With niche perfume market booming it is hard to keep up with new releases and sometimes when I do try to keep up I often find myself wondering if it is really worth the trouble. Magnetic Scent is a new house based in Amsterdam with three releases in 2012 (a fourth one, Untitled #1 was out of stock, at least at the time these samples were sent to me) and I was happy to smell for myself that they have something new to say. The creator behind this line is Spyros Drossopoulos, a psychologist with an academic background in sleep and memory consolidation and a fascination for subjective perception. At age 30 he focused on his fascination with perfume and a few years later, while still on his academic career, he decided that this was something he wanted to pursue on a full time basis. With memory and subjectivity as keywords in his perfume brief it is no wonder that I personally found his work remarkable:
Indigo: although the name predisposes for something cool and watery (at least that was my association) Indigo is everything but this. It is quite unique. The opening is floral and pungent at the same time with a green bitter note. It is a little hard to know what will follow but I find this very charming in perfumes. What follows in the heart is a creamy combination of hyacinth and rose spiked by incense and kept wet and carnal by mastic and angelica. Hyacinth is for me one of the darkest and most mysterious flowers. It smells beautifully floral from afar but come too close and you get get a blast of earthy, almost swampy naturality. Indigo captures very well this morphing character of the flower without being a hyacinth soliflor. In fact the entire progression of Indigo captures the idea of catching a whiff of hyacinths in a room, approaching and smelling up close the weird, narcotic, fleshy aroma. The difference is that Indigo reverses the process. From wet, narcotic, fleshy and complex it slowly develops to a delicate but not feminine floral with a hint of bubblegum. Incense keeps the composition volatile and ethereal.
Notes from Magnetic Scent: Mastic oil (Chios), Angelica root, musk Ambrette seed, Hyacinth, Rose otto, Frankincense (Oman), Cedarwood oil (Atlas), Sandalwood, Amber
Notes from my nose: incense, amber, hyacinth, rose, bubblegum, mastic
Untitled #2 showcases Spyros Drossopoulos’s intention of offering a perfume without predisposing the wearer with its name. So approaching this in a an aesthetic blindfold I smell a warm, spiced gingerbread floating in an ethereal milky cloud. It reminds me of the way Pierre Guillaume treats vanilla in Un Crime Exotique (thank you Suzanne), creating a scent based on gourmand notes but with an end result that redefines the genre. As much as you try to imagine what this smells like be reading the notes and mentally recreating it, you will be surprised by the lightness and transparency. I smell cinnamon, chocolate, milk and an ever so light herbal note halfway between tea and tobacco. All these elements project through a buffering veil that keeps sweetness under perfect control. As Untitled #2 progresses gourmand elements give way to let the blond tobacco note shine
Notes from Magnetic Scent: undefined
Notes from my nose: gingerbread, cocoa, milk, tea, blond tobacco
Tindrer is the one that impressed me the most. My love for green scents is something I do not try to hide even though they are not very fashionable. Tindrer is “Snow Queen meets Green Fairy”. Straight from the test vial I smell a green, milky calla stalk crack and tiny droplets of vegetal milk sprinkle my face. No conventional topnotes here. Just a vast expanse of cool, natural space. I tend to associate green scents with a reserved elegance but green here is devastatingly natural and unembellished. There is nothing romantic or idealized here. This juice is the juice that fills the vessels of a giant green flower that grows in rocky and sea washed beaches and snow covered plateaus. The drydown maintains green elements but underlines them with an earthy, almost rubbery note. As I am refreshing my application of Tindrer I get this vision of Icelandic nature, empty, unadorned and serene. The visual stimulation I got from this perfume was very intense and Michel Gondry’s video interpretation of Bjork’s Joga came to mind. As I always try to do whenever it is possible I tried all these perfumes without researching the line and incidentally Spyros Drossopoulos reveals that this perfume was indeed inspired by the homonymous song by Danish group Under Byen.
Notes from Magnetic Scent: Cypress, Galbanum, Wet Soil, Cut Grass, Violet, Heliotropin, Ambergris, Musk, Oakmoss, Cedar
Notes from my nose: grass, ice, rock, rubber
Disclosure: a sample set of Magnetic Scent perfumes was kindly offered to me by the perfumer
MemoryOfScent by Christos is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
I’ve never heard of this line of perfume.
