I continue to be incredibly impressed by the output from London-based indie brand, 4160 Tuesdays. Perfumer Sarah McCartney has a natural knack for perfumery, but also the subversive talent of injecting humour and eccentricity into her compositions. The result is exceptionally well-crafted fragrances that have bold and bright characters, that one would really have to be a miserable git not to enjoy.
One of Sarah’s most recent creations is New York 1955, a fragrance that was originally launched under her diffusion ‘Vintage Tuesdays’ line, and now sits within the multi-coloured wardrobe of scent that is 4160 Tuesdays. Evoking the image of pastel-shaded ice cream parlors from the 1950s, this perfume is a beautiful rosy-gourmand that is as delicious as it is colourful.
“One of my favourite vintage 1950s scents was Coty’s Chantilly, named after the French town famous for its whipped cream and intricate lace. It’s a soft strawberry and cream perfume, decorated with crystalised rose. For New York 1955 I transported the desert theme over the Atlantic to a New York milk bar, turned up the volume, piled it with vanilla ice cream and raspberries, loaded it with candy floss, crystalised roses and violets, and smoothed it with soft, huggable musks and ambergris.”
– Sarah McCartney
Top: Candy Floss
Heart: Raspberry, Rose and Violet
Base: Vanilla and Musk
How Does it Smell?
New York 1995 opens sweet with a glistening haze of tart raspberry. There’s quite a lot of fizziness up top that gives the impression of clouds of pastel pink candyfloss forming mounds of delightful sweetness. Thankfully though, there’s enough sharpness from the raspberry and something slightly lemon-esque to ensure that things don’t spiral into a cloying, sugary mess. The balance and the weight are just right.
The heart is a combination of rose and violet, with the sweet and gourmand nuances of each being amped up into pure technicolor. The rose is fruity and decadent, whilst the violet adds a candied vibrancy that speaks of retro sweets in pastel shades. This contrast between the bright shades of rose and the muted hues of violet is so bubbly, bright and joyful that it is almost impossible to not feel completely engaged with the fragrance, and it’s sunny demeanour.
As it settles into the base the sweetness of the rose takes over and melts seamlessly into waves of velvety vanilla. The tartness found in the opening never completely dies away and right up until the very last moments, it’s there to keep that sweetness in check to ensure that it never tips over into sickly territory. The tipping point is high though, and it’s incredibly fun to sniff New York 1955 and watch it teeter ever so closely towards the edge of acceptable gourmand levels.
New York 1955 is very nicely done and I personally find it incredibly satisfying to wear. The gourmand facets of rose and violet are perfectly presented, and manage to be ditzy and sweet whilst never becoming cloying or puerile. It also has a distinctly retro vibe that is instantly evocative of squeaky-tiled ice cream parlors filled to the brim with bright neon signs and dish upon dish of pastel-shaded sundaes. Everything about New York 1995 is fun and delicious – so much so in fact, I’d happily sit down and enjoy two great big scoops rather than one. After all, pleasures like this are best enjoyed without measure.
New York 1955 is available in 30ml (£40), 50ml (£60) and 100ml (£90) Eau de Parfum.
Sample, notes, quotes and image 2 via 4160 Tuesdays. Image 1 via pastelfoods.tumblr.com.