An olfactory temper tantrum built around a collision of a leather and scalded sugar, ashy orris root and smouldered violets. Spite is the result of perfumer Carter Weeks-Maddox’s frustrations in attempting to compose a classically styled rose that was taking itself too seriously.
So many perfumes want to dance around all of the light and fluffy feelings and emotions. This one is a reminder that sometimes it’s okay to throw your toys, and you might as well have a scent to go with it.
Christophe Laudamiel, the world’s foremost Master Perfumer, described Carter’s work as, “what a feat”, which is incredibly high praise for a perfumer just dipping his toes into the water. Definitely one to keep your nose on!
Spite Eau de Parfum is not an intense variation of Spite Eau de Toilette, but rather a new adaptation and a different fragrance altogether and the second installment in a broader, ongoing series of work exploring the many facets of spiteful urges and their consequences, as well as the situations within which they manifest.
Spite Eau de Parfum takes place in an imagined garden, a hyperreal timespace where a group of spiteful spirits have gathered for the day. They meet below a lattice dripping with molle jasmine vines, interlaced and connected like synapses, as connected as these congregants are to each other. They haven't met to seethe together, but instead to plot out a plan of action in support of one another.
Shakespeare’s seafaring gender-bender, Viola, is the first of them. She appears as two unique essences made from white rose of York—crystalline rose otto and thick rose absolute—as well as tuberose and orange blossom. There's a third rose material as well, but it's her secret to keep.
Cynara, the mortal who Zeus transformed into a goddess and brought to live as his paramour on Mount Olympus before striking her violently back down to earth, sits in a chair woven from rose vines, with thorns and all, cradling a bouquet of peonies, her relatives. When she hit the soil after her fall from the Mount, she sprouted into the world's first artichoke—fresh and green yet oddly odorous and somewhat fruity, like guava, and covered in tiny thorns. A perfect form to protect her soft heart, represented here by a supple French lavender absolute.
Oscar Wilde, the third congregant, arrives with his signature floral pinned to his lapel: a green carnation, another bit of hyperreality, rendered here via an accord of ruh khus, Iranian galbanum, clipped nasturtium stems and green sacra frankincense.
And fourth is Magdalene, who wears the oil of nard, thyme and sandalwood that legends of her say she anointed Christ with during their first meeting. She's also brought along a chrysanthemum, a mandalic symbol of the manner in which tales tend to grow as they repeat themselves over time, especially when those tales are lies. They spread outward and expand. Sometimes, as in her case, they explode.
But Spite, these gatherers know, is wrongly maligned. It is not an altogether negative behavior, but one that exists quite to the contrary. Far more often than not, when we act out of spite, we do so knowing full well that we will personally absorb the cost of a single action's small consequence in order to bring larger adaptive advantages to kinfolk we choose to keep close and want to see thrive. Underneath the exterior, thorny layers of spite, like Cynara's artichoke, lies a soft and nourishing heart. Spite is the garden from which acts of altruism grow.
Pimento Berry, Plai, Peony, French Lavender, White Rose of York, Bourbon Rose, Guava, Red Thyme
Rose Vine & Thorn, Tuberose, Green Carnation, Molle Jasmine, Nasturtium, Artichoke, Iranian Galbanum
Chrysanthemum, Ruh Khus, Spikenard, Crystalline Rose Otto, Green Sacra Frankincense, Hawaiian Sandalwood
Buen Camino is a perfume about pilgrimage inspired by Carter Weeks Maddox’s 600-mile-long walk on the 5,000 year old Camino de Santiago de Compostela. It’s a “psychotic fougere” that twists, turns and loses all sense of orientation, but ultimately provides comfort and reinvigorates a genre aching for new dynamism.
Buen Camino gathers scents from the last stretch of Camino after the toll of his exertions caught up with him and he underwent makeshift surgery from a kindly old nun. The smell from the bundle of dried Iberian lavender and immortelle she gave him to inhale for relaxation mixed with the odours of antiseptics and stiff bandages. The aroma of the hot asphalt of newly paved roads juxtaposed against the dust of the centuries-old, decaying Roman ones. And the simple joy of the Tarta de Santiago, Galician almond cake scented with spiced oranges and lemons served with espresso that he shared with his father who’d traveled to Spain to look after him on his final days on the trail.
The day you'll encounter in Playalinda is dreamy, witnessed through the haze of memory. It leads with hyper realistic, sun-warmed peach rendered through generous doses of osmanthus and full-bodied jasmine sambac. Also featured is the dirty-hair aspect of ambrette seed undergirded by familiar, grounding patchouli and vetiver. A gentle touch of sulfuric white grapefruit affords the composition a deeply human smell of skin bronzed and kissed with sweat under the day's hot sun.
And it's in Playalinda's musty base full of smoke, the inky heft of oakmoss and brine of fresh seaweed washing ashore. The glorious yet underutilized choya nakh, made from crushed and toasted seashells, reinforces Playalinda's dreamy memoryscape by the sea.
The real Playalinda is a nude beach sat on immaculate and pristine land's end. Among its many charms is a paradox: it is so untouched by modern development, yet so close to some of the most advanced technology on earth—rocket launchpads—that it seems to exist independent of time.
Live Copper Wire,Ambrette Seed, White Grapefruit, Suntanned Skin