I am quicksilver, the fox in the night, emotional about the poetry, love & desire in scent, read me.

Thursday 25 February 2016

Ecstatic Synthetic: Nomenclature & Cyber Scent

If you were a cyborg how would you crave to smell…? I have pondered this during multiple viewings of Ridley Scott’s masterly Bladerunner and my consuming obsession with Rachel, the doomed smoke-wreathed, fur-clad femme fatale played so achingly by Sean Young. Has uncertain mechanical obsolescence ever looked so shatteringly beautiful? In my mind Rachel has always radiated Tabac Blond, something disturbingly sensual, an implanted memory that tied her to lost generations, women in photos women who of course are nothing really to do with her, figments, chosen ghosts that haunt her tragically wired mind.   

Sean Young as Rachel
in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner

Chris Cunningham’s cold rolling sexbots for Bjork’s All is Full of Love, my beloved Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell, Prometheus’ beautiful Peter O’Toole obsessed android David, Bladerunner’s damaged Pris, Jude Law’s painted Gigolo Joe in AI and the pristine, calculating Ava in Ex_Machina

These challenging and enigmatic cyber creatures contravene nature in their search for soul and love, their bodies mirroring our own, yet lacking the warmth and humanity to truly connect and convince us of a definitive reality. They can be seen as projections, desires, fantasies, objects to be inscribed upon, like phantom palimpsests, over and over..

Bjork - All is Full of Love
Directed by Chris Cunningham

This analogy of oddity, mirrors of reality, an echoing of nature applies equally to aromachemicals, a glittering exquisite world of bonded synthetics and riffs on nature’s beauteous magnificence. People fret so about synthetics in fragrances, but they fact is they have been around since coumarin was isolated and subsequently synthesised in 1868 by William Henry Perkin. Without these extraordinary materials, perfumery would be a monochrome and unimaginative world, a drab landscape with little variation in vegetation, topography and climate.
I know there is a powerful and elegant world of natural perfumery out there, where the complex and generous natural taxonomy of flowers, petals, bark, seeds, leaves, resins, balms and woods are assembled to reflect and complement nature. There is Wicca and binding in so much natural perfumery as it is created with dexterity and reverence. Olfactory mistresses such as Mandy Aftel, Dawn Spencer Horowitz, Alexandra Balhoutis, Anya McCoy, Joanne Bassett and Danielle Sergent have set incredibly high personal standards for natural perfumery, especially in the U.S. where the world of perfumery is fraught with the battle over allergens and the control of personal space. 

Major Motoko Kusanagi from Masamune Shirow's
manga & anime series Ghost in the Shell

I have to admit to not being the biggest fan of purely natural perfumery; it doesn’t really chime with my skin, senses or inherently deviant and experimental nature. The only house that caught the Fox in scented headlights was the inventive collection from Swiss brand Richard Lüscher Britos; in particular the beautiful dusty hymn to ylang and vanilla created for them by perfume goddess Vero Kern. But everyone must choose a path that suits skin sense, temperament and personal ethos. And some of the work from Mandy, Danielle and Dawn is exquisitely composed and reflective of how we should walk and wander through this world.

David 8 Series Synthetic

I like transgression, taboo, edge, precipice and hinterland. I have always – not entirely successfully – tried to obey an internal edict of doing things to please the spirit and pleasure seeking nature of body and flesh. Of course, there are controls and boundaries, but one must try at all times to be honest and open when faced with temptation and desire. Damage and scar are inevitable but so are immense pleasure, shadowed fulfilments and a sense of a life perhaps marked by flecks and eddies of subterfuge and manipulated hours. I say this to emphasise the way I see scent as a mirror as well, something that can used to reflect both beauty and disturbia.

Darryl Hannah as Pris
in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner

I love synthetics, they dazzle me, texturise my surround and lay down upon my skin an endless array of molecular permutations… floral abnormalities, twisted leather clones, minted hybrids, cracked hives, oozing vanilla, light suffused petals, puffs of selected decay, scalp, thighs, shared and besmirched lipstick. All of these things and more suggested by atomic bonds and their extraordinary chemistry. Used with naturals they glitter, flare, hone and boost their careful environments, allowing a symbiotic world of real and surreal to suggest the world of scent we crave like gilded opiates.


