International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF), Laboratoire Monique Rémy (LMR) and Christopher Yu & Laurent Delafon of United Perfumes gave a special sneak peek at the Post-Modern Fine Fragrance collection during a Speed Smelling event at Claridge's in West London.
While the complete series is comprised of 14 different scents, perfumers Sophie Labbé, Domitille Michalon Bertier, Julien Rasquinet, Alexis Dadier, Fanny Bal and Bruno Jovanovic were on hand to personally present their creations in a speed dating-style format. The project was described as “a completely carte blanche creative playground” and the resulting fragrances are a wonderful testament to that freedom.
Sophie Labbé's Cologne 0% Citrus is completely devoid of hesperidic notes, yet still manages to carry the refreshing character of a traditional eau de cologne formulation. Labbé completed this feat by extracting the juicy component of ginger, fresh kick of pink pepper, coniferous quality of cardamom, bitter note of ginseng and grapefruit aspect of vetiver. By pairing them with a woody musk and ambroxan base, she created a rejuvenated variation on an old classic. Domitille Michalon Bertier also worked around the concept of absence with This Is Not a Musk. “I wanted to recreate a musk without any musk notes,” she explains. Instead, Bertier employed the animalic notes of florals to recreate her musk and emulated a tobacco accord through notes of tonka bean, honey and vanilla. The perfumer sums up the experience succinctly by describing her creative process as “playing trompe-l'œil”.
“I wanted to go back to the genesis of perfumery,” explains Julien Rasquinet when talking about his scent, aptly named Back to the Roots. His historical exploration focuses on myrrh. “What is interesting to me is that it had magical and healing powers. It is an ingredient that is completely forgotten. I wanted to do a triple interpretation: historical, literal and symbolic,” he says. Rasquinet blended the raw material with notes of anise, amber, Indonesian patchouli, gunpowder and vetiver for a refined and palatable unisex scent.
Alexis Dadier's Rasta-Vegan Milk is a green gourmand constructed out of 4 main accords: almond milk, Genmaicha tea, hemp and fougere. Created with the ethos of sustainable development in mind, the scent is creamy, comforting and unexpected. Fanny Bal's Ambre 2017 is an equally intoxicating scent based around the addictively rich note of Ambre 83, which she modernised by swapping the raw material's ylang ylang and coriander notes for Moroccan jasmine absolute and pink pepper. A Nutella-esque accord completes the delectable delight.
Bruno Jovanovic's Tonquitone Again was born out of a deeply personal inspiration. “I wanted to recreate what my five year old self smelled when my mother left for work in the 70s: a fur coat combined with her aura of lipstick, Cabochard perfume and Elnett hairspray. It is not meant as a fragrance but an olfactive snapshot of that time,” he explains. Using notes of musk, cognac, ambrette seed and Maritima, Jovanovic created a beautifully modern ode to the chypre and leather scents of decades past.
The limited edition Post-Modern Speed Smelling set is available online at Luckyscent and AuParfum.