There are times when a new perfume brand arrives and it fails to make an impression on me. Over the first three releases of the brand Coolife this was my experience. Founders and creative directors Carole Beaupre and Pauline Rochas, working with perfumer Patricia Choux, made some workmanlike well-made fragrances which failed to stand out from the crowd. This initial collection is based on The Seven Chakras with one release for each Chakra. It wasn’t until the fourth release, Le Quatrieme Parfum, where their inspiration and the fragrance began to connect with me. Now we are up to the latest release, Le Sixieme Parfum, which repeated the overall experience the creators were going for.
Carole Beaupre and Pauline Rochas
The Chakra inspiration for Le Sixieme Parfum is Ajna, which “allows us to access the inner guidance which springs from the depths of our being.” I take it as that ability to look inward to find some serenity. Perfume has always been a large part of that process for me so a perfume which would enhance that form of meditation could be great. For this perfume, perfumer Luca Maffei was asked to compose this contemplative fragrance.
Sig. Maffei chose a fabulously opulent orris concrete as the key note. The best orris versions recall the fact that the fragrance is extracted from the roots and not the flowers. It can make it much less powdery than other iris fragrances while literally grounding it with the earth these roots rest in. This is the material at the heart of Le Sixieme Parfum acting as a fragrant focal point.
Le Sixieme Parfum opens with pink pepper. In this case Sig. Maffei enhances the herbal nature of this ingredient providing a citrus contrast with lemon to uplift the pink pepper somewhat. Then the orris concrete comes forward. As I mentioned above this has a different quality than the typical powdery versions more commonly encountered. The partner Sig. Maffei uses for this is an equally rich osmanthus. Early on the apricot nature of osmanthus makes this a bit of a dried fruit and root accord. Then over time the leathery nature comes forward which really enhances that rootiness. The osmanthus’ dual nature makes it an ideal companion because both sides of its nature work flawlessly with this version of orris. As Sig. Maffei moves into the base the botanical leather of osamnthus evolves into a full on soft leather accord. Concurrently patchouli in its darker earthier form also carries the orris forward into the base where a clean woody frame of cedar and musks complete this.
Le Sixieme Parfum has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
In choosing Sig. Maffei to formulate Le Sixieme Parfum I think he was an inspired choice for a “Third Eye Chakra” because he is one of the more instinctual perfumers working. He is one who I think relies on his sense of what feels right to him. It is probably one of the reasons he has stood out among this next generation of perfumers. In Le Sixieme Parfum he has created an iris which asks you to look deeply inward where you will find that fragrance can unlock your third eye.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Osswald NYC.
There is an inherent kinetic energy to the best herbal citrus perfumes. When they are done right the herbs provide a moving platform upon which the citrus can slide around on. As I’ve refined my personal taste over the years I have found I prefer this kind of style. I like having it carry me along with its exuberant nature throughout a day. The latest perfume to do this for me is Coolife Le Cinquieme Parfum.
Carole Beaupre and Pauline Rochas
Coolife creative directors Carole Beaupre and Pauline Rochas are exploring chakras in their debut collection. For Le Cinquieme Parfum the chakra that is being interpreted is Visuddha which represents “the search for truer knowledge, beyond time and space.” I have not bought into the mysticism behind these perfumes for the most part. What I have bought into is the work perfumer Yann Vasnier has done for the brand as Le Cinquieme is his second composition for Coolife.
M. Vasnier has done some of his best work with the herbal section of his perfumer’s palette. Le Cinquieme Parfum fits that pattern. He also uses some of the higher flying musks to provide the necessary expansiveness and lift to send this fragrance soaring.
Le Cinquieme Parfum opens with a brilliantly sparkling bergamot which is supported with lemongrass to provide a green vector for the herbal notes to gravitate towards. The first to show up is a leafy mint which pops against the citrus. Then we get a run of juniperberry, sage, basil, and pepper. The keynote for all of this is the synthetic musk Serenolide which provides a sheer kind of lift which gathers up all of these herbal notes expanding their presence like an inflating balloon. Just as it reaches its maximum volume M. Vasnier punctures it with incense leaving behind a set of balsamic notes combined with labdanum.
Le Cinquieme Parfum has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Le Cinquieme Parfum flits around with considerable energy for much of its first few hours. As those herbal notes begin to coalesce only to be expanded upon by the Serenolide it makes for something which has kaleidoscopic development. I’m not sure that I found “truer knowledge” but I did find a new a new fragrance to wear out during the day.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Coolife.
There are times when I receive the press materials accompanying new samples and it is hard for me not to laugh. The more magical the claims around a perfume in the text; I have usually found a lack of inspiration in the perfume itself. One brand which has particularly made me giggle has been the ongoing collection of perfumes from the brand Coolife inspired by the chakras called The Seven. The creative directors and founders Carole Beaupre and Pauline Rochas are immersed in the idea of perfume as pixie dust. I have been openly skeptical of these perfumes to perform to that level. The first three releases were perfectly decent perfumes composed by perfumer Patricia Choux. The only emotion it aroused for me was indifference. I received the fourth release, Le Quatrieme Parfum, and guess what? This time I did go along with the mysticism attached.
Carole Beaupre (l.) and Pauline Rochas
Le Quatrieme Parfum is meant to represent the root chakra, our foundation and of feeling grounded. Perfumer Yann Vasnier was tasked with making the perfume which would form this sense of being. I found Le Quatrieme Parfum to be a tremendously relaxing perfume to wear. It reminded me of putting on a well-worn denim jacket; broken in just right. It felt like something easy which also imparted depth along with familiarity. M. Vasnier has assembled a coterie of warm, golden, glowing notes to achieve this.
When it comes to being grounded a shot of rum is probably not high up on the list of things to try. For the perfume which seeks to ground oneself it turns out a shot of rum works quite nicely. Especially when M. Vasnier traps it within a matrix of golden viscous honey. The honey never threatens to tilt over to its less desirable scent profile. In conjunction with the rum it stays sweetly boozy before moving into the heart. Waiting there is a rich narcotic dried tobacco leaf for it to rest upon. The inherent sweetness of the tobacco intertwines with the honey and leaves the rum behind. It elicits a sweeter shade of tobacco. Then comes the part where my fanciful imagination takes over, and probably my upbringing in Little Havana in S. Florida. I imagine this fragrant tobacco leaf being loaded with myrrh soaked patchouli and being rolled into a perfumed cigar. As all of those notes are in play in the next phase of the development. This is where Le Quatrieme Parfum lingers for hours on my skin. It languorously allows a beautiful balsamic note to eventually arise which almost acts as a figurative cigar box for my imaginary stogie.
Le Quatrieme Parfum has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
Like the other Coolife perfumes there is nothing terribly original about the ideas M. Vasnier has used. Unlike the other Coolife perfumes this time Le Quatrieme Parfum did ground me, allowing me to find an inner harmony. I wore it on a very hectic day and every time I caught a puff of my imaginary cigar it did have a centering effect. I found Le Quatrieme Parfum allowed me to get to the root of things.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Twisted Lily.