Continuing with the rest of the perfumes that make up Scent Stories Volume 1, right from where I left it…
Magic Circus: although not my favourite, this is the one I admire the most. My first notes on this were: “Cedar-iris opening, reminds me of Dzonghka. Turns leathery sweet. A gourmand leather. Sweetness subsides, muskiness emerges”. Later on I researched the notes and I was shocked but what I read: “This scrumptious gourmand features notes of candied nuts, cotton candy, caramel, sprinkled with pink peppercorns, bergamot, labdanum, geranium, patchouli, and woodchips are staged into this journey to make this perfume a scented wonder swirling in enchantment”! If you follow this blog you must know by now that candies nuts, cotton candy and caramel are notes that rub me in the wrong way in all the wrong places. I hate these notes, I hate foody gourmands! I even hated Jeux de Peau! Yet this one is indeed “a scented wonder swirling in enchantment”. Definitely the most theatrical chapter in this volume, it manages to be a wearable, foody gourmand that does not insult one’s intelligence nor threatens with the onset of a diabetic coma. All the notes that I hate are there but with all the right juxtapositions to make this a memorable olfactory experience.
Old School Bench: just the name of this is enough to catch my attention. To my nose it is more of a new, polished coffee table. Cedar and new paper are the prominent notes. I could have done with an extra layer of darkness.
Barrel: Buttery oak, vanilla, rum or a cocktail made with Jack Daniels and jasmine tea. Bitterish progression makes this a very interesting. It lacks the aggressiveness one would expect from a boozy scent but this can be either a good or a bad thing for you, depending on whether you take your scotch neat or with a splash.
Onsen: to my nose this a fruity citrus, the zest without the tangy zing. Clouds of creaminess surround the citrus peel. In what seems to be a common trait for all Min New York Scent Stories, there are two layers of reading to this story, superimposed and creating unexpected images, one casting its shadows on the other.
Dune Road: cucumber is a note that has suffered a lot in perfumery. Every perfume that boasts a cucumber note usually smells of sickeningly sweet and artificial melon. And yet this one, that doesn’t claim to have been inspired by the crackling green juices of it, offers the best rendition yet. Green, watery and peculiarly rubbery. If I had to write a five-word review for it, “skid marks on the ocean” it could be. Intoxicatingly fresh with an aloof layer of darkness.
Of the 11 scents that MiN New York gave me the opportunity to sample, I have trully fallen for The Botanist and Shaman. These spoke to me from the first whiff, familiar and new at the same time. Moon Dust, Dune Road and Onsen have an eerie quality, like a good indie thriller. Long Board and Magic Circus are the most ingenious, offering an unexpected twist to a story we think we know so well. What I find extremely interesting in all of them however is the way the perfumer seems to be able to develop two plots at the same time, presenting layers of involvement. Whether it is the earth and water mix of The Botanist, or the leather candies of Magic Circus, these are all beautifully crafted, with a love for classic myths and a devotion to modern aesthetics.