Colognes are one of my favorite fragrance forms. Over the last ten years they have been rescued from the poor reputation they had from the last decades of the previous century. Even now “too much cologne” isn’t a reflection on the genre but the person who is wearing too much fragrance.
What has revitalized colognes has been brands’ willingness to take the simple citrus-herb-floral recipe and tinker with it. Which was why when I received a press release for a new collection from Courreges called Colognes Imaginaires before I read another word, I wanted to try them. Especially because the stated purpose was to imagine the colognes of the future. I have had the collection for a short time and will write about all of them. But there is always one which stands out on first sniff. In this group it is Courreges 2060 Cedar Pulp.
Each of the four fragrances in the collection gets their own perfumer. For 2060 Cedar Pulp it is Fanny Bal. 2060 is the latest of the dates in the collection. I don’t know if that means Mme Bal was given more encouragement to explore the alternatives. The result is a traditional cologne which provides the foundation for something which feels like an evolution.
At the opening a sheer citrus accord is met by a strong herbal basil. Most traditional colognes have classic herbs. Mme Bal unleashes the basil in an aggressively green way. To add to that a pinch of cumin adds its pungency to it. To flesh out this accord green almond comes along. I mentioned this a year or so ago when this ingredient began showing up it reminds me of a nutty cedar. Here it inserts itself into the cumin tinted basil which is where the rawer green quality of it becomes more apparent to me. The floral part of the recipe comes through another sheer accord of neroli. A raw cedar is the keynote to the base. It fits in with the earlier accord ideally. There is an outré refreshing quality to all of it.
2060 Cedar Pulp has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
I am engaged by this interpretation of cologne by Mme Bal. By using the herbal piece of the traditional construction, and blowing it up, she creates something different. I would be thrilled to think this is the cologne of tomorrow.
Disclosure: This review is based on samples provided by Courreges.