A set of four trial fragrances from Katie’s Round 2 and Marina’s Round 3, which includes Holy Grail R3/H and Auxeos R2/E, F, G, is
now available here. Please note the supplies are very limited and are expected to last only a few days.
This concludes Katie’s Round 2 with mods R2/E, R2/F, and R2/G.
It’s taken me more than a while to wend my way through the three new mods. The differences between them are comparatively more subtle than those in the previous two mods.
I’ve tried writing up a review of the three several times, and each time ended up crumpling my notepaper up due to a lack of any coherence. I’m flummoxed over what sort of feedback to give you, nor am I at all sure where we should go from here. Eeeek! Help! What do you think would be some interesting and better approaches? I’m sure you’ve got strong opinions on the subject, and certainly yours would be comprehensive and informed. Is there something I’m missing? Ach, of course there is.
I do want to keep the slight crusty saltiness that I liked so much in the earlier mods, specifically “C,” I know that for sure now. It’s like a good hook, or a tasty guitar riff. And the darker corners on “G”s drydown were intriguing. Outside of that, I’m feeling weirdly indecisive.
I feel like “E” more closely stems off the earlier mod “C” in a way. Perhaps consequently, it was this one that nearly all my guinea pigs preferred the best out of these three. I liked it, well enough also. But after smelling “E” off and on during all this time, I feel like an asshat now. Mostly because I can’t help but compare it directly to the “C” mod you created. It’s hard not to wonder if perhaps “C” was superior, and thus didn’t need me trying to stick my spoon in the soup before it was served. “E” is darker than “C,” but what it gains in edginess, it kind of loses some of “C”s brittleness.
I like the drydown of “F,” but overall I wonder if the opening is not too citursy, and if it’s not too soapy overall. I tried it out on folks at a party, and the general reaction to it was “whoa.” I would like our fragrance to give folks a nice jolt, but I don’t want to scare anyone with it, heh. “F” demonstrates decisive phases of devolopment the best of the three, bearing more distinct phrasing when it dries. Which is nice. I like the way the notes come tumbling down slowly.
“G” was the mod I ended up gravitating the most towards personally. I really, really enjoyed the darker shadowy feel to it. I do wonder if it would be less satisfying to others compared to “C” or “E,” and not just amongst my random collection of willing victims (aka friends and family.) My guinea pigs were saying it was “nice,” but didn’t particularly seem to find it as interesting to wear as did I. It strikes me as a slightly linear composition, especially compared to “F” and “C.” But… urgh… there’s something quite enjoyable in “G”s drydown that would be wonderful to use, if possible. I gave turns off and on to all the mods, but it was the base on “G” that turned out to be the most deeply addictive.
All three mods were described as “soapy” at various times, and I too feel perhaps they were a bit TOO soapy. Which is my fault, I am sure. Did I just send us off on a wild goose chase for this round? I hope not.
In short, I don’t really know what to say. I’m… at a loss. Lost, lost, lost. What shall we do next?
This concludes Marina’s Round 3 with mod R3/H.
I have received my third Mod, Holy Grail R3/H, and these are my impressions…Actually, I have received it several weeks ago, it just took me this long to make up my mind about it. The more I tested it the more I liked it and I am happy to say that I feel like we are on the right track now. It has spice, it has warm, slightly animalic musk and it even has a strong leather note in the drydown.
What I would love to happen next is …I can’t believe I am saying this…I want the spicy note (which, on my skin, is mostly saffron) to become subdued. Right now, the note is very prominent; it overshadows other ingredients and makes the scent feel almost like saffron “soliflore”. In fact, perhaps we could try it without any saffron at all, just to see what it would be like? I know I asked for saffron in my proposal, and I am sorry to change my mind, but somehow the note just isn’t working for me, it is too strong, too persistent. I am over saffron. Perhaps, we could even have two mods next time, one without any spice, one with a different spice, for example cardamom?
In general, I would love for the scent to become a little softer, even warmer, sort of “rounder” in feel, perhaps even a little sweeter. I was wondering if adding more vanilla wouldn’t achieve that comforting, soft effect? I know I am asking too much, but I’d love for Holy Grail be to simultaneously intense and soft. Right now it is a little sharp, and I would like it to lose that spicy edge a little. So this time I am not asking for more “skank” and more “darkness”, I am asking for more “comfort”.