I love my cyber boys and gynoids; their search beyond themselves for answers moves me. Their mirror us; therefore their search is our search. The very nature of their artificiality is what in fact what makes them so extraordinarily real. From an early stage of my perfumery obsession I have been preoccupied by the stranger, perhaps more malign unexpected offering I could find in the scented world. When I was younger this was Comme des Garçons. Odeur 71 and Odeur 53 blew my fucking mind when I smelled them. Notes of hot air, stones, ink, dust on light bulbs, photocopier toner, nail varnish. Jeez. I was lost forever. 

Comme des Garçons - Odeurs 53 & 71

In an opposite way but just as radical was Mugler’s Angel, an atom bomb of gargantuan scented change with zero flowers, just a warped rendition of Mugler’s funfair memories of candyfloss, apples, smoke and Germanic darkness. The enormity of ethyl-maltol was gorgeous and smashed into mainstream perfume like war, altering the olfactory landscape forever. I love the fact it is loved and loathed in equal measures. I love it so much, it is among the collection of molecules I have inked on my skin, ethyl maltol, tattooed on the side of my neck near vanillin on my nape.

Foxy Muglers

Molecules rise and fall, rose oxide, civetone, white musks, damascones, irones, ozonics, sun-kissed jasmine mimics, synth-ouds, beachy salicylates, über-dry cashmeran, stearyl acetate and all conquering Iso-e-super; a few lovely things amid hundreds of exquisite variations on subtle sensual themes being used to enhance the ever growing wave of niche and mainstream perfumes released each year. But these strange, reclusive materials are rarely given a chance to shine in their own right.

Rutger Hauer as Roy
in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner

As I watched Bladerunner for the umpteenth time I wondered how replicants, so eager for humanity and understanding of self would smell. Of industrial process? Would their memories of before lead them to scent? As Roy sits in the rain, his life drawing to a rain-soaked close, I have always wondered if he smelled of roses, I have no idea why, it has seemed to me he would, an oddly juxtaposed odour gathered perhaps from an implanted memory of a flickering mother. Or would he smell of metallic paint and frozen longing, a melancholy leftfield ozonic, fragmenting in the falling rain? This is how my scented mind works.  

Karl Bradl & Carlos Quintero

My skin loves these weird, tundra chemical aromas, olfaction that mirrors the world with a tenacious cynical and bold eye. As I wander olfactory highways I am searching for houses, brands and fragrances with brave aromachemical signatures, something that might plasticise and transform temporarily into something otherworldly. I wasn’t expecting such powerful synthetic molecular statements to come from the direction of sensual niche New York boutique Aedes de Venustas and one of their dynamic founders Karl Bradl. With business partner Robert Gerstner and a carefully curated assembly of top class noses, to date, Karl has created an opulent and highly acclaimed anthology of fragrances including Bertrand Duchafour’s original Aedes incense-fumed house scent and his quixotic Copal Azur, Alberto Morillas’ burnished Palissandre D’Or and Foxy obsession Iris Nazerena by German wundernase Ralf Schweiger. I used Iris Nazerena for one of my five inspiration perfumes when it came to writing five short pieces of sensual fiction for Issue 4 of Liam Moore’s ODOU Magazine. I wrote a piece about a couple whose life is shattered as the wife vanishes into illness. They choose to spend her final days in a white house by turbulent seas. I could think of no other scent that better represented passing time, ashes and the desolation of lost love.


Karl’s latest project is remarkably different in tone and emotional measure. Nomenclature is a collaboration between Karl and designer Carlos Quintero, a showcase of the secluded and oblique world of some of the perfume worlds’ more arresting aroma molecules. The scents examine the beauteous manipulation of synthetic plasticity and design in perfumery, a dramatic shift in content and style from the opulent and lavish essays in smoke, wood and haunting resins of the Aedes boutique. I think they are sparse, glittering, hushed works designed to enhance the skin, shellac and coat it with olfactory membrane and translucency. I love them. They excite and thrill me with cold, eye-opening delight.

4 x molecules 4 x scents 

There are four fragrances created in collaboration with two perfumers, Frank Voelkl of Firmenich and Patricia Choux of Takasago. Voelkl’s portfolio is varied, but he is most well known for his distinctive work for Le Labo including Iris 39, Ylang 49 and the superlative cult favourite Santal 33. He also created one of my favourite ever jasmine scents, Le Jasmin (2003) for Chantecaille, a dense, creamy, banana-tinted wonder I just adored. Reformulation has murdered it sadly; it is a smudged bitter shadow of its former self. Patricia Choux has worked with Clive Christian and Biehl Parfumkunstwerke and made the eccentric Blue Agave & Cacao for Jo Malone, one of the more unusual scents in the brand’s collection. More recently she created the surprisingly good Anja Rubick Original, a rare celebrity scent with genuine style and white lily elegance.

