19 posts tagged "Perfume"
Scent, more than any of the other senses, is linked to emotion—largely because olfactory receptors are directly connected to the limbic system (i.e., the same part of the brain that is associated with feelings and memory). In this short film titled Sillage that appeared on Nowness.com, directors Santiago & Mauricio explore the meaning of this perfumery term, which is used to describe the trail of a fragrance. In the video, model Sigrid Agren runs and leaps like a gazelle in vintage Rodarte, leaving glitter and flower petals in her wake. Her seductive aroma causes male models to form en masse, wildly chasing her like a pack of lions clad in black leather. “Scent is one of the most powerful and primitive of senses, as it is directly connected to our inner animal,” explained the directors. This film, designed to look like a “moving human painting,” is so much sexier than the Axe effect.
“It’s a very unusual collection,” Christopher Brosius, founder of CB I Hate Perfume, says of his latest release of six floral absolutes titled Rare Flowers. “These are all strictly natural and, unlike the ready-to-wear perfumes, are comprised of one single solid material.” For Brosius, unusual scents are par for the course—the perfumer is known for bottling brilliantly obscure scents, from the existential Where We Are There Is No Here to the more mundane In the Summer Kitchen (though puppies’ feet and gasoline have eluded him), and Rare Flowers is indicative of a return to basics, as nature intended.
The flowers, including night-blooming jasmine, neroli, tuberose, narcissus, Indian champaca, and Moroccan jonquil, undergo a laborious process known as enfleurage in Grasse, France, whereby thousands of pounds are picked in their prime and hand-pressed through fat-coated glass to capture each flower’s truest scent. It’s an expensive endeavor that has all the great perfume houses opting for cheaper synthetic notes over natural ones. “When you hold a [chemically composed] absolute to the real one, there’s this vast difference,” Brosius explains. “The real ones are so much richer and more complex, and people don’t really have the opportunity to access that.”
CB I Hate Perfumes makes that access possible from its Brooklyn-based lab, albeit at a higher price point (Rare Flowers ranges from $325 to $500), but it’s one investment that will last, as none of Brosius’ perfumes have a shelf life. “A perfume that goes bad will go bad for two reasons: It was never properly stored or it was never made well in the first place,” he says. Brosius doesn’t filter, clarify, or dye his perfumes to make them “pretty,” either. Each Rare Flower possesses a different lucidity and color once it interacts with its oil or water base, and it remains that way to preserve the integrity of the floral scent in all of its natural complexity. “I’ve never gone for really pretty bottles, either,” he adds. “That’s not really the point…it’s about the experience of the scent.”
His next perfume will commemorate the transition from his current Williamsburg perfume gallery to a larger, new collaborative space in Bushwick. “It will be a highly emotional perfume,” Brosius says in jest, “of blood, sweat, and tears.”
Available at cbihateperfume.com
Beauty Nostalgia is a column on Beauty Counter in which we ask influencers, tastemakers, and some of our favorite industry experts to wax poetic on the sticks, salves, and sprays that helped shape who they are today.
The Pro: Alex Chantecaille, vice president of sales for Chantecaille Beauté
The Product: “That little black bottle of Fracas by Robert Piguet brings back memories for me. My mother had the original concentrate from Paris on her bathroom vanity. I recall her telling me it was the most [potent] of all perfumes—pure tuberose. I think a miniature flacon of it sold for the astronomical price of $100; to an 8-year-old that sounded like a million dollars. I would always open the fragrance’s pearl-like topper very gingerly, dabbing only a small amount on my wrists or behind my ears. That felt endlessly more [glamorous] and feminine than an overwhelming spritz. Other times, I’d merely sniff it, breathing in the sweet aroma. Once, I fumbled and spilled the bottle in my mother’s sink, lacquering the bathroom with its exuberant scent. I felt as if I had dropped holy water! I think my mother kept the empty [flacon] for years afterward. It was a symbol of bygone elegance and awkward adolescence.”
Atkinsons, a 200-year-old fragrance brand that bloomed from a pot of modest mustache wax, was beloved by the original dandy, Beau Brummel (who created the precursor to the modern three-piece suit). This well-tailored man would introduce it to King George IV, who made the founder (James Atkinson) the official perfumer to the Royal Court of England in 1826. But despite its illustrious history, the headquarters at 24 Old Bond Street, in London, would eventually shutter.
Now, a French nose and Italian marketing guru are breathing new life into this classic U.K. label, launching five unisex scents stateside in Barneys—among them is British Bouquet, inspired by the dandy himself. Notes of lavender, myrtle, bitter orange, and caviar lemon are mixed with the blend’s signature leather accord (developed to mimic the smell of Brummel’s Hessian boots). I like to think the regent fashion star, known for his lengthy morning “toilette” (consisting of teeth brushing, bathing, and shaving—all practices considered to be too fastidious to complete every day for most men of his generation), would have gladly added this rich and refined spritz to his routine.
Available this winter, $175, www.barneys.com
The notion of a beauty company venturing into fragrance territory is nothing new. It seems like almost everyone has an eau (including nearly the entire Carter family—I’m calling it now: Blue Ivy is next). But for Clé de Peau Beauté, jumping on the bandwagon just wasn’t its style. It took a previously introduced skincare line (requiring twelve years of research) laced with a scent consumers wanted to wear all over, the thoroughbred of blooms (i.e., the winner of the Best Fragrance Award at the Bagatelle Rose Trials—essentially the Olympics of flowers), and famed perfumer Alberto Morillas (he’s the nose behind hits like Marc Jacobs Daisy and Giorgio Armani Acqua di Giò for women) to create the brand’s first blend, Rose Synactif. Good things, as they say, take time—and, in this case, $300. The delicate aroma—which surrounds the prized rose and a jasmine sambac heart with juniper berry and Biarritz hypericum (an herbal plant that hails from France), as well as warm musk and white wood—is also said to “capture the skin’s aura…and draw radiance from within.” Although I can’t get on board with the glow-boosting claims, this sophisticated spritz certainly brightened my spirits.