My take on Concrete by Comme des Garçons. On Escentual. Clicky here to read.
Comme des Garçons are real innovators when it comes to the olfactory arts. They’ve created some of the most unique and daring mainstream fragrances on the market and within their more niche lines have explored single notes of themes with the painstaking focus of a curator. They are a brand that does not lend itself to trends or marketing influence, they simply make beautiful and intriguing things. Much in the same that Rei Kawakubo plays with the form in her fashion, Comme des Garçons aims to subvert structure in their olfactory output too, always with fascinating results.
For their latest launch, Comme des Garçons are exploring “destruction, construction and creation” by taking inspiration from one of the most ubiquitous materials on earth: concrete. Named after the material, Concrete the fragrance aims to bring new contrasts to the idea of a material that is known for its solid composition, demolishing all preconceptions. So if you’re expecting something rocky, hard and brutalist in this fragrance, you may want to think again…
Before we get on to the scent itself it’s impossible not to pay homage to the awesomeness of the bottle, which is actually coated in concrete. That’s right, actual concrete! This gives a satisfying heft to the signature pebble design but also a really surprising softness that is tactile and pleasant. I love it and what’s more, it comes covered in bubblewrap to protect it, hinting at the fact that there may just be a hidden fragility to this usually hard and robust material. Genius.
Extra, extra, read all about it! Legendary Japanese-French fashion brand Comme des Garçons launch awesome new fragrance. Rumour has it that iconic beauty e-tailer Escentual are stocking said fragrance. A representative from Escentual (me) says “OMG IT SMELLS SO GOOD I’M GONNA DIE”. Terror and panic is expected today as people rush to get their noses on this new treat. We at The Candy Perfume Times will be on the scene and will keep you updated.
That’s what I would write if I were an old-timey reporter, anyway. In my review of Blackpepper I say that it is my favourite thing I’ve reviewed for Escentual this year and that’s a stone cold fact. Blackpepper is innovative and fascinating, just like most things from CDG, and it also smells bloody lovely so you owe it to yourself to check it out. Click here to read my review.
If you enjoyed Episode One of Fume Chat then you’ll be pleased to know that second episode of the perfumed podcast hosted by Nick Gilbert and Me is ready to download. Episode Two is our first ‘Battle of the Bottles’ and we go head-to-head to duel our favourite fragrances from the Japanese-French fashion house, Comme des Garçons. Who will be victorious? Well, you’ll have to tune-in to find out! Click here to find Episode two on iTunes and here for a SoundCloud link.
“Fragrance is paint for the nose. People who make fragrances, the air is their canvas.”
– Pharrell Williams
Is there any one person on the planet bigger than Pharrell Williams right now? I think not. He’s either produced, sang or guested on some of the biggest songs of the last few years, not to mention the fact that he’s a fashion icon with a penchant for Vivienne Westwood Buffalo hats from the ’80s and socks with no shoes. In short, Pharrell is a bit of a dude and it was only a matter of time before he branched out from music and fashion, into the world of fragrance.
Thankfully for us (us being the perfume lovers of the world), Pharrell has teamed up with the fragrance arm of unconventional fashion house Comme des Garçons to create his very first perfume. Comme des Garçons are well known for high quality fragrances that approach the art of olfaction with a distinct, and unique viewpoint, celebrating woods, incense and spices in a varied series of artistic olfactory entries. So, it would be correct to say that Mr. Williams made a sensible choice and is in very safe hands.
Pharrell’s debut fragrance is named G I R L, after his 2014 album of the same name, from which it also takes inspiration. G I R L was created by perfumers Antoine Lie (Etat Libre d’Orange’s Sécrétions Magnifiques, Rossy de Palma and Tom of Finland) and Christian Astugeville, and is described as being “a woody scent of high quality and complex construction”. Much like Lady Gaga’s Eau de Gaga, which I reviewed earlier this week, G I R L is a most atypical celebrity fragrance that tries to defy the clichéd conventions of a tired and overexposed genre.
I know what you’re thinking: “not another blooming oud”, and if we were talking about any other fragrance brand rather than the esteemed Comme des Garçons, I’d be right there with you having a moan. But we are in fact talking about a brand that takes their perfumes very seriously and their latest, the rather showily named ‘Wonderoud‘, is a rather nicely-executed oud that will make even the most grumpy perfumista sit up and take an intrigued sniff.
For my Escentual column this week, I’ve taken a closer look at Wonderoud and given it the once over for your pleasure . My findings, as you can guess, are mostly positive, but to read the whole review, please click here. Don’t forget to let me know what you think of Wonderoud, if you’ve tried it, and if not, what your very favourite oud fragrance is (mine is Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s incomparable OUD, FYI).
The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to series is an olfactory exploration of individual notes and ingredients that looks at the essential perfumes one must try as part of their fragrant journey. Each episode focuses on a particular note and lists the reference perfumes (i.e. the ‘must sniffs’) within that particular genre.
So far in the series we’ve explored the worlds of; Tuberose, Lavender, Oud, Orange Blossom and Chocolate. Up until now the ‘Guide to’ series has been relatively sporadic but moving forward, the intention is to schedule instalments for the beginning of each quarter – therefore suggestions on which note/genre to explore next are most welcome.
This episode takes a look at the humble violet – a genre that doesn’t quite get the exposure that it deserves. It’s a note that is more likely to be associated with the stiff upper lip of Victorian Britain than the contemporary world of modern perfumery but a number of perfume houses are making solid efforts to change this perception and are making pretty fantastic perfumes along the way.