© What We Do Is Secret
Labs and offices overlooking a sculpture park, an ideal work environment for perfumers.
The unusual looking rear of the car in front of us caught Veronique’s attention when we were driving back from Marseille to Toulouse a few weeks ago. I couldn’t figure out what kind of car it was till she said “It has a Mercedes emblem and is written McLaren.” Not to say that I’m too unfashionable to recognize an exotic car, but I haven’t cared about cars since I left my enthusiasm for them behind in Tokyo a long time ago.
McLaren is a racing team based in England, best known as a Formula One constructor. The name brought back memories of the time when Honda engines had completely dominated the F1 scene season after season. I then realized that McLaren had now been using Mercedes engines for some time, and the stunning car in front of us was the byproduct of F1 Grands Prix. As the glorious rear end moved further away from us I was guessing the price – to be around 350 thousand dollars (the actual price is almost half a million!).
After we had lost sight of the glamorous car with a Swiss license plate I asked Veronique an idle question. “Is there a perfume you can compare to that car or Ferrari F40?” I just had in my mind a perfume like a prestigious car with daring style and performance that had combined the most advanced technologies and materials. Veronique’s reply was instant, “No, I don’t think so.” Since there wasn’t anything for me to do in the passenger seat I kept thinking about it… maybe it was an irrelevant comparison… what has a perfume got to do with the word performance if it’s not about higher sales figures with lower manufacturing costs?
I guess we would have to wait for something revolutionary to happen in the fragrance industry before we could catch a sniff of the Mercedes SLR McLaren of perfume, and that’s only going to happen if one of the major fragrance houses starts to “Think Different.”
I hope it will happen one day.
For your enjoyment, here is an interview with Clement Gavarry, a short film by Miss Liz. Clement talks about his source of inspiration, his favorite perfume ingredient and the creation of his that makes him most proud. Personally, I had only one comment running through my head when I was watching the interview…so handsome, so young, so talented! Enjoy!
If you would like to ask Clement a question, please do so in the comments section. He will try to answer some of them in a future post. [by Marina]
Here’s a short film starring Laurent, describing a little bit about himself and the way he works.
For whatever reason, I had it in my head he’d be a little different. Not personality-wise really, but when I think of the perfumers working at the big three companies, I always picture them in long white lab coats with their names sewed on the breast… Maybe it’s human nature to mentally uniform people respective to their occupation? Gah, I dunno. And now that I think of it, it IS a little ridiculous to think they’re skulking about all day in work smocks.
Because I knew Laurent and Clement had collaborated on Ms. Parker’s Lovely, I imagined them working together a little like this. Which I suppose would make Marina and I into the Lenny and Squiggy of my loopy scheme, sadly enough.
I clearly haven’t a clue.
So, anyhow… enjoy the interview! If you wish to ask Laurent some brief questions of your own, please leave them in the comments for this post, and he will try to answer some of them in future post.
Nobi, our blogging emcee and the mad genius behind this project, is currently unavailable for the rest of the month. He’s vacationing in a technology-deprived area, like the desert, or the Amish countryside, or my mom’s house (same rotary dial phone for 40 years), and won’t be able to check in here. However, Marina and I will check in as often as we can, and will try to keep house well! [by Katie]
© What We Do Is Secret
Clement Gavarry at his lab…
Quiz: There’s a CD player on the desk… what kind of music does Clement listen to most? Select a genre from below and answer in the comment thread.
Alternative, Blues, Chanson, Classical, Country, Dance, Hip-Hop/Rap, Jazz, Latin, Pop, R&B/Soul, Reggae, Rock
The quiz will close when someone answers correctly. The prize will be a scent that’s not on the market.
© What We Do Is Secret
Former Jeep factory now a flavor and fragrance company
Last Friday I received 3 new mods from Laurent for Katie. They came along with 2 fantastic scents which were not on the market. I had asked Laurent if he could share some of his “secrets” with the winners of the quizzes at Made by Blog, and he was gracious enough not only to agree to it but included one of his best kept secrets.
These two scents make me realize again how great a perfumer Laurent is. [by Nobi]