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.