Let’s take a look at IFRA/EU restrictions on oakmoss, the future of chypres, the reasons why fragrance houses are eschewing chypres, fractional distillation to remove IFRA-forbidden allergens, the use of seaweed to supplement or create an oakmoss base, the type of oakmoss that suppliers make available to perfume houses, and how the fear of still more restrictions in the future is impacting the types of scents that perfume houses are making. A fascinating, highly informative discussion of these issues took place last night on Twitter with several experts chiming in to explain what is going on behind the scenes and its significance. I learnt a considerable amount, particularly regarding the type of oakmoss currently on the market, and I’d like to share that with you here.
Lime margaritas and leather in a perfume cocktail inspired by the history of a famous New York City street. Classicism done with a modern twist, and with the goal of subverting gender rules. Those are just two aspects of Christopher Street, a citrusy leather chypre from Charenton Macerations. Another way of describing it would be to call it a clear labour of love, as evidenced by every single one of the many details on the company’s website, from its lengthy examination of the famous street whose history and vibrancy inspired the scent, to its creator’s hard work in trying to replicate just one of the numerous elements in the fragrance. After all, how many people spend two years profiling the smell of people’s skin on a particular street, using “a modified hairdryer motor and a GC-MS fiber”?! Yet, that is precisely what Douglas Bender of Charenton Macerations did. As someone with slightly obsessive, perfectionistic tendencies myself, colour me thoroughly impressed by his efforts.