When I got my first real job in Connecticut the person who had grown up in South Florida was going to have to adjust to New England. It was a gradual effort, but I remember one of my earliest revelations of the joys I would find in my new home.
Candlewood Lake in Fall
I lived near Candlewood Lake and wanted to spend time sailing there as a replacement for my time spent on the ocean. It was a crisp October weekday when I headed down to rent a sailboat and explore the new expanse of water. As I raised the sail and angled it to catch the wind I finally looked up to see the narrow glacier carved lake with the colorful trees covering the ground sloping down to the shore. As the wind sung through the canvas of the sail and the schuss of the water off the bow created an aural component I felt an unusual relaxation I’ve only felt a few times in my life. Every care or worry seemed to dissipate. For the next few hours it was just me, the lake, and the trees. I’ve often wondered what a fragrance which captured that might smell like; Atelier Flou Hora Fugit comes very close.
Atelier Flou is the perfume brand founded in 2009 by Jean-Francois Cabos. Back then I remember trying Katana and liking it quite a bit. Since then the brand sort of fell off my radar. They added a couple more to the original set of eight in 2014. They got back on my radar when many of the attendees at Esxence 2017 spoke highly of Hora Fugit. Having recently received a sample I saw why from the moment I opened the vial. It is a comfort scent from first to last.
M. Cabos has worked exclusively with perfumer Jacques Chabert on all eleven Atelier Flou releases. M. Chabert has been turning up in many interesting places of late. Most of the time he is harnessing new materials in unique ways. Hora Fugit is something different where some of the comfort comes with familiarity but much more of it comes from the seamless blending of the notes into a comfy perfume.
Lavandin is the focal point early on. It carries a slightly mentholated air which laurel and bergamot enhance. It is like a breath of cool, not cold, air. I found it gently refreshing. M. Chabert then constructs a hull of cedar and sandalwood. These are the clean lines of wood in fragrance writ large. Vetiver and patchouli help add some variety to the stolid woods. A soft transparent leather accord gently spiced with nutmeg and sweetened with benzoin finish the accoutrements on this fragrant vessel.
Hora Fugit has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Hora Fugit is an interesting perfume it is familiar tropes done in a way which makes it seem less familiar. The overall effect is enjoyable because of that. If you’re looking for a perfume of New England Autumn. Hora Fugit will suffice.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.
The last time I attended the entire New York Fashion Week there was a designer who left an impression, Tadashi Shoji. What had so impressed me was he had lived up to the concept so many fashion designers aspire to. When you hear anyone in fashion talk they will enthuse about the “flow” within their collection. What made me laugh at that is so few of them achieve that. It is so infrequent, that it captures my full attention when it happens. When I was sitting in the audience for the Tadashi Shoji Fall 2012 show I saw “flow”. The designs formed a coherent whole while building upon each design that came before. Fabric and detail moved sinuously around the models. Ever since Mr. Shoji has been all about this ability to create that effect year after year. When I was contacted by the team behind the new Tadashi Shoji Eau de Rose I wondered if “flow” could be translated to fragrance.
Tadashi Shoji Fall 2017
Mr. Shoji assembled an experienced team for his first fragrance. Help with creative direction came from Ruth Sutcliffe and John Bonifacio who worked with two perfumers; Jacques Chabert and Nathalie Koobus.
I must say I was a bit underwhelmed while waiting for my sample to arrive because here was another rose perfume headed my way. What made me enjoy Eau de Rose was that this creative team somehow lost the memo that spring rose perfumes must be dewy debutante-like rose. Eau de Rose is a different take finding that debutante grown up with some more experience. Another thing about the mediocre spring rose fragrances is they leave out all the other scents of spring. Eau de Rose begins with rhubarb one of the earliest harvests in a spring garden before opening with that debutante rose but maturing it with rose absolute to create something different than the other spring roses.
Eau de Rose is all about the rhubarb in the early moments. The perfumers make a choice to accentuate the raw earthy quality of the rhubarb by allowing the sulphurous nature of grapefruit and blackcurrant bud to provide the turned earth component. This is the early harvest of the raised bed garden next to the rose bush. The heart is that innocent debutante rose playing with her usual sisters of jasmine and muguet. If it had stayed like this I would have yawned but this is where the flow comes in. The perfumers use osmanthus to begin the transition from fresh dewy rose into a mature experienced version. The rose absolute used in the base accord is rich with a spicy heart to it. This allows for swirls of incense along with earthy patchouli to bring Eau de Rose full circle back to the early moments.
Eau de Rose has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
Eau de Rose succeeds where so many others fall apart because the creative team could establish the same kind of flow in the perfume that is evident in Mr. Shoji’s fashion designs.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Tadashi Shoji.