I am always highly appreciative of perfumes which accentuate the bitter over the sweet. My enjoyment comes from my own perverse enjoyment of bitter cocktails and food ingredients. There is nothing like experiencing something which has its own point of view. I don’t think a lot of perfume lovers agree with me. Not a lot of perfumes out there going all in on bitter. I found one recently; The House of Oud Each Other.
The House of Oud is the brand founded by perfumer Andrea Casotti. For Each Other he wanted to capture the vibrancy of the street art of his hometown of Milan. He asked graffiti artist KayOne to act as creative director.
KayOne at Work in Milan c.1992
If the concept of street art is also married to the idea of outsider art. Each Other mirrors that, as the perfume which has been made is something outside of the normal parameters of what perfume usually is. What this feels like are bold slashes of dark colors intersecting at odd vectors. It is a perfume not meant to wear as a comfort. It is meant to be worn as something to be experienced.
Sig. Casotti gets things started with the bitter sulfurous citrus of grapefruit matched to the herbal-ness of baie rose. There have been a few perfumes lately which have used this combination. I was struck here at the concentration Sig. Casotti uses. It pushes the un-pretty pieces of the scent of both ingredients. The slightly stinky sulfur of the grapefruit along with the sharp green baie rose lays down slashes of yellow lines outlined in black. The heart is an equally fascinating duet of calamus and wormwood. Calamus is one of those rarely used ingredients because of its odd nature. It comes off kind of oily I liken it to the smell of butter fresh from the churn. There are sweet accents, but it has an oleaginous quality. By contrasting that with the bitter licorice scent of wormwood it is a fascinating effect of viscous herbal which ensnares the grapefruit and baie rose. Slicing the yellow slashes of color with two different shades of green. The base finds the same acerbic quality in two familiar ingredients as a green vetiver is given over to a soft labdanum. This is the sharp slightly smoky vetiver provided a small amount of restraint through the labdanum. This is where shades of soothing browns intersperse themselves through the previous bold colors. Like every The House of Oud perfume I’ve tried this all comes together over a few minutes and then lingers for hours.
Each Other has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
I have admired Sig. Casotti’s dedication to not trying to take away the bitterness by amplifying it. It doesn’t make Each Other the kind of perfume for everyone. If you appreciate the bitter vectors of scent Each Other is where to find them.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.