“It happened many seasons ago. Of course to explain it you would have to be here. We had all been used to only the same smells, the same architecture. Until the monsoon came. At first we were weary. What did she want with us? But then we became dizzy. The allure became a way of living. Without it we were dust.”
Mistpouffer (2019, Tomas Hempel): Odd as it may sound, the perfume is so aptly named – it simply comes over your senses like this fluffy light mist, sensationally demonstrating this fragile balance between citrus and smoke. In between and alongside the elements of evergreen is so evident and showcased with a sensual sweetness. This is a seductive composition that is a slow crawl, and there are no better perfumes than those that go at a leisure pace to start to round with your skin surface. So contemporary, and dare I say, fun! Yes, I see this fragrance as one that is one quarter serious, and the rest is left to chance, an olfactory adventure. This could easily be something to wear and be noticed by the laser lights of the best clubs in Ibiza or NYC, but at the same time you could dress this up if you wanna get down. There are green undertones that give this roots, but over and above, this has serious BPMs. (90%)
Notes: immortelle, bergamot, fig leaf, pine, ozone, smoke, vetiver, malt sugar, cypriol
Moonmilk (2017, Tomas Hempel): This came off inky and like a wayward patchouli at first, but it was actually the lime that created this false positive at first. It only took less than ten seconds to peel itself back. Bright yet reigned in by the warmth of cardamom who I get is an exotic spot of tea at the opening. Though lime is one of my favorite fragrance notes it can pose some tricky compositional risks, as it does here. The citrus cuts a little too sharply but not bright and juicy enough as not to block some of the more refined aspects of the delicate white florals trying to break through. And once they begin to take shape they fall away to the woody spirits which smooth this out in its base. The peppery bark is stunning actually, especially as the accord is built as a trio with a slightly broken in leather. It still retains a certain hard edge, which to me sort of upends the entire fragrance, I sometimes want to experience this type of punch at the top and then wallow into something with a more pungent musk, but this composition, by design, instead offers a sense of brand-newness to punctuate its wearing. (81%)
Notes: black tea, lime, cardamom, lily of the valley, mandarine, black pepper, mysore sandalwood, leather
Silphium (2017, Olle Hemmendorff + Tomas Hempel): An unidentified aphrodisiac created from the flora of the past. There’s a long lore that goes along with this accord, but save to say that the duo that pieced this together ‘get it’. I get what some may understand as an olfactory ‘umami’ in this one. It sort of floats between clean clothes hanging on an outdoor spool line, dust in the wind and soft spices – but it has a bite. For me, what rises most cleverly is the way this can at one sniff smell like a barbershop, and the next its completely gone, dissipating into a brushed incense. Again, the use of leather is almost subliminal here, it doesn’t read as such, you only get the bunched curvature and the smooth (yet tough) surface, A unique way to incorporate the note, indeed. But this perfume is far from surface value, and can be read and/or interpreted in several ways – but for me, it’s got the composure of a Tibetan monk, staid, focused, unflinching, and fully introspective.
Notes: silphium accord, cistus, cinnamon, black pepper, tobacco, ginger, geranium, clove, frankincense, myrrh, cedarwood, leather
Kraftwerk – Remixes (2020, Parlophone)