- M’s Round 6

Gardenias and Leather

This concludes Marina’s Round 6 with mod R6/S and R5/T.

One of the previous two mods had me saying that it was the beginning of the end, one of the last two, specifically mod R6/T, convinced me even further that Holy Grail is almost within our sight. Like last time, the other mod, in this case R6/S, was great, but not exactly what I wanted. It was leather and not much else…not that it’s a bad thing, but, again, not what I wanted.

With R6/T, however, Clement hit the spot with amazing precision. I asked for gardenia and leather, he gave me gardenia and leather. Both notes were apparent from the start, intertwining like silky ribbons of creamy-white and black, weaving a luscious, nocturnal ornament. The base was earthy and deep and featured a little bit of patchouli, which I liked. The overall effect was that of a gorgeous contrast of lightness and dark, of the yin of the flowers and the yang of leather, of velvety softness and elegant harshness. I find the pairing of gardenia and leather to be incredibly appealing, even more so than the gardenia and labdanum combo (Tom Ford Velvet Gardenia, which I adore). Whereas the latter is prone to creating a “blue cheese effect” (which I admittedly like), leather does nothing of the kind.

While some of the previous mods felt – understandably- like drafts, sketches of a great perfume to come, R6/T strikes me as a perfectly finished product. If I were say, an owner of a famous niche fragrance line, I would have been proud to include this scent in my collection. Given its sumptuous feel, its forcefulness and an overall attitude of unapologetic luxury, I would say that R6/T might be a good fit for the aforementioned Tom Ford’s Private Blend line.

And that brings me to the question of what I would like to be changed in R6/T. I would like it to be somewhat less robust. I am not asking for an understated scent, but I feel that, on the scale where L’Eau d’Hiver would exemplify the subtle and Obsession would illustrate the too-powerful, R6/T edges a little too close to the Obsession territory. If on that same scale L’Eau d’Hiver is a 1 and Obsession is a 10, I want my perfume to be no more than 7. Strange as it may sound, the mod feels…too rich. Using Luca Turin’s comparison of chic and luxury, I will say that R6/T smells luxurious, whereas I would love it to smell chic.

Another change I would like to see in R6/T is for the yin of leather to be brought down a couple of notches and for the yang of gardenia to be strengthened further. In other words, I want the leather note to become less strong (quite a lot less strong, in fact) and I want gardenia a little stronger than it is now. And then… you never know, one of the mods from the next batch might really be last one…

Images: Yin and Yang by Peter Sanderson, avalongallery.com; Gardenia Garden by Rebecca Swanson, allposters.com.