Strange Invisible Perfumes: Galatea


Galatea begets an image of a bitter-orange tree corridor. Blossoms opening from a balmy night of late spring. Dark silhouettes of lovers loosely hold hands, fingers intertwined. Boozy thoughts dance above them. The trees emit their balsam, finally released from the first true heat of the season. The bark has become balm and essence. It’s a lovely vision, a bit dark in my mind, and this perfume swirls around it like a trance. 


I am in love with Galatea and yearn to have a full bottle. Here’s the caveat; one has to really love this fragrance before buying it as it is only available in parfum strength and is $185 for 1/4 ounce. But neroli is a weakness of mine. I adore its sensual heralding of springtime and slightly spicy undertones. This lovely note of neroli, combined with the sweet warmth of benzoin and the leafy-green resinous quality of galbanum have been orchestrated with an artist’s skill and inspiration. Alexandra Balahoutis, the creator of Strange Invisible Perfumes composed Galatea for herself, which might explain why this is such a perfectly blended fragrance. 


To clarify, the benzoin used in fragrance is different from the medicinal benzoin which is a skin protectant and smells like camphor. Perfumery benzoin is a resin from the Styrax tree which is native to Southeast Asia. Cuts are made in the bark to release the liquid secretion, which later solidifies into a resin after being exposed to air and the sun. The resin smells sweet and vanilla-like, and according to Mandy Aftel in her book Essence and Alchemy, “people tend to find benzoin calming, seductive, sensual and rejuvenating”.


Tuberose plays its part in this perfume as well. But not in the typical bombshell-floral role it’s usually relegated. In Galatea, tuberose has soft curves that cradle the neroli. So subtle is the tuberose, that it only becomes apparent in the base. Providing a richness to the neroli and an evolution for the fragrance to move into deeper territory. But the resinous, booze-like quality that makes Galatea so dreamlike remains constant. 


Galatea is available at  Strange Invisible Perfumes.  Strange Invisible Perfumes does not use any synthetically derived chemicals and all of their products are crafted solely from ingredients found in nature. They use organic beverage-grade grape alcohol as the base for their perfumes. 85-100% of their product is organic and they use organic ingredients whenever possible. Please see their site for more on their green mission.


Galatea decants are also available at The Perfumed Court.


Posted by ~Trish

Pygmalion and Galatea by Jean-Leon Gerome at


7 thoughts on “Strange Invisible Perfumes: Galatea

  1. Gosh, Trish, I loved Galatea when I was at SIP too, this makes me sorry I didn’t get a sample……must go back and resniff, but so $$$!

    1. I know Wendy, very $$$! I have yet to get a FB of an SIP for that reason. I can only justify one and I love so many of them and can’t decide which one to get! :-/

  2. I just received some samples from SIP and am trying Galatea today. It reminds me so much of the now retired Aveda scent Gaia, (I loved the old Aveda fragrances. The company has gone downhill since being bought by Estee Lauder IMO.)
    I’m also a fan of neroli and adore the leafy green quality of this scent.

    1. Neroli is absolutely one of my favorite notes, and it is fantastic in Galatea. Let me know what other SIP samples you got and how you like them!


  3. Trish,

    I just spent the day testing some perfume. I love perfume but all I could think was “Okay but thisis not Galatea!”

    I love perfume, I am the kind of person who loves to have a stash of perfume – many to choose for many moods. But now I have been completely, utterly captured by Galatea, it is so wonderful. For me there is no other.

    I mean look at me, I am sitting here reading about it! Thanks.

    1. I am so with you! There is something truly magical about Galatea and I am so happy I finally have a bottle of it. I vacillate between wanting to wear it every day, and saving it for as long as I can. Wearing it usually wins out! 😀

      Thanks so much for commenting. I enjoyed perusing your blog and looking at your creations!


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