Fragrance Reviews Curiouser and Curiouser

Curiouser and Curiouser

01/28/13 07:35:59 (6 comments)

by: Serguey Borisov

The 2012 fragrance Aedes de Venustas is the second stage in the collaboration between the namesake New York den of graceful niche-perfumery ideas and perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour. The first fragrance was launched in a hexagonal purple bottle by L`Artisan Parfumeur. A gold stopper, the luxurious color of the bottle and box (characteristic for the "Temple of Beauty") and incense—a favorite note of the two owners of the gorgeously overdressed boutique, Robert Gerstner and Karl Bradl—are all that remind us now of the predecessor. 

Incense is sacred for the owners of Aedes (as well as for Amouage). But styles and trends of the perfume market had changed in the four years between the two fragrances (2008 and 2012). Now GREEN is a favorite trend. After a long oriental obsession, the perfume market rebounds with green fragrances. Mint, rhubarb, black currant, cannabis, galbanum—all the green notes come into play.
 
At first this fragrance just cannot be called a chypre. A glaring green flash with pink and orange sparks leaves a blind spot for a while—you cannot detect anything but the spray and scraps of green. The ode to the scents of natural Tom Sawyer trembles and clinks like an underripe goosebery creaking on the teeth or a juicy young sorrel, squeaking and sour.
 
The scent of red currant berries and rhubarb sprinkled with hard-grained sugar is so acidic that the tongue responds with abundant salivation. "Special Heresy Gourmet Religion," as it was called by Luca Turin—where adherents worship not to Vanilla and Cream, but Currant, Lime and Rhubarb as the highest manifestation of divine bliss.

The piercing green accord of Aedes de Venustas was developed specifically for this fragrance by Bertrand Duchaufour. It recalls the different parts of various plants, but remains completely a laboratory fruit—watery transparent, sweet and sour. Succulent stems of rhubarb, fragrant lime, green fuzzy leaves of tomatoes, curly and slightly sticky tops of cannabis, watery starfruit, sour transparent berries and the delicate fragrance of garden and wild flowers (currant, or jasmine, or bitter orange with lily of the valley). As if we are walking in the kitchen garden for about an hour and sniffing everything that comes our way... And suddenly we realize that we are no longer in the green sunny world but somewhere in the darkness...

Did we fell down the rabbit hole? So that's why we felt the resinous scent of cannabis! It was the harbinger of mossy roots and fungal mycelia, of long, tangled vetiver roots branching into the ground and the dry and astringent peel of walnuts. The second part of the fragrance is the plume of dark undergrowth, something for which many love the green chypres of the 70s, like Givenchy III and similar. 

But this is not the end. We go deeper below ground to find there a hidden room—maybe it's an engine room of some laboratory or the catacombs of an unknown civilization. It turns out that all the green upstairs has a hydroponic origin. These plants see the first fluorescent light appearing from the dark underworld of eccentric molecules. Aedes de Venustas seems to have switched to quieter, buzzing lowercase notes—metallic wood, gray vetiver, engine oil on a heated metal surface. Only the healthy vitamin C reminds us of the greens. The mechanistic mineral idea, withered wood and the thin smoke of incense provide contrast to the initial greens. In an online interview Bertrand Duchaufour agreed with the statement that Aedes de Venustas is a cruel spring piercing the ground with its sprouts. I think that judging by the development of the fragrance, it is more like Alice falling into the blossoming earth, into the rabbit hole, where all things just get curiouser and curiouser.

 

 

Serguey Borisov

Serguey Borisov has been known in the Internet world of perfume under the nickname moon_fish for more than 10 years. Now he writes about perfumes for GQ.ru and Vogue.ru, and contributes on the subject for glossy magazines.

 

 

 

Translation: Daria (moira)



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LANIER
LANIER

I have a sample from Barny's that I love. It is a most unique and wonderful perfume that comes at a very dear price. So I must space my pennies for a long,long time for this one. I was told the bottle is a copy of an old Deco bottle. It is vey beautiful inside and out.
Great post Serguey.

Jan
29
2013
NebraskaLovesScent
NebraskaLovesScent

Some of the better-known decant houses offer samples or small decants of the scent.

I couldn't see samples for sale on the Aedes de Venustas site, but they do offer samples with purchase and it might be one you can request if you're buying something else.

And great job on a lovely article, Serguey!

Jan
29
2013
johngreenink
johngreenink

Sounds like a fascinating scent - thank you for the great article!

Jan
29
2013
Yourfoxiness
Yourfoxiness

Lovely write up Serguey! This sounds fascinating, & I'm so glad someone is getting the point! Enough lollipop scents! I like the flacon too... This sounds like a lovely adventure, that I want to take.. And fall happily down the rabbit hole! Samples available anywhere yet anyone?

Jan
28
2013
one_girl_rev
one_girl_rev

Beautiful writer.

Jan
28
2013
amaraztavich
amaraztavich

wow, I just read this entire column and I have no idea what the perfume will smell like. LOL

Jan
28
2013

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