|Andrea Maack's Coal Drawing|
The big difference is these are very much European Perfumes with a capital E and P.
These may begin in the wild and sometimes even woolly outback territories of the American sensibility of CBIHP but then fly straight into the arms of ultra professionally-made European niche perfumery, in the way they are structured and in their highly refined and mature minimalist elegance.
I understand the perfumer for them all is Richard Ibanez, working with the creative direction of Icelandic fashion/art star Andrea Maack.
These perfumes have been well reviewed with full information as to note listings elsewhere, so I have decided to go by my impressions instead.
The crowd favorite and mine too, at least so far, is Coven, which reaches out immediately with fresh cut green grass effects rising up in cool, almost minty air. This is a lively fresh green perfume, with an herbal background, blending plants in various ascending stages of growth, as they stand in a field cut and uncut on a fine day, shading down into their stems and roots, then reaching deep into the moist black earth. A little dew. Fresh yet complex, this is a perfume with a deceptively casual air. Extended wear reveals a strong sophisticated design with balance and good longevity that flatters the persona and energizes the wearer by connecting to the life-force of greenery and growth living in optimum conditions.
Craft is a cooled form of incense, perhaps burned in honor of the power of winter, in an icy cave. There is a sacred sense about it, but pulled up right against a sharp metallic edge. This turns the incense into an invigorating experience, rather than a contemplative one. I would be tempted to use a lot of this in the coming Fall months on days that require focus yet would benefit by the hand of incense beauty laid on the arm to steady the nerves. It has strong longevity that lives long into the burn-off of most all the coolness, drifting into a Gothic cathedral form of white censer smoke.
Coal refers to graphite/charcoal drawn across thick paper, as it is gripped in the hand. There is an airy scent released by the dry black marks on top of the rough texture of cotton or linen paper, and also the spirit of active intention. This perfume has the energy of black and white abstract expressive marks, drying down to a base of warm skin musk. I even get a little pencil shaving, cedar wood and graphite lead warmed by the action of a sharpening blade. This is a modern perfume whose style is rooted in the highly traditional artist's drawing materials, that go way back in use through history. It's a spare but seriously charming musk, for those who love musk perfumes but want something more than a clean or even dirty skin scent, yet holds back from anything overtly representational.
Dark is a metallic rose whose dewy freshness is emphasized. I get the feeling the name is Dark because the layering of elements creates depth and dimension, casting a shadow, holding at heart a shaded, cooled version of the deep red rose of imagination. This is a rose to be worn by strong people, who are not necessarily romantic, but who want to show a lyrical interior capable of detailed reference to lines of classic poetry that make up their interior foundation of human beauty. If I may speculate, perhaps a few dramatic lines from Shakespeare, or a line from his sonnets, as that era was so steeped in the symbolism of the rose. I get a rainy feel, a glinting softened sparkle on moist rose petals and dew drops beading up on steel too. The cut roses draw their moisture up from a vase full of liquid aldehyde.
These perfumes are complex, perfume-y, and all part of an aesthetic of modernist lyrical minimalism.
Silk, Smart and Sharp are the other perfumes in the current line. I will revisit them another time.
These perfumes are available in at Twisted Lily, who kindly provided me with samples.
Photos above from Pinterest.
Music to listen to perfume by: ORG Lounge-Anonymous Melody
Copyright 2014 Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved.