Karen Walker's new scent finds her seeking out the dangerous and the unpredictable, taking a journey deep into the woods, where the air is spiced with darkness and magic. The incense of campfire woodsmoke, pine needles crushing underfoot, and sambac jasmine, take us on a midnight adventure through the forest.
"Runaway is a midnight adventure in a forest," Karen says. "The warm incense of campfire woodsmoke and earth, the fresh green of pine needles crushing underfoot and the sweetness of sambac jasmine blooming as the moon rises.
Creating a spicy, woody oriental, Karen turned to French perfumier Veronique Nyberg. With a doctorate in organic chemistry and an encyclopaedic knowledge of obscure and rare botanicals, Veronique had already established a reputation as one of the industry's most exciting young talents when the pair first met in 2014.
"Veronique is almost mystical in her ability to divine your essence and translate it into fragrance," Karen says. "She brings this fresh, modern sensibility to a world that is very bound by tradition.
"I already knew of Karen's work before we met," Veronique says. "Immediately I was captivated by her passionate and strong personality. To create her new fragrance together was a fascinating experience.
Experimenting on the interplay between masculine and feminine notes, Veronique deployed ingredients traditionally associated with men's fragrances. Elemi essence, a sacred exotic akin to frankincense, has the complexity of cedar with green citrusy and coriander undertones. Smoky Bourbon Vetiver from the Reunion Islands and guaiac wood, a native American hardwood, coalesce as base notes along with Vanilla Pure Jungle Essence, a unique vanilla patented by Veronique's fragrance house. These dark, leathery tones are juxtaposed against unexpectedly feminine heart notes of rose and top notes of Italian lemon, along with spices: black pepper, cinnamon leaf and cardamom essence.
"The warm and cold spices vibrate against each other to create a nervous energy that is edgy and intoxicating," Veronique says.
The Runaway bottle is deep-forest emerald and gold in the shape of an inkwell, because, says Karen, "All women write their own story.