There are some perfumes inspired by aspirational nights out full of glamour, champagne and glittering chandeliers. Maxed Out is the opposite of that. Dodgy bars (you know the kind with sticky floors), smoking blunts, cash up-front liaisons, passing out in a dingy back alley, regret and an espresso for when you finally come round.
"With Nectary we wanted to create a surreal and untamed garden... for the skin. A garden where the flowers were in brilliant technicolour, 6ft high flowerheads, scythe-like thorns, huge elephant-ear-like rubbery leaves, gigantic terracotta pots and a really 'close' atmosphere. As such, we wanted to push each of the facets a little so as to try to translate this narrative. The animalics are a key structural component as they give an alluring diffusion that seems to undulate, shimmer and radiate