I do like a nice surprise, especially when perfume is concerned, and definitely when my cynical perfume blogger hat is firmly atop my head. adidas ORIGINALS by Jeremy Scott, the first fragrant collaboration between the legendary sportswear brand and the pop-culture dabbling designer, is one such surprise and I have no shame in admitting that I really do like it much more than I thought I would. As will be a shock to nobody, I’m not a hugely sporty person, and my personal style certainly couldn’t be described as ‘pop-fashion’ (as Scott’s designs are). Further to this, Scott’s first olfactory creation for MOSCHINO (the disappointingly ‘style over substance’ scent that is TOY) didn’t fill me with too much hope for a masterpiece. All-in-all, I didn’t expect to think much of this new collaboration. I was wrong, of course.
adidas ORIGINALS by Jeremy Scott makes a statement right from the moment one removes it from the “thermoformed velvet” placement inside it’s shoe box-like outer packaging. The bottle, which is shaped like one of Scott’s ‘winged’ adidas high-tops will divide opinion but personally, I think it’s really cool and it’s as much a decorative object as it is a vessel for the fragrance. Speaking of the perfume, adidas and Jeremy Scott have worked with perfumers Maurice Roucel (Musc Ravageur, Gucci Envy & Iris Silver Mist) and Philippe Roques to create a blend that reportedly “defies expectations with a unisex formula that contrasts masculine and feminine” – and you know what? They’ve done exactly that!
“Fashion designer, Jeremy Scott defines pop fashion. His brand of rebellion-humurous, optimistic-polished is irresistible to international pop stars and style-makers alike. His vision for remixing and elevating popular culture – with spectacular results – tells the story of the possible made real. There are no limits. There is no questioning. Reality will bend. His first fragrance, Jeremy Scott for adidas ORIGINALS, embodies the high-contrast world of pop fashion where imagination is everything.”
– adidas ORIGINALS
Rose, Calabrian Bergamot, Incense, White Pepper and Cashmere Wood
How Does it Smell?
adidas ORIGINALS by Jeremy Scott (hereafter simply referred to as ‘adidas ORIGINALS’ for brevity) opens with grapefruit, and lots of it. Grapefruit notes are tricky and many fail to capture the fully acerbic and bitter impression of nature’s most confrontational (and glorious) fruit, but adidas ORIGINALS displays a grapefruit note that is most definitely large and in charge. The opening is sharp, with an equal measure of bitterness and sweetness hovering over a cumin nuance that is unmistakably human. It’s sweaty in the way that leads one to think of hot bodies in motion, which is never a bad image if you ask me.
Underneath that energetic and active grapefruit is an aqueous rose note that is decidedly genderless. Exuding transparent trails of rose water, perfumery’s most royal flower feels strangely casual, and dare I say, sporty here, whirling around in sprays of red and pink kinetic energy. The naturally fruity aspects of the rose are emphasised by bergamot and apple, which draw out the juicy and mouthwatering damascenones of the rose to give a buoyant and luscious impression. In the heart, there’s also a hint of white flowers, albeit a subtle one lurking in the background. To my nose, something vaguely jasmine-esque gives the rose a slightly green inflection so that things never become too sweet (thankfully).
I wouldn’t say that adidas ORIGINALS develops considerably with time (it’s definitely on the more linear side of things), but as it heads into the dry down its overtly zesty quality subdues somewhat, making way for something that is more spicy and woody. The base is a supple blend of white pepper, cashmere wood and incense. All three of these materials are treated with slight of hand and together, they create a light dusting of beige velvet that is as soft as it is warm.
adidas ORIGINALS is vibrant, lively and very current, without coming across as a pastiche of modern styles. It feels youthful and high-spirited, but never boring or clichéd. There is definitely something new about it and it more than lives up to the ‘pop-fashion’ style of the bottle, which is more than can be said for TOY (great bottle, average scent). I never thought I’d like an adidas fragrance so much, but I do. Wearing this on warm summer days is a real pleasure and the whole thing, i.e. the scent, bottle and associated descriptions, ties up to one solid concept overall. adidas ORIGINALS is as cool as a pair of winged high-tops, box fresh and ready for action.
adidas ORIGINALS by Jeremy Scott is a limited run of 10,000 bottles, available in 75ml Eau de Toilette for £75. The fragrance is exclusive to Selfridges in the UK.
Sample, notes and quotes via Adidas. Image 1 via ftape.com. Image 2 my own.