I want perfume brands to take risks. I want independent perfumers to find their creative frontier. I want perfumes which challenge my notions of what it means to be a perfume. I don’t get many of these fragrances because they are naturally going to be divisive. If you’re going to follow that recipe, I laid out at the beginning of this paragraph, an artistic vision is not necessarily going to lead to a best-seller. I’ve spent a lot of time with Unum But Not Today because it is one of those perfumes.
Filippo Sorcinelli has been a perfumer who has let his artistic vision shine throughout his three brands; Unum, Extrait de Musique, and Nebbia. It has formed a collection where there are some that I think are fantastic and others which fail. When Sig. Sorcinelli makes something new I know I won’t be bored. But Not Today might be the most interesting perfume he has made.
The perfume is inspired by the film “Hannibal” by Ridley Scott. This is the sequel to “The Silence of the Lambs”. Sig. Sorcinell wants to capture the duality of the protagonists. The serial killer Hannibal Lecter and the FBI agent Clarice Starling. What this presents as a matter of architecture is setting up an oil-and-water kind of separation between the floral accord which represents Clarice and the animalic accord which represents Hannibal. They don’t ever really mesh, they push up against each other throughout the time I was wearing it.
But Not Today opens with a metallic-tinged leather it is easy to think of it as blood-soaked leather but it isn’t. This is a feral accord of leather with a metallic sheen of a cutting implement over the top of it. This is more the promise of violence than the aftermath. A floral accord which is meant to be reminiscent of Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps which was established as the perfume Clarice wears. Very cleverly it is given a hint of corruption around the lilting edges. Those aspects appear with an indolic core swathed in powdery florals. The leather on top is going just as strong. These accords don’t find common ground as much as they stand their ground. The base accord is a set of synthetic woods over the darkness of oakmoss.
But not Today has 14-16 hour longevity and average sillage.
Like any fragrance which aspires to something as bold as But Not today this will not be widely liked. It will find admirers for whom this is what avant-garde perfume should be. Others will recoil. I’m in the middle more towards the liking it side. I’ve spent a lot of time with But Not Today to better understand it. What is great about But Not Today is there is something to try and understand. To see if it is what you want from perfume.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.