Frank Voelkl & Patricia Choux

The four Nomenclature scents are adr_ett, efflor_esce, orb_ital and iri_del. Contrary names, cybernetic, chemical, lower case, unconventional. They could be new elements for the Periodic Table, but they are instead four refined explorations of four unique and alluring molecules. The scents are packed in sexy cold sci-fi flacons inspired by the iconic Erlenmeyer lab flask; they look amazing, sleek and aptly futuristic without being overtly avant-garde. There is a delightful vintage school chemistry lab vibe to the design that works perfectly well with the resolutely modern olfactory direction. Everything is white, clean, sharp, blasted, clinical and suggestively absent.  

Erlenmeyer flasks (blue) 

Each of the four fragrances is essentially an elaborately conceived overdosing of four synthetics in order to showcase the power, effects and vulnerability of these remarkable materials. Karl, Carlos, Frank Voelkl and Patrica Choux have chosen to work with Helvetolide®, Iris Aldehyde, Paradisone® and Oribital®; recognisable notes that have provided backing vocals and shadowed vital support in a plethora of scents before and now within the Nomenclature framework been given an opportunity to radiate their own olfactory powers. I have always loved the tensions and sensual oddity inherent in marrying high concept synthetics to the complexities of naturals. Handled correctly by perfumers who understand nuance and impact, the futuristic beauty and necessary balance required of the ever-increasing palette of synth-chem aroma materials can be truly dazzling.

Of course the inverse can be said of natural perfumery; the volatility of high impact natural rose and jasmine compounds for example is notoriously difficult to calibrate. The chemical composition of rose oil contains over 300 components including beta and alpha damascenones, farsenol, eugenol and benzyl alcohol, citronellol, geraniol, nerol, linalool, and rose oxide. Natural perfumery has always had a strong sense of grounded reality to it for me, anchored to earth, forest, gathered bounty and wise honest storytelling. Some perfumers are electrifying their naturals with flashes of synthetics, just enough to add some aromatic CGI to the mix. Nomenclature is far removed from this. The skin for these beautiful cold perfumes is stretched over engineered bodies, it seems like exquisite flesh from a distance, but touched; the eye is only just tricked thrillingly as fingers roam over cyber forms.

Foxy (adr_ett) study

adr_rett is one of the two Frank Voelkl aromas and a cold tense hymn to Helvetolide®, the Firmenich musk discovered in 1991. This pear eau de vie and iris mix is beautifully sarcastic and sits on my imagined cyber skin like the olfactory equivalent of glittering metal fur. There is the faintest echo of Annick Ménardo’s iconic Bulgari Black (now apparently to be discontinued) in the pepper/vanilla/amber triptych, just a fumy nod, but a lovely closed eye nod nonetheless. Helvetolide®’s discrete and dexterous fruity pear musk effect has been traditionally used as a backdrop in perfumes or as a gauze to enhance other notes and accords. It is the olfactory equivalent of the lovely low-key party guest that no one really notices who turns out to own the entire building. I really like adr_ett; it is my second favourite after the remarkable iri_del. It is Mr E’s favourite of the Nomenclature collection, he loves a synth musk and he was very taken by Frank Voelkl’s blend of arctic iris (one of his most beloved notes) and the unusual plasticised bravado of the Helvetolide®.

adr_ett means dapper or tidy in German and yes, I suppose this is a neat scent in its pared down svelte way. For me, the delight lies in the fusion of moonshine pear and the more desolate iris; the fruit note seems über-drunken on cyborg skin. The tonka and rather desiccated vanilla provide a discreet greengage and elderly leather tone and the iris and fabulous musks hang like weather. adr_ett oscillates between a sense of folded pallidity and a moonlit landscape depending on my mood and how my skin is holding onto the musks. It is an exquisite scent, assembled with grace and a humble, yet bold awareness of synthetic sensuality. 

(*late night note… 4am… after 6 hours the distant fade of adr_ett is poignant and fixed, the ghost of a lush blushed pear, warmed by winter sun on a still white sill. Raised to the nose, the promise of juice below the surface is intoxicating.)

Foxy (efflor_esce) study

efflor_esce is Frank Voelkl’s other composition for Nomenclature, a study of the zooming and expansive effect of Paradisone®, the sensual and electrifying younger sibling of graceful Hedione. efflor_esce is essentially a glassy citric floral, a shimmering evocation of an orange tree in full glorious bloom encapsulating blossom, twigs, leaves and bark coated in honeyed drowsy sunshine.

