True androgyny, the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics, is not an easy thing to pull off without becoming caricature. In music David Bowie, Grace Slick, Annie Lennox, and Lady Gaga exemplify this. In perfumery this concept has been less adroitly realized. If you are going to try and do this rose would not be the first focal point I might consider as a candidate. Which goes to show why I review perfumes and don’t make them. Creative Directors Elise Juarros and Rosa Vaia of Coquillete Paris have decided rose is the perfect place to start with to make an androgynous perfume. Tudor is the result of this effort.
Rosa Vaia (l.) and Elise Juarros
One of the hall marks of the first five perfumes from Coquillete Paris was their easy affability while wearing them. I had compared them to your favorite t-shirt and jeans when reviewing them in the past. For this sixth fragrance Tudor does not show that easy going nature. On the website there is a proverb which reads, “The rose falls, the thorns remain.” This is a good description of Tudor as it is more stem and thorn than bloom which is because there is no actual rose in the perfume.
Tudor opens with the green stemminess in place courtesy of geranium and muguet. The geranium also supplies some of the rose nuance. The heart goes for more rose that is not a rose with rosewood supplying the rosiness. There is also a fabulously pungent soil accord which further advances the concept it is about everything but the bloom. The base is a richly resinous mix of benzoin, labdanum, and ambergris. It is sweetened with a hint of vanilla but this stays tilted towards the warm side for the final moments.
Tudor has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
I was surprised that Tudor was so different than the previous five perfumes in the collection. I was told at Pitti Fragranze that Tudor is meant to be a conclusion to this original collection. I was also told it contains at least one note in common with the previous five perfumes to make it a fitting capstone to the fragrant story. I said at the beginning that androgyny in perfumery is hard; based on Tudor it may be easier than I think.
Disclsoure: This review was based on a sample from Coquillete Paris provided at Pitti Fragranze.
Buongiorno Perfumistas! It seems like the last day at every perfume expo I attend feels a little bit like last call at a bar. You have to decide how much you want to do in the little time remaining to you. So it is no surprise that Day 3 of Pitti Fragranze would send me scurrying to finally talk to the perfume lines I thought I had so much time previously to speak with. First stop was D.S. & Durga where perfumer David Seth Moltz debuted the new release Debaser. For those of you who are fans of The Pixies yes that is what it is named after. It is an excellent new release from a brand featuring a perfumer who is really hitting his stride over the last year.
I went next door to visit Coquillete Paris their new scent, and the last in their debut collection, Tudor. It is meant to be an androgynous rose and it succeeds quite well at giving off that vibe. It is a continuation of well-crafted easy-to-wear perfumes from this line. One thing I was told which I will have to try when I give it a proper wearing is because it is the last in the collection there is one note from the previous seven included in Tudor as a way of concluding things. This doesn’t mean there will not be more to come from Coquillette Paris just that it will be in a different direction.
One of the brands I was most excited to try were the four new perfumes from S-Perfumes. S-Perfumes is overseen by Nobi Shioya and he really allows his perfumers a wide latitude in creativity. The original two releases 100% Love and S-ex are very high up on my list of avant-garde perfumes. Of the four new fragrances, Himiko, Musk S, 1499, and Kamakura my favorite was Musk S. Composed by perfumer Carlos Benaim it is a contemporary take on a fragrance which will evoke the smell of skin. It is simple and I found it compelling as I was completely drawn in to its structure. S-Perfumes were in a section of the fair called unscent which is sponsored by Intertrade Europe. Besides the brands they represent they also allowed some young perfumers to show off their emerging skills by creating a scent just for this exhibit. One of the young perfumers whom I have had an interest in for a long time, Alex Lee, produced a fabulously nuanced floral creation. He is growing every time I see another of these creations and I look forward to the day he is given his first commercial brief to realize.
Dr. Gritti is a brand which always seems to lose out to the time pressure when I am at these fairs. Today I made a point of visiting and being taken through the line. On first impression my favorite of the line is one called Doped Tuberose. It is tuberose unleashed and then tamed. There is a wonderful inflection between the early and late phases of development on my skin. I clearly put off for far too long getting to know this brand. I am going to rectify that as quickly as I can. Closing time was near but I had one last stop to make and that was with Gerald Ghislain so I could try the new Histoires de Parfums Opera collection. There are five fragrances in the collection all inspired by famous operas and the year they premiered. They are: 1831 Norma, 1875 Carmen, 1890 La Dame de Pique, 1905 Madame Butterfly, and 1926 Turandot. Carmen and La Dame de Pique are the early standouts based on a quick sniff.
The booths were coming down and they were announcing the fair was over. We made our way out into the central part of Florence to watch the sunset over the Arno River for the last time. It made a perfect ending to my first Pitti Fragranze.