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Dear John: an ode to fathers

A ‘Dear John’ is typically a letter, dreaded amongst soldiers away at war, written from a woman to her lover to let him know that she’s found someone else. It’s two words that are tinged with loss, sadness and a sense of the inevitable.

Dear John perfume was Gorilla Perfumer Mark Constantine’s ode to his own father, named John, and was created before he ever met him. Made with one man in mind, but representative of the idea of how a man smells; a comforting, fatherly scent with notes of coffee, coriander, lime and tobacco. There was a moment during the creation of this perfume in which Mark recalls that he ‘suddenly realised that it was the way that I thought my father would have smelled.’

He describes it as: ‘a fragrance that is better up close. It’s burying your face in clothing to get the smell of a person.’

Dear John is born from conflicting feelings of love and abandonment, for all the men ever adored. This is a fragrance that Mark developed over a long period of time. The mix of citrus, woods and spices may seem unusual, but when you experience the fragrance, all that fills your head is a memory of the familiar.

‘Through working on these fragrances I've learnt that perfume communicates far more powerfully than words, and of all the fragrances this talks the loudest. This fragrance smells manly, truly manly, as in a man who cares, looks after those he loves, and has confidence. This was the perfume that gave me the assurance to call myself a perfumer. With a warm citrus splash and strong coffee note, Dear John seems strange and familiar at the same time. With its unique coffee and lime blend it provides a sharp buss at first, which dries into a more subdued warmth.' said Mark.

'It took several years to perfect, starting life as a simple accord between pine and lime oil, then passing through a period of time as "wake up and smell the coffee" and then with more work suddenly getting personal. I hesitate to mention this but this fragrance has been known to create very powerful emotional responses. You have been warned.’

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