"Futur" is a cheeky name for a perfume. After all, is it a fragrance or a fortune teller? On smelling Robert Piguet Futur, the name seems even less fitting — Futur smells like something from a different era. On the other hand, Futur also smells like springtime condensed: optimistic, brash, fresh, and jarring in the best way. Read like that, Futur is about hope. Suddenly its name is entirely appropriate.
According to the Piguet website, Piguet Futur was first released in the 1960s. Perfumer Aurélien Guichard reworked the original fragrance, which was released this summer as a Harrod's exclusive. Futur's notes include bergamot, neroli, violet, jasmine, ylang ylang, vetiver, cedar, and patchouli.
The first minute of Futur on skin smells intensely green, like crushed dandelion stems bolstered by aldehydes. The green quickly becomes more floral with what to me smells like sweet, crisp hyacinth and the buzz of jasmine. It's still razor sharp and not subtle in the least. At this stage, Futur wants to be worn with shantung silk suits in tulip colors.
Futur's dry down reveals a moody complexity underneath its cheerful top. About 45 minutes after application, a strange, old-fashioned blend of what must be cedar and vetiver, still flavored with ylang ylang, settles in. It smells a little like damp cardboard, pencils, and flowers, or like a homeopathic remedy of herbs and roots that is supposed to vanquish melancholy by giving you a tiny dose of it. I love it. Somehow the change in mood from optimism to reflection works, too. After all, hope should build at least partially on sadness and disappointment. Otherwise it is only expectation.
Perfume lovers will find a lot to appreciate in Futur. Futur offers a whiff of the intense green and floral combination Balmain Vent Vert pioneered. It also takes its wearer on a heady ride through its three- or four-hour lifespan. Maybe best of all, Futur gives a perfume lover a way to make a statement without resorting to the hackneyed super spicy or boldly leathery or freakily skanky perfumes. Instead, Futur is powerful but elegant.
People not very experienced with perfume might not be drawn to Futur — at least not initially. It's not a fragrance that sells itself within two minutes on a strip of paper. It's not comfortable, sexy, or juicy right away. Just intriguing and assertive. But for those of us who have been around the block once or twice but remain confident and optimistic, it's a keeper. Like they say, tomorrow is only a day away.
Robert Piguet Futur comes in 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum and 30 ml Parfum. It is available at Harrods in the UK and Bergdorf Goodman in the UK (although Bergdorfs does not have it online). It will presumably go into wider distribution eventually.