Briefs for perfumes can take all forms. They can be abstract paragraphs full of adjectives and nouns with little structure. They can be stories of a time period or a specific place. They can be photographs. The brief is not necessarily the best indicator of the quality of the perfume. Except some of my favorite perfumes of the last few years have some of the simplest inspirations. The new The Different Company Adjatay is one of those.
The story of the inspiration comes from owner and creative director Luc Gabriel. After returning from a trip to Grasse he left a tuberose flower in his leather traveling bag. When he returned to his bag a few days later he was greeted with this wonderful combination of leather and tuberose. He thought of it as “cuir narcotique” (narcotic leather). Working with perfumer Alexandra Monet he gave her the task of turning the real-life combination of tuberose and well-worn leather into a perfume.
This is what draws me to Adjatay the brief is simple. The perfume is not simple when it is on my skin. The tuberose is narcotic. The leather does have that sense of being lovingly used over years. In essence it is a give and take between two very obstreperous accords with neither achieving ascendancy and balance maintained throughout.
Adjatay opens with that tuberose bloom. Mme Monet surrounds it with a number of other florals; ylang ylang, jasmine, and heliotrope. Tuberose is one of those difficult to tame raw materials to get the effect you want. Mme Monet uses these other florals to expand on the heady parts while downplaying the indolic qualities. The animalic facets will come from the leather. Which means the tuberose comes at you in ever intensifying waves in the early moments. Then the leather bag fits itself underneath and slams the lid shut enclosing the florals. For a while in the middle part of the development the leather encases the tuberose. Mme Monet used styrax, castoreum, and papyrus as the primary components of her leather accord. It does carry the sense of being a well-loved piece of luggage used often. I can envision the stickers of faraway places on the side of it. This leather accord cannot keep the tuberose down for long and those narcotic waves again build in intensity until precise balance is achieved. Eventually a sandalwood and musk base accord provides a landing pad for Adjatay.
Adjatay has 12-14 hour longevity and above average sillage.
Adjatay was my favorite new perfume at Esxence 2016. The intensity of the tuberose paired with the depth of the leather appealed to me. Adjatay is a simple story told well, in perfumed prose, of packing up your tuberose in a leather suitcase.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample from The Different Company I received at Esxence 2016.