Now this is a challenging scent for me; potent helpings of bigarade, neroli and bergamot etc are among my least favoured notes in perfumery when ushered centre stage. They can trigger powerful migraines, particularly neroli. So I did approach efflor_esce with a certain degree of caution. Oddly, this was unnecessary. Yes my Foxy senses tingled; my hackles went up, but no migraine. While it is still not quite me, it is still an impressive piece of work.   

Although the top explodes with a violent enough shot of Mediterranean style citrus, the assembly of notes settles into a more unexpected furry fruit melange of apricot and sleepy tuberose. The plushness of the fruit and controlled indolic tone of the jasmine create an opulent, cellophane-embellished heart.

The orange tree is smoothly twisted, turning glass, brimming and glowing with lustrous cardinal liquor, lit by scented keynote of Paradisone®, demonstrating its true form, amplifying that delicious suggestion of summer burnished apricot flesh and jasmine but also shining a light up through the canopy of citrus above.

Paradisone® is a captive Firmenich molecule discovered in 1996, a musk material, the dazzling enhanced expression of Hedione, the extraordinary superstar molecule discovered by Firmenich boffin Edouard Demole, synthesised from the organic compound methyl jasmonate in 1957. Hedione, the name is derived form the Greek word Hedone for pleasure, has transformed the scentscape of modern perfumery. Its subtle yet far-reaching and abstract effects on surrounding notes and accords, depending on concentration, have made it somewhat of a cult molecule. It played a leading role in the glittering shatter of Dior’s magnificent Eau Sauvage (1966), composed by Edmound Roudnitska. This smelled like nothing else and yet seemed compellingly familiar. A complex floral heart of jasmine, carnation and iris carefully wrapped in woods, oakmoss, lavender, fruit and warm, bracing citrus. This ambiguous blend was shot through with the transformative beauty of methyl dihydrojasmonate or Hedione as Firmenich trademarked it. The material itself is essentially a synthetic jasmine, but the effects in perfumery were startling, like sunlight glinting off creamy white petals.    

Roudnitska also used Hedione in his quietly savage Diorella (1972), a collision of C14 peachy dripping aldehyde, decaying blooms and cut cold jasmine petals dazzled white with Hedione. I am a huge fan of Comme de Garcon’s Odeur 53 by Martine Pallix; I wore it to death during my dance till you die, smoking, no eating, vodka years. I only realised recently how much Hedione there is in it; over 50% of the formula in fact. I could dance for hours, drenched in it, my clothes stained for weeks in that weird otherworldly glare of 50%+ glassy aromachemicals, each time I burrowed in for stuff to wear, I’d startle myself with its ferocious longevity.

With Hedione the more elemental skanky indolic gasp of jasmine has been stripped out, leaving behind only the glory of splendid sparkling weather. It does require skill to use it, otherwise it is vapid and barely detectable or it overwhelms compositions, causing too much blurring, the equivalent effect of using too many app filters on your i-phone. Jean-Claude Ellena used cinematic amounts in his iconic First for Van Cleef & Arpels (1976), settling a huge rush of Hedione over natural jasmine, rose and a symphony of spice, woods, amber, vanilla and smooth glowing musks. It made First into an intensely vivid floral of unusual power and radiance. Ellena returned to overdosing Hedione in the 2012 Voyage D’Hermès Parfum flanker to the 2011 original. I hadn’t particularly liked the aquatic scratch of the original but the high Hedione boost in mark II seemed to throw massive light and shadow onto the notes, creating a compelling sense of dry/saline dissonance.

Paradisone® while reflecting its obvious relationship to Hedione and its light-reflecting jasmine demeanour does feel and behave differently on skin and in scent. Yes, it is more augmented and amplifying in terms of its throw, but it is also cosier and more intimate conversely, a languid transparent magnolia effect rather than the jasmine surround of the Hedione. Everything just feels more intense and illuminated. In Voelkl’s joyous efflor_esce, the constructed holographic tree of citric light bathes in the vibrating atmospherics of Paradisone®. Not forgetting the brightness needs relief in the form of that ripening summer fruit facet, aloof synthetic tuberose and a barely tinted osmanthus sniff like plastic tea behind the shock of orange awe. I cannot wear this though sadly; after an hour, it fatigued my senses, wearing on my olfactory nerves a little like a buzzing neon light on tired eyes. But while I am troubled by this style of neroli/bergamot combo I recognise that efflor_esce is genuinely beautiful, suffused with lambent technique and a bravura showcasing of Paradisone®’s diffusive magic.  

