There is an inherent kinetic energy to the best herbal citrus perfumes. When they are done right the herbs provide a moving platform upon which the citrus can slide around on. As I’ve refined my personal taste over the years I have found I prefer this kind of style. I like having it carry me along with its exuberant nature throughout a day. The latest perfume to do this for me is Coolife Le Cinquieme Parfum.
Carole Beaupre and Pauline Rochas
Coolife creative directors Carole Beaupre and Pauline Rochas are exploring chakras in their debut collection. For Le Cinquieme Parfum the chakra that is being interpreted is Visuddha which represents “the search for truer knowledge, beyond time and space.” I have not bought into the mysticism behind these perfumes for the most part. What I have bought into is the work perfumer Yann Vasnier has done for the brand as Le Cinquieme is his second composition for Coolife.
M. Vasnier has done some of his best work with the herbal section of his perfumer’s palette. Le Cinquieme Parfum fits that pattern. He also uses some of the higher flying musks to provide the necessary expansiveness and lift to send this fragrance soaring.
Le Cinquieme Parfum opens with a brilliantly sparkling bergamot which is supported with lemongrass to provide a green vector for the herbal notes to gravitate towards. The first to show up is a leafy mint which pops against the citrus. Then we get a run of juniperberry, sage, basil, and pepper. The keynote for all of this is the synthetic musk Serenolide which provides a sheer kind of lift which gathers up all of these herbal notes expanding their presence like an inflating balloon. Just as it reaches its maximum volume M. Vasnier punctures it with incense leaving behind a set of balsamic notes combined with labdanum.
Le Cinquieme Parfum has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Le Cinquieme Parfum flits around with considerable energy for much of its first few hours. As those herbal notes begin to coalesce only to be expanded upon by the Serenolide it makes for something which has kaleidoscopic development. I’m not sure that I found “truer knowledge” but I did find a new a new fragrance to wear out during the day.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Coolife.
First day of any of the big perfume expositions is a time for renewing friendships in fragrance. My day started out being introduced to a new aquatic perfume from Bruno Acampora called Azzurro di Capri. When it was presented to me I again had my skepticism of this genre front and center. What I found was a typical Mediterranean seaside opening but the drydown to a base of musk, patchouli, and amber is what elevated this above others within this style.
After surveying the layout of the fair I headed to the first panel of this year’s Esxence. Moderated by Professor Claus Noppeney of the Scent Culture Institute it was on the way perfume is judged and criticized. On the panel were Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison Managing Editor of Fragrantica, Saskia Wilson-Brown of The Art + Olfaction Awards, and Dr. Bodo Kubartz. Dr. Harrison eloquently described the personal connection bloggers provide via their writing. By giving regular readers that context it allows for the concept of perfume as an art form worthy of this kind of judgement. The flip side of that was explored with the idea of judgement as the end goal within the framework of awards. There, by necessity, for a fair judgement to take place as much of the context and surroundings of a perfume being assessed needs to be removed. It was a spirited discussion among the panelists making it a great way to start conversations that I would have for most of the rest of the day as I walked the show floor.
After the talk it was time to get back on to the hunt for new releases from some of my favorite brands.
I stopped in at Atelier des Ors and was presented with a sneak preview of their upcoming iris and musk release. This is a brand that has quickly developed a distinct aesthetic. What I smelled in its preliminary forms looks to me like this next release is going to be another winner.
I then stopped by to meet the team behind Coolife Carole Beaupre and Pauline Rochas. I am a big fan of the most recent release Le Quatrieme Parfum. Perfumer Yann Vasnier turned in a beautifully realized Oriental. For Le Cinquieme Parfum the communication chakra is represented, again by M. Vasnier, in a really vibrant and kinetic composition.
Of course the chemist was excited to stop by Nu_Be to try the latest elemental release Curium. I also found the name of the brand is also undergoing a change to One of Those. The brand name may change but the new perfume by perfumer Evelyne Boulanger is an extension of the Elemental series. Opening with a fantastic ambrette into a vetiver focused fragrance. It isn’t radioactive but it sure does glow.
As the day was drawing to a close I collapsed on a couch in front of Carner Barcelona. They saw my tired look and brought to me the new release from them, Costarela. Perfumer Shyamala Maisondieu added little twists to this classically constructed Mediterranean-style aquatic. The use of saffron along with the more typical bergamot in the opening is what revs things up for the eventual sea breeze and amber finish.
Day 1 opened and closed with two very different yet enjoyable interpretations of Mediterranean aquatics. For Day 2 I’ll start diving in to the new brands while catching up to some other new releases from established ones.