Persolaise, fragrance critic and author of Le Snob: Perfume Guide, tends to experience the pleasures of perfumes differently. Read on and you will realise how ‘differently’
I can think of plenty of fragrances which induce boiling anger within me (Taj Sunset, Pink Friday, most things by Creed…) but very few which, in themselves, convey vexation. Of course, this isn’t exactly surprising. When they’re trying to balance artistic expression with commercial viability, perfumers tend to reach for those emotional states which are o en labelled ‘positive’: love, joy, happiness, liberation, optimism et al.
Wrath would probably be seen as a PR nightmare by marketing departments, hence the fact that it’s conspicuous by its absence on department store shelves. Nevertheless, the list I’ve come up with is quite thought-provoking: it seems to indicate that ‘angry’ perfumes are those which we currently perceive as being di cult or challenging (dare I say: avant garde?) in some way. Perhaps, in years to come, our tastes will change and these temper- lled terrors will turn into cuddly teddies.
Karine Vinchon Spehner (Amouage)
Designed at least in part to convey chaotic destructiveness, Interlude Woman uses kiwi, grapefruit, leather and honey to whip up a storm of fury. It does eventually calm down, but its fuse is never anything more than minuscule.
Tar ( Comme Des Garçons)
Burning smells seem to connote anger, which explains whyTar comes across as particularly irate. Melting plastic, scorched metal and noxious gas feature prominently in this bizarre creation, which somehow manages the feat of being both inaccessible and compelling.
Christine Nagel (Etat Libre D’Orange)
This one’s an example of cold, calculating anger. Using an overload of chilly aldehydes, Nagel has produced a scent which the Snow Queen would have been pleased to spray upon herself whilst she plotted to freeze the soul of the entire world!
Lord Of Goathorn
Simon Constantine & Mark Constantine (Gorilla Perfume)
The combination of herbs with metal is as hate-filled as it sounds. I’m still not entirely clear what the Constantines were hoping to achieve with this conceptual oddity, but they certainly managed to convince me that a perfume can be as rancorous as a fifteen-year-old on a Monday morning.
Rêverie Au Jardin
Andy Tauer (Tauer Perfumes)
Lavender is by no means an ingredient normally associated with bubbling blood, but Andy has altered its personality here to create a strange, discom ting walk through a garden, which seems to glare with resentment even as it shows o the pretty hues of its summer blooms.
It may open with a chocolate note, but Mr Ford’s nocturnal orchid just gets more and more moithered as it goes along, before nally deciding that everyone around will be treated to a hissy t, complete with watery fruit, gummy sweets and a bellowing amber.
Womanity Fabrice Pellegrin
Not the most obvious choice for this list – it is pretty sweet, after all – but I’d assert that one of the reasons Womanity wasn’t an instant hit with buyers, is that its leathery, shy, g-like oddness conveys a sense of outrage at odds with its more approachable facets. Hell hath no fury…?