I love a fun scent, something offbeat, eccentric. Perfumers should be allowed to "go overboard" on occasion, so I was mildly intrigued (the most I can muster these days) by the new Clash collection from Comme des Garçons. The company describes the three-scent series this way:
Comme des Garçons' 10th Parfum series — Clash — focuses on fostering the strength of difference, bringing together elements that were never meant to be associated. Comme des Garçons perfume art director Christian Astuguevielle researched what comes when these two opposing raw materials collide, thus creating an entirely new form.
Chlorophyll Gardenia Perfumer Caroline Dumur | Cosmofruit, gardenia, spearmint oil, pink pepper, black pepper oil, Madagascar ylang-ylang, galbanum oil, Pea accord, musk
Reading Chlorophyll Gardenia's list of fragrance notes excited me: lots of gutsy aromas there! But the moment I sprayed the perfume on skin I wanted to scrub, scrub, scrub. It's not that the perfume is weird: it takes run-of-the-mill to extremes (one dab will scent a room and never wash out of clothing). What you get is a blinding, laser-bright fruity floral — a perfume bedazzled with hard-hitting unnatural chemicals. Chlorophyll Gardenia is obnoxious.
Radish Vetiver Perfumer Nathalie Cetto | vetiver, radish, cypriol, guaiac wood
Vetiver (the fragrance note) is so complex you can smell it and imagine many things: sweat, reeds, wood, smoke, earth, nuts, all things root-y. Radish? Sure, why not?! Comme des Garçons could have called this Vetiver Waffles and I would probably have detected a hot metal plate and raw batter somewhere in the mix. This is my favorite of the Clash scents: vetiver with a camphor-like edge.
Celluloid Galbanum Perfumer Domitille Michalon-Bertier | lemon oil, galbanum, jasmine, Cashmeran, dry amber, musk
This one is almost pure galbanum combined with a thick drop of lemon-peel oil. If you put nose to skin, you'll detect subtle white/tropical floral aromas. "Celluloid?" I'd need to visit a film archive to see if celluloid has a scent and if anything resembling that scent exists in Celluloid Galbanum. My guess: not worth the bother.
Verdict: disappointing and overpriced perfumes; Comme des Garçons, as a brand, seems exhausted — time for a long vacation followed by a major shake-up.
Comme des Garçons Series 10 Clash Chlorophyll Gardenia, Radish Vetiver and Celluloid Galbanum are $65 each for 30 ml Eau de Parfum.