Hiram Green‘s new Arcadia is officially an aromatic lavender fougère inspired by idyllic green forest landscapes, but that is only a fraction of the story that unfolded on my skin. I found Arcadia to be a fougère-oriental hybrid whose fresh, clean, aerated green-laced lavender opening soon turned into creamy lavender ice-cream with deeply resinous, woody, incense-y, spicy, and ambered qualities for the vast majority of its lifetime. The end result strongly and consistently reminded me of Serge Lutens‘ original version of Fourreau Noir, a dark, delectable bell jar beauty that was the first and only lavender fragrance to bring this decades-long lavender-phobe to my knees. Needless to say, I was equally enthused by Arcadia.
Today, we’ll look at six fragrances from AbdesSalaam Attar of La Via del Profumo in styles ranging from ambered oud to a green fougère, incensey-woody florals, a boozy, chocolate leather oriental, and a salty, vetiver-laden, woody, spicy oriental. They are: Amber Oud, Lake Blossom, African Night, Sensemilla, Cuoio dei Dolci, and Sea Wood. I’ll look at each one in turn, trying to keep things as short and succinct as I can.
Lost olfactory treasure from the 1940s, vintage essences, and an ancient recipe lie at the heart of a modern fragrance centered around a duet of lavender and leather. Cologne Reloaded takes the cornerstones of a very traditional barbershop fougère, and juxtaposes its cleanness with darkness, blackened leather, smoky resins, and a touch of musky dirtiness. The result is classicism with a twist and an elegant fragrance with a rather sensual drydown.
Cologne Reloaded is a 2013 eau de parfum from Bogue Profumo (hereinafter just “Bogue“), an Italian artisanal perfume house founded by Antonio Gardoni. On his website, Mr. Gardoni describes the fascinating story behind its creation. In a nutshell, an antique dealer told him about 40 bottles of raw essences and perfume preparations from an old pharmaceutical laboratory. The vintage materials dated back to the 1940s! The dusty bottles had been hidden away and forgotten in a dark cupboard of an underground warehouse, but they were still sealed, somehow unaffected by heat, and very well-preserved. You can see them below in the photo. (Isn’t it the coolest thing?!) Accompanying them was a fragrance mixture for something called “Cologne of Esperis,” complete with the original recipe and the dosage amounts for preparing an eau de cologne.
Mr. Gardoni started experimenting. As he explains on his website, he “mixed the ingredients following the instructions glued to the bottle for all the 5 different cologne variations with some very interesting results, full of granddad memories and old barbershop’s flavor.” He fell in love with the results in such a way that he decided to “exploit this treasure in order to create a completely new contemporary perfume.” He used the vintage materials, but increased the concentration from 4% to 15%, making the fragrance an eau de parfum instead of cologne, and added to this base “a mix of contemporary new materials”: Continue reading