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November 23, 2005

Fragrance Review: S-Perfume S-ex


The exploration of synergy between art and scents is the main premise of S-Perfume project, which was founded by a sculptor Sacré Nobi. Fragrance composition is like a sculpture that fills the space. It is both an architectural construction, with the notes arranged in order to present a particular form and a dynamic vision, with the accords unfolding to spell out a concatenation of images. In this sense, fragrance transcends the simple, bounded space. Indeed, it transcends the temporal boundary as well, being able to move and transport to another reality, to evoke different experiences and to awaken forgotten memories.

Like Frédéric Malle of Editions de Parfums, Sacré Nobi works directly with the perfumers, allowing them to express their ideas without the limitations of the traditional marketing approaches. The fragrances produced by his collaboration with such famous perfumers as Sophia Grojsman, Thierry Wasser, Alberto Morillas, Christophe Laudamiel, Jacques Cavallier, and Annick Menardo are both daring and evocative. ...

If I compared Frédéric Malle Editions de Parfums to the Center Pompidou installations, S-Perfume fragrances are even more avant-garde. The simplicity of their packaging belies the uniqueness of their substance. They are the dream-like and cerebral abstractions. 100% Love is a feeling of perfect contentment as much as a scent of roses in water. S-Perfume Jet-scent ReMix recalls either the scent of a lover’s skin or the balmy sea breeze, as if in a kaleidoscopic movement, with its ethereal combination of musks, sandalwood and vanilla.

S-ex is one of my favourite fragrances from the line, along with 100% Love. It was created by Christophe Laudamiel, the nose behind S-Perfume S-Perfume Remix, Michael Kors Island. Clinique Happy Heart, Ralph Lauren Polo Blue (with Carlos Benaïm), and Slatkin Body Therapy line. It explores the dissonance in order to achieve a memorable orchestration. The ozonic top notes, their chill austere and sharp, lend a sensation of touching metal on a cold winter day. Yet, almost immediately a cascade of leather notes appears underneath the icy breeze of the top accord. Smoky and sharp, the leather provides a bridge into the warm musky base. Smooth drydown of luxurious musks attests to the elegant juxtaposition of elements; the unabashed sensuality and radiant freshness are complemented by subtle fruity sweetness. The composition dries down as the scent of warm skin, lacking any balmy or sweaty components. Clarity of metallic twist provides an interesting counterpoint to the transparent animalic notes. Despite what its name might suggest, S-ex treats sensuality in an understated manner. It is an essence of exquisite simplicity that is Modigliani’s Nude, rather than an allusion to the voluptuous Bather by Ingres.

The fragrance lasts rather well on my skin, and it would be perfectly suited for both men and women. While it was not an immediate love, I grew to appreciate the elegant abstraction of its composition. Above everything else, I find it wonderfully serene and its sweet muskiness intriguing.

Notes include salt, oxygen, spirit of life, camellia, willow, white leather, skin musk, malt, strawberry, baroque musk, black leather. S-Perfume are available from STUDIO at Los Angeles Fred Segal, Colette Paris, and Mother Tokyo (03 5433 1748). Moreover, the samples and fragrances are available directly from The Shaping Room/S-Perfume.

Painting: Amedeo Modigliani. Nude. (Anna Akhmatova). c.1911. Pencil on paper. Private collection.



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