It isn’t often on my field trips to the local mall I find something I haven’t heard of. If there is something I haven’t heard of there is usually a good reason. As I was talking to the sales associate at one of the big department stores I kept getting this great sophisticated aquatic coming off her arm as we moved through the department. I asked her what she was wearing and she pointed to this display of five non-descript bottles and said Capsule Parfums Polis. The Colognoisseur was stumped and she eagerly showed me something I hadn’t experienced previously.
There is pretty scant information on the brand. On their website they call themselves “an independent collective practicing art in the realm of olfactory expression.” There are articles which describe it as an LA-based brand and they say they work “in collaboration with some of the finest talent in modern perfumery.” I am really glad I didn’t read this text before trying the fragrances as it comes off just a bit too arch for my tastes. There are five entries in the line; Moto, Jaunt, Urbane, Byway, and Polis. There is also mention of combining them to create your own personal scent, which is something we have heard before. The price and size is fantastic as they retail for $38/15mL.
Polis was what the sales associate was wearing and it is my favorite of the five. It is surprisingly engaging for being a simple aquatic. Aquatics as a class seem so played out to me that Polis makes it slightly different by pairing the calone and ozonic notes with clean cotton musk notes. A bit of florals with a base of vetiver and other white musks come together very nicely. It really is the smell of standing on the beach with the breeze blowing off the water while wearing a freshly ironed and starched cotton shirt.
Polis opens with the foundation of every aquatic for the last twenty years, calone. Often what makes aquatics so deadly boring is they just rely on the calone to do all the heavy lifting. The perfumer for Polis made an interesting decision to give the calone some equal running partners. The first is one of those cotton musks which adds a crisp linen underpinning. A bit of mimosa and lily tease out some of the floral facets inherent in calone. The base is vetiver and two or three white musks added for a bit of softness.
Polis has 8-10 hour longevity and above average sillage.
It has been a long time since a straightforward clean and fresh aquatic has excited me but Polis has pulled off the trick. It has become my Saturday morning companion as I run errands for the past month. It is easy to wear without being uninteresting. I am very impressed with these early offerings by Capsule Parfums and look forward to the next ones.
Disclosure: This review was based on a bottle of Polis I purchased.