There is an adage which says you should never meet your idols; you’re bound to be disappointed. I’ve had that opportunity a few times and I can say I have had more live up to my expectations rather than live down to them. On the perfume front I have been sorely disappointed by many of the perfumes of the people I consider most inspirational in fashion. The latest perfume to try and break this streak is Grace by Grace Coddington.
Most people became aware of Ms. Coddington through the 2009 documentary “The September Issue” which chronicled the production of the September 2007 issue of Vogue. Ms. Coddington had been creative director at Vogue during that time. In the movie Ms. Coddington has her work removed from the issue by Anna Wintour. In the clip from the movie above she mentions how hard it is to see your work removed and to move on. As of January of this year Ms. Coddington has moved on to doing her own thing while still retaining the title of Editor-at-Large at Vogue. For Grace by Grace Coddington she turned to Comme des Garcons as her collaborator to bring her vision to life.
Ms. Coddington worked with Christian Astuguevieille who was co-creative director for the fragrance. Ms. Coddington wanted a light rose. M. Astuguevieille wanted to give that rose the Comme des Garcons twist. Emilie Coppermann was the perfumer they chose to see things through. Together they succeeded in their aims.
Despite Ms. Coddington’s affection for the English Tea Rose the rose source chosen for Grace by Grace Coddington is the Moroccan version. The reason for this is I think the Comme des Garcons aesthetic was going to arrive in the form of herbal notes of mint and basil. A more delicate rose would have been steamrolled by the herbs. In the early moments it is rose and peach in a perfectly respectable fruity floral opening. Then the mint and basil come in. The basil is a great choice to partner the mint as it provides some ability to temper the more common aspects of mint. Mme Coppermann strikes the right balance and the green pushing back against the peachy rose is very nice. I ended up being a bit disappointed in the generic nature of the base accord which is a combo of cashmeran, a few white musks, and a pinch of amber. It keeps things soft but it is so pedestrian.
Grace by Grace Coddington has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
Grace by Grace Coddington is definitely a Grace Coddington inspired creation with a Comme des Garcons flair. I liked it but on the days I wore it I kept wondering if it couldn’t have been something more. I also wondered if my admiration of Ms. Coddington was tinting that perception. I also wonder if the virtual avalanche of light rose releases in the last few months also added to that. Of all of that light rose noise which has ended up on my desk Grace by Grace Coddington has enough signal to rise above. I think this is much more a perfume to recommend to those who can’t get enough rose than it is to Comme des Garcons fans.
Disclosure: This review was based on a bottle I purchased.