It sounds amazing! It’s great to hear that original and noteworthy
perfumes are being created by someone not
born and raised in the perfume world! This Spyros sounds like an interesting person with more to add to the pot. Thanks for posting.
Can’t wait to sniff!
Yes he does sound interesting Hylda. I hope to be back with more information on him and his perfume-j-ing performances.
Tindrer is my favorite of the three also, I too had a chance to try them a few months ago. All three are very well made and very longlasting on me.
I would say that Untitled #2 is the most accessible, Indigo is the strangest and Tindrer the one that recreates an atmosphere more completely
I think I met this man at Les Senteurs this summer. He seemed very nice (we were talking to Francois Robert, who was discussing his new line for Bex). I am intrigued by all three, especially the way you describe them. Do you really think green scents are unfashionable? I suppose they are when I actually think about it. You never really smell them anywhere….
I have never met him but he seems interesting.
I actually think it is a good thing green scents are unfashionable. They will come back with a new direction eventually, when everyone is tired of fruitchoulis and woody citruses.
Who cares anyway. May they not be fashionable, and thus more distinct. …
I couldn’t agree more
I just wrote my review of Indigo today 😀 Then just saw your post! I’m having great fun with these three, a very solid line! Loved your initial impressions Christos 🙂 x
I just saw your review of Indigo too. It is surprising isn’t it? It sort of twists and turns and you never know were it’s going. Really fun to wear.
Yeh I really enjoyed it – stomach churning at points, but not repulsively so, just in that – it grips you and makes you hurt haha. A violent rose fragrance. It took me completely by surprise 🙂 Really liking this guys work so far. Glad to see more write ups on it though and compare some thoughts – seems we interpreted them pretty similar 🙂
Yes I noticed that too and was very happy to see it although your review is a lot more extensive
Wonderful review. I feel a bit of Indigo might just be the thing for me.
Thanks. Have you read Smellythought’s review? This is really uncategorisable but very interesting
Yes I have! Serendipity strikes.
I haven’t heard of this line before and I”m not too eager to try it – just because there are too many new lines/new releases. But, based on your description, Indigo and Tindrer would be the most interesting for me. One day 🙂
I am very selective as well when I start exploring new lines, not because of lack of interest of course, but because there are only so many perfumes I can focus on :). I am glad Spyros offered to send these. Interestingly enough Untitiled #2 is sheerer than Indigo. It seems to be a gourmand to appeal to gourmandophobes like us
It’s fun to learn about these, Christos, even though I feel similarly to Undina. I’m at my saturation point in terms of sampling new lines; hopefully that will change at some point, but right now I just want some space to catch up with the samples I already have.
P.S. Regarding Un Crime Exotique, you’re welcome. So glad to hear you like it. 🙂
Un Crime Exotique is as perplexing as Untitled #2: you know what you smell but still overall it doesn’t smell like you expect it to smell. Brilliant work from both perfumers.
Pingback: Le Labo Oud 27: West of Oud « Memory Of Scent
Thanks for the review : met Spyros on December 2: a very kind and interesting person. Funny how we spoke about the use of limonene in prisons to calm down people and then reading about his background. Will explore Magnetic Scent further for sure!
Spyros’s background is extremely interesting in relationship to perfume and I am slowly, admittedly, working on an interview with him to explore this more.
Tindrer was my favorite from the three fragrances as well and I reviewed it as well.
I like it you mention the notes you scented yourself.
Enjoyed reading your review !
I enjoyed reading your review Esperanza! I think it is a big success on Spyros’s behalf to create a scent that is immediately acknowledged by different reviewers as something that stands out and provokes emmotions
Thank you, Christos ! I interviewed Spyros as well. Did not mention this. One of the advantages to live in the same city as a perfumer 😉 It is a success indeed on Spyros behalf to create a scent that stands out, provokes emotions and inspires as well.
Pingback: Summer potions | banizeus
Pingback: Nuda and Untitled #1: Jasmine future perfect | Memory Of Scent