Several quick reviews of recent(ish) fragrances: Andrea Maack Coal, Jimmy Choo Flash, Strange Invisible Perfumes Likewise.
Feel free to add your own quick reviews of recent releases in the comments!
Andrea Maack Coal
Coal is Reykjavík-based artist Andrea Maack's sixth fragrance, and it was inspired by one of her drawings made with black coal:
It captures the feeling of creating this piece, the smudge on the fingertips, the coal falling down the white paper as the hand moves creating a pattern and the broken pieces at the bottom of the page.
If that sounds a little weird in a Comme des Garçons kind of way, then you've got exactly the right idea. Perfumer Richard Ibanez has done a lovely job of developing something that reasonably conjures up the idea of the dusty coal and the drawing paper, although it does smell more wet than dry (I kept thinking of thick calligraphy ink) in the early stages, and I found it perfectly wearable — it's not that weird. It's spicy and warm, and probably veers a bit towards the masculine, although I also found it wore close to the skin after the dry down, so it isn't likely to overwhelm in any case. Very much worth a try.
Andrea Maack Coal is available in 50 ml Eau de Parfum.
If anyone has tried any of the other Andrea Maack fragrances, do comment!
Jimmy Choo Flash
While I was thinking about what I might say about Jimmy Choo's recent Flash fragrance, they went and released another: Jimmy Choo Exotic. Perhaps it is enough of a review to say that after smelling the eponymous Jimmy Choo fragrance and now Flash, I might just give Exotic a skip?
Flash is described as an “ultra-modern white floral”, and that's just what it is: if you want your white florals to smell like they came from a lab, Flash ought to do the trick. It's not a bad scent, really, and I would be the first to admit that a perfume can smell entirely synthetic and still smell great. And, I did find it rather unusual — there's a persistent undertone of wintergreen toothpaste livening things up — but it's just so far from my own personal style that I find it hard to approach. The reviews at Nordstrom are overwhelmingly positive, so do give it a shot.
Jimmy Choo Flash was developed by perfumer Christine Nagel. The notes include pink pepper, tangerine, strawberry, tuberose, jasmine, lily, heliotrope and white woods. It is available in 60 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum and in matching body products.
Strange Invisible Perfumes Likewise
I like both of indie botanical brand Strange Invisible Perfumes' latest releases, Likewise and The Rose With The Broken Neck, but I was especially taken with Likewise. The brand describes it as a “shy, yet amorous reply to a declaration of love or devotion”, and I'll go for that, why not? It starts off bright and citrus-y/ginger-y (the notes: vanilla, rose, grapefruit, ambrette, black copal, jasmine, neroli, vetiver, ginger and cistus), but my favorite part is the early dry down, when it's (mostly) a simply gorgeous jasmine with shades of ginger lingering around the edges, sort of like a deeper, richer version of Annick Goutal's Le Jasmin. It stays gorgeous for a good long while, though, gradually getting warmer and sweeter, with a lovely black copal note and just a touch of vanilla. Like most natural perfumes, it stays relatively close to the skin and there's no point in expecting it to last all day, still, it would go on my buy list if I thought I could afford it — I don't know the price, but it's probably more than I want to spend given how much perfume I already own.
Strange Invisible Perfumes Likewise is a limited edition, and is available in 50 ml Eau de Parfum. It is exclusive to the Strange Invisible Perfumes boutique in California and does not seem to be sold on their website.