No. 2 — a beautiful pencil-scented fragrance with an unfortunate name

I’m taking a break from my not-actually-a-blogging-hiatus here to share something interesting. You may remember my post from 2014 about the “Number Two (Pencils Shavings)” perfume from DSH Perfumes. It was designed to be a wearable essence and a scent for a room diffuser, though it never really struck me as really smelling like pencils.

Well, there’s a new pencil-scented fragrance in town, and it’s also called “No. 2,” this time from Portland-based artists Rory Sparks and Catherine Haley Epstein. They combined their love of pencils and perfume into a perfect fun project. Rory, a listener of The Erasable Podcast, was kind enough to send me a sample for review.

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The sampler spritzer of No. 2, kindly sent to me by the artist. The pencil stub is a nice touch!

I have to admit, the presentation is fantastic. My sample spritzer came wrapped with a short pencil stub to reinforce that the “No. 2” title was, in fact, referring to the pencil grade and not how people usually associate “number two” to smells.

Here’s the thing. While this scent smells distinctly different than what I remember the DSH scent to smell like (though I don’t have that vial any more to compare), it still doesn’t really smell like pencil shavings. I suspected the problem may be mine, and not the perfumes, though, so I took it into work and shared it with some coworkers.

Sure enough, I got a lot of comments about it smelling “woody” and a little “mineraly,” which I think confirmed that suspicion. My sense of smell is pretty out of tune. I blame years of bad childhood allergies and a perpetually stuffed nose and swollen sinuses.

Here’s the official description from the product page:

This scent was designed to honor the pencil. Like a pencil it is sharp, may be used as an under layer and blends in with just about everything. Yellow paint, splintered wood and metallic graphite serve as the springboards. The scent is made entirely of natural components of trees, leaves and citrus. Enjoy!

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Here’s the joint artist statement and a very cool personalized golf pencil from their ongoing art project.

If you want more information on this scent-based art project, check out Catherine Haley Epstein’s website, MindMarrow, for her project statement. And, if you want to smell like you just sharpened 50 pencils (as I did the other day), head over to her shop for various volumes and packaging options of the scent.

 

 

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