Three artworks by three different artists prompt three perfumes (or “aromatic illustrations”) in the new Jacomo Art Collection. Jacomo, the company, opened for business in New York in the late 1960s; it was founded by James Kaplan, art collector, and Gérard Courtin, French pianist. According to Jacomo PR, the company name was derived from “‘Ja’ for James, ‘co’ for Courtin, and ‘mo’ — to give the name a musical touch.”
All three Art Collection fragrances are well done, but I like Art Collection #02 best (it was influenced by the work of Cecilia Carlstedt). Art Collection #02 is described by Jacomo as “sensual, bohemian and a little bit wild.” It was inspired by an “enigmatic muse depicted in Cecilia Carlstedt’s work — a mysterious girl who could have escaped Carlstedt’s New York studio, leaving a trail of gum, leather and modeling clay scents in her wake.” (Let’s hope Carlstedt is not really imprisoning her muses.) Art Collection #02 includes fragrance notes of bergamot, amaryllis, tonka bean, vanilla, suede accord, amber, and patchouli.
Art Collection #02 starts with a powdery, yet slightly “aquatic” (how can that be?) “gum” accord — a mix of ‘rubber cement’/old-fashioned Play-Doh aromas, tonka bean, and a diffuse leather note. Art Collection #02 reminds me of two other fragrances: Bvlgari Black and Etro Gomma. There’s not much development after the first minutes on skin; Art Collection #02 is a linear fragrance with tonka bean at its center — capped by rubber/leather and sitting on a “nutty vanilla”/light amber base. Though I recently had a mini-rant about the prevalence of tonka bean in men’s fragrances of late, the way tonka bean is handled in Art Collection #02 pleases me; it presents natural, subtle tonka bean — blurred and blunted by quirky notes.
The Jacomo Art Collection also includes: #09 — to me, the least interesting and most feminine fragrance of the trio — a food-y/fruity perfume (artist: Stina Persson; notes: lemon zest, orange pulp, red berries, praline accord, mango, cinnamon, sandalwood, vanilla); and India-inspired #08 — a light fragrance with spices, milky tea, and honeyed, dried fruit notes — this is how L’Eau Serge Lutens should have smelled (artist: Daniel Egnéus; notes: cardamom, ginger, black tea, freesia, milky accord, dried fruits, cinnamon, honey, amber).
I believe Jacomo is short sighted in billing all three of these perfumes as “feminine”…men could wear #02 and #08 (good “oriental” fragrances for spring or summer). The Jacomo Art Collection fragrances are available in Eau de Parfum: $69 for 50 ml and $89 for 100 ml; they can be found at Indiescents or Bigelow Chemists.
Note: top images are cropped sections of the artworks that inspired the Jacomo Art Collection; from left to right, images for #09, #08 and #02.