One of my favorite carnival confections is kettle corn. That is popcorn which is coated with sugar during the popping process. It is that classic mixture of sweet and salt. I happily traverse the midway eating freshly made kettle corn from a paper bag. I didn’t think I wanted a perfume version; The House of Oud What About Pop changed my mind.
The House of Oud has been trending towards a unique gourmand collection. Last year’s Keep Glazed created a case of fruit tarts from the bakery as perfume. What About Pop does the same for popcorn. The same creative team of Andrea Casotti and Cristian Calabro collaborate again.
Popcorn isn’t unknown in perfumery. If you’re looking for an herb popcorn fragrance, that’s Etat Libre d’Orange La Fin du Monde. Sigs. Casotti and Calabro weren’t interested in that version. They form something like sweet and salty kettle corn before dumping it all into a creamy vanilla swirl.
The popcorn scent is right there. It is recognizable from every movie theatre you’ve ever walked into. A salty steamed scent. Soon after you get your popcorn coated in liquid butter. Then it is tossed in sugar. Within minutes it is like I am breathing in the steam from the copper kettles used to make the real thing at the county fair. This could have stayed here for as long as it wanted and I would have been happy. When they decide to dunk it in sweet vanilla cream it turns into a wild gourmand as the sweet milkiness has the popcorn floating on top. Towards the end the popcorn note becomes more prominent again. As if there is a fresh batch popping somewhere.
What About Pop has 14-16 hour longevity and moderate sillage wearing close to the skin.
If you are looking for the places where the gourmand style of perfume is going to expand it is becoming apparent Sig. Casotti is going to have The House of Oud be one of the brands which is right there.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.
I am usually interested when a perfume chooses to push towards the extreme of something. It doesn’t always work. Sometimes it just illuminates why you don’t take things that far. For lovers of those ingredients it can be a nose saturating smorgasbord of pleasure. The brand founded by perfumer Andrea Casotti has been doing that recently. The latest is to see how fruity you can get in The House of Oud Keep Glazed.
For their latest fragrances Sig. Casotti has been looking for creative directors from other disciplines. For Keep Glazed he asked Vancouver-based cake boss Ksenia Penkina of Canadian Patisserie. If you look at the picture of Ms. Penkina’s cake, above, and compare it to the picture in the header it is not too difficult to see why Sig. Casotti felt he found a kindred spirit. They mentioned they wanted to create a gourmand style perfume which smelled like the patisserie. I don’t think it gets the entire milieu but it sure does find a case full of exotic fruit tarts to emulate.
Sig. Casotti co-creates Keep Glazed with perfumer Cristian Calabro. They make a smart choice to avoid all the typical berries finding a different assortment for Keep Glazed.
It opens with a bright lemon and mango painting. Mango has become one of my favorite perfume fruits. In this case the perfumers take the tropical juiciness of it and allow the lemon to provide a tart contrast. The only thing resembling a berry is their use of strawberry leaf in this top accord. It adds a green veneer to the fruits. Ginger arrives giving a boost to the lemon and mango without overwhelming them. If this is the fruit tart case I’m smelling; the filling underneath the lemon and mango is made of sweet coconut cream. A set of musks with a fruity scent profile add to the fruitiness while also beginning to ground the composition. Some wood finishes Keep Glazed off.
Keep Glazed has 12-14 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
As much as the description above might make you think this is a sillage monster; it is not. It wears quite close. Mrs. C only noticed it on the days I tested it when I sat right next to her. It really is like leaning into the fruit tart case and breathing deep.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample I purchased.
I am always highly appreciative of perfumes which accentuate the bitter over the sweet. My enjoyment comes from my own perverse enjoyment of bitter cocktails and food ingredients. There is nothing like experiencing something which has its own point of view. I don’t think a lot of perfume lovers agree with me. Not a lot of perfumes out there going all in on bitter. I found one recently; The House of Oud Each Other.
The House of Oud is the brand founded by perfumer Andrea Casotti. For Each Other he wanted to capture the vibrancy of the street art of his hometown of Milan. He asked graffiti artist KayOne to act as creative director.
KayOne at Work in Milan c.1992
If the concept of street art is also married to the idea of outsider art. Each Other mirrors that, as the perfume which has been made is something outside of the normal parameters of what perfume usually is. What this feels like are bold slashes of dark colors intersecting at odd vectors. It is a perfume not meant to wear as a comfort. It is meant to be worn as something to be experienced.
Sig. Casotti gets things started with the bitter sulfurous citrus of grapefruit matched to the herbal-ness of baie rose. There have been a few perfumes lately which have used this combination. I was struck here at the concentration Sig. Casotti uses. It pushes the un-pretty pieces of the scent of both ingredients. The slightly stinky sulfur of the grapefruit along with the sharp green baie rose lays down slashes of yellow lines outlined in black. The heart is an equally fascinating duet of calamus and wormwood. Calamus is one of those rarely used ingredients because of its odd nature. It comes off kind of oily I liken it to the smell of butter fresh from the churn. There are sweet accents, but it has an oleaginous quality. By contrasting that with the bitter licorice scent of wormwood it is a fascinating effect of viscous herbal which ensnares the grapefruit and baie rose. Slicing the yellow slashes of color with two different shades of green. The base finds the same acerbic quality in two familiar ingredients as a green vetiver is given over to a soft labdanum. This is the sharp slightly smoky vetiver provided a small amount of restraint through the labdanum. This is where shades of soothing browns intersperse themselves through the previous bold colors. Like every The House of Oud perfume I’ve tried this all comes together over a few minutes and then lingers for hours.
Each Other has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
I have admired Sig. Casotti’s dedication to not trying to take away the bitterness by amplifying it. It doesn’t make Each Other the kind of perfume for everyone. If you appreciate the bitter vectors of scent Each Other is where to find them.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.