There are popular terms which enter the vernacular which I enjoy. One of the more endearing ones to me is “hot mess”. To capture the ability to still be interesting while being discombobulated is summed up in those two words. I refer to a lot of things as a hot mess because I like it so much. When I got my sample of a new perfume, Ryan Richmond Rich Mess, I was wondering if the definition remained. Was this a perfume which would smell rich while being a bit of a disorganized composition? Sort of.
Ryan Richmond presenting Rich Mess at Sniffapalooza Fall Ball 2108
Ryan Richmond has been an Art Director for numerous beauty brands fusing digital content and print. It isn’t clear what caused him to enter the fragrance business. He found one of my favorite perfumers, Christophe Laudamiel, to collaborate with him on Rich Mess. They have produced a perfume which kind of lives up to its name. The early moments are chaotic with ingredients ping-ponging off each other. It isn’t uninteresting because these are interesting ingredients. Over time I’ve found this overclocked kineticism to be fun. It’s like being someplace where so much is happening you can’t just focus on one thing. That’s the “mess” part. The “rich” part comes after things settle down into a fabulous leather accord.
Things open with fig, grapefruit, saffron, and bergamot acting like electrons orbiting the early moments of a leather accord. For the first part of the development those ingredients are moving back and forth relentlessly. I would get the fig for a few moments and then the saffron would come into view. The citrus would crash off both. When I first smelled this on a strip that lack of a focused top accord was irritating. Once I had it on a patch of skin it was like watching separate objects circling on a tilted surface whizzing around and around. As the leather accord begins to rise in intensity it manages to swat those electrons out of orbit. It is time for that to be the focal point. M. Laudamiel forms an animalic leather. There is a musky component to this leather accord which captures that clean sweat within the sleeves of my favorite leather jacket. Sandalwood and cedar provide a woody complement to finish things off.
Rich Mess has 14-16 hour longevity and average sillage.
I really came to enjoy Rich Mess the more I became acquainted with it. As the name portrays it might prove difficult to get close to, at first. Only to find it well worth the effort. It is a perfume for the same cool mornings warm days I wear my actual leather jacket on. I hope there is more to come from Mr. Richmond and M. Laudamiel.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Ryan Richmond.