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.
Astounding, beautiful, and an utter delight to wear— what a superb fragrance modern 2020 Jicky parfum is! And I say this as a decades-long lavenderphobe who only recently started to like some lavender fragrances but who still sometimes shudders at the thought of lavender.
But Jicky Parfum is more than a simple creamy lavender fragrance or even a fougère. In fact, to my great surprise, it was also quite a different kettle of fish than the modern EDP that I tried and reviewed around 7 years ago; this is a much more appealing and opulent scent.
Jicky is a Guerlain legend which celebrated its 131st birthday this year and is reportedly the oldest fragrance in continuous production. Even though I liked modern Jicky Eau de Parfum , once called a Parfum de Toilette, it’s the modern Jicky extract (parfum) that I’ve been intrigued by, particularly given the rave reviews I keep hearing from people whose nose and tastes I respect. So it seemed like an ideal choice to focus on in my return to writing.
There is an exciting, bright new talent on the perfume scene, John Biebel, a man who reminds me a bit of Slumberhouse‘s Josh Lobb in his creative, bold, unusual, and very modern voice, a man who has quietly released two of the most accomplished and striking fragrances of 2017 and a third pretty one. They demonstrate a remarkably deft mastery of complex fragrance structures, an eye for good quality raw materials, and an innate talent but, above all else, his fragrances feel authentically original. Like Mr. Lobb (and also Serge Lutens), Mr. Biebel has the rare ability to combine unusual notes or aromas that might sound odd on paper but, thanks to his talent and skill, come across in the most interesting ways that leave you sniffing your arm again and again, wondering why no-one had thought of the idea before. At other times, though, he takes a classical composition and manages to make it feel modern and fresh but also dramatic. In both instances, I think that the result is bound to be somewhat polarizing, but then original, thought-provoking, impactful, and sometimes challenging fragrances usually are.