salt accord I was hoping for. There is a watery and slightly peppery feel to it, with light woods. As it progresses, it smells less like Apres la Mousson, but still not distinct enough to win over my heart. I was hoping it would smell fresher and fragrant, with an association of being by the sea, washed by an ozone-laden sea breeze. Instead it makes me feel like I'm stuck on the middle of an island, on the salt pan, away from any breeze, sweaty and humid, desperate for a drink, with only brackish pond water available. I know, that is a fairly pathetic attempt at describing the feeling of Sel Marin, but its the best I can do.
I know there are fans of Sel Marin out there and I appreciate that for you this may work brilliantly. I don't think it is a poor fragrance, but just not what I am looking for in a perfume.
Image credit - www.luckyscent.com