Foxy (orb_ital) study

orb_ital with its suggestive sugar-free mint name reminds me a lot on first inhalation of some of the Nu_be range, especially my beloved Carbon, created by Françoise Caron. orb_ital’s motif mix of Hindanol, Takasago’s bright, unctuous sandalwood molecule and black pepper is very evocative of Carbon’s spatial arid pencil shaving portraiture. Compared to the unblinking bleakness of Carbon, orb­_ital is sweeter though, smokier and more accessible. It will always be difficult for anything to really come close to Carbon’s unique addiction of frozen vintage schoolrooms and weightless pepper.

There are some lovely touches to orb_ital; the medicinal swabby rush of the opening notes is deliriously bright. The air around you feels illuminated and dry. Patricia Choux, a perfumer whose work I was unfamiliar with, has chosen to ally her powerful Takasago Orbitone® molecule predominately to a huge dose of black pepper; this duo providing the strong spine as it were for this eccentric formulation. Around this cogent central theme, the Orbitone® seems to enhance the more odiferous and smoked floral aspects of the pepper, allowing what I think of as the ‘empty warehouse’ facet of the spice to unfold. That is to say, an image I have in my mind of Victorian dockside warehouses, emptied of their goods, but wooden walls and floors redolent with exotic bud, bark and seed. The pepper note is decorated deeply with frankincense sitting ostensibly in the base, but detectable as a quiet guest as soon as orb_ital opens.

Other notes include roasted coffee and tobacco. I’m not sure I get these, perhaps just lost in musky translation or swept up in that wonderful pepper/Orbitone® relationship. There is the softest trace of a transparent rosaceous effect in the central section, just enough to be noticed amid the huge dose of Orbitone®. (Scent & Chemistry state the formula is sitting at 75% of the molecule and that is pretty damn high).

There is an oddly filmic sense of zero gravity to this seductive formula. As it settles down on skin, the initial rush of Orbitone® draws all the oxygen out of the surrounding air, rendering the notes somewhat claustrophobic, snuffed out and desolate. Then it breathes, relaxes, the musks smoothing out the spaces and links between materials and accords in the glittering distant hours. I noticed violet listed in the notes; it plays a subdued eerie role, covert and faded mauve in tone, a wistful dusting of calm over the billowing woodsy-amber development of the other Orbitone®-infused materials.  

Patricia Choux is an interesting perfumer; her chemistry is impeccable, creating lovely tensions and ease of purpose within the confines of a potentially constricting and conflicting brief. The high dosage of Orbitone® is both dazzlingly beautiful and virtually invisible, working to create an agile and grave magic.

I like orb_ital despite some initial reservations about the nagging nature of olibanum in the base, however I fell deeply asleep in it one night and woke up rather loving the plasticised bloom of bruise and smoke ghosted onto my wrist.

Foxy (iri_del) study

The final part of the Nomenclature quartet is my personal favourite, iri_del, made with three personalities of exquisite iris: the keynote of iris aldehyde supported by alpha irone and iris concrete. This is also the work of Patricia Choux and I am magnificently addicted to its carroty, sparkling brilliance. I am a lover of iris fragrances and have a number of beautiful examples in my collection. I am weak for them. Everyone has his or her own favourite style or interpretation of iris be it chocolatety, cold, chalky, powdered, mauve, violet, green and silvered. I err on the side of bruised, mauve and powdered but it depends on the perfumer. If I had to pick just three; I would go with Bertrand Duchaufour’s masterly Cuir de Nacre for Parisian jeweller Ann Gérard, Aedes De Venustas’ own melancholy symbolist masterpiece Iris Nazerena by Ralf Schweiger and the still so lovely alien-dusted cocoa landscape of Olivier Polge’s Dior Homme. I often think of iris as floral fur as Pierre Guillaume recently demonstrated in the lustrous Shermine for his Huitième Art line. The haunting luminosity of good iris scents is hard to escape, the sense of second skin, frisson and shimmer makes them among some of the most alluring and also most divisive of perfumes.

I asked my friend and perfumer Euan McCall who made the flinty Neandertal wonders for Kentaro Yamada about the technicalities of the triptych of iris materials used by Patricia Choux in this binding, moreish scent. He said ‘..the combination of all three ‘textures’ of orris lends a futuristic, botanical inspection of the flower from head, down the stem into the earth in vivid three dimension’. This is perfect capture of how it feels actually; the scent of iris inherently covers a delicious and often ethereal range of odours but the textures can so often just destabilise and weaken when mixed with poor attention to detail and accompanying materials. The fusion and play of aldehyde, irone and concrete in iri_del make for a complex, rich and severely plush experience.

It is one of those fragrances that I get immense joy from repeatedly spraying just to savour the bravura rush of the fabulous top notes. I get this cracking burst of sugar-dusted ice-cold carrots yanked from frozen shattered ground. Almost immediately, fragments of violaceous debris fall away, exposing a mournful character with bruised ashen tones and shadows of arctic chill. The showcase iris aldehyde imparts an oddly damp shiver of cucumber or bitter gourd under its initial generosity of vegetal welcome. This is counterbalanced by some of the waxier, fattier elements the material exudes as it sinks through the bright bergamot and sublime rooty, fine-spun ambrette.

Mirror Mirror...

iri_del is my cyborg scent, the perfect sheen and lacquer for ravishing tricksy boys and heart-breaking gynoids. The scent is unmarked perfection, a flawless rendering of tenacious waxen rhizomes and glassy light-dusted violets, an imaginative and compelling arrangement of distant nostalgia and manufactured tactile pleasures. The way Patricia Choux has composed the scent means it lends my skin the oddity and otherness I was looking for. Euan told me that.. ‘..alpha irone will exalt other materials in a blend.’ And indeed in iri_del this eccentric molecule that occurs naturally in orris rhizomes seems to beatify the nonenal/aldehyde and purring orris concrete, one of the most beautiful (and costly..) materials in perfumery.

I have always been über-geeky-fascinated by the fact that iris roots are hung like game for a minimum of three months to intensify and develop the unique and highly sought after odour. Euan refers to it as ‘One of the most beautiful colours in the perfumer’s palette’, and it’s true that there is something profoundly obsessive about quality iris perfumes and their narcotic svelte atmospherics. They have a manifold damaged air of melancholy unrivalled in perfumery and iri_del fascinates me because it dispenses with much of the Camille-like swoon of traditional iris scents and presents a bolder, chillier skeletal vision of iris as body politic. 


The oscillating mood of powder, bruise and Narnia landscaping lend iris perfumes an inescapable air of wistful paradox and allure. They pull you in close; yet reveal little, allowing the skin to remain layered in the perfumed dust of desire. I am always quite taken aback when people say they dislike iris scents, I just can’t imagine for the life of me how this could be possible. But perhaps the thought of second skin is unnerving, the weird frisson of silvered scent on throat and pulse point, a perceptively alien coating of waxen, violet nuances daubed with fatty persistence; these things are undeniably odd and divisive. 

Karl Bradl and Carlos Quintero have created a concept of stark and alluring artistry. The definition of nomenclature concerns systems of naming things, the principles of naming objects or pertaining to a set or system. In the case of Karl and Carlos’ Nomenclature the collection is a set of glittering synthetic systems, designed to showcase the often shifting and covert world of aromachemicals and their beautiful oddity.  

Arguably perhaps, the world doesn’t need a anthology of fragrances like Nomenclature as the aromamolecules being showcased are used consistently and expertly in a myriad of vibrant releases across both mainstream and niche worlds. But these four beautifully controlled and persuasively built perfumes demonstrate the delicate, unmapped nuances of four molecular landscapes. In doing so, we are permitted to coat our skins in high doses of exquisite synthetic sensation, enhanced, decorated and highlighted with high quality complimentary natural materials and other fascinating aromatic chem-abstractions. There is a wonderful opportunity for this Nomenclature collection to develop and expand; there are a whole galaxy of compelling unsung molecules waiting for an opportunity to glitter and dazzle on our ever eager skins.  

This is a thought-provoking and strangely emotional sci-fi collection of olfaction; perfume for cyborgs, silicone boys and gynoid geishas, killer dolls and jittery cyber puppet guys living in Solid State Societies. Longevity is sweet, they drop into the skin with serious intent and linger for hours. I love the shifts and alterations in atmosphere. adr_ett and iri_del are my two stand outs, but all four pieces of the Nomenclature quartet speak to skin with lovely bold purpose and a sense of quiet, intense newness.

For more information on the Nomenclature fragrances, please click on the link below:

©TheSilverFox 25 February 2016

*title image: Alicia Vikander as Ava in 'Ex-Machina', directed by Alex Garland (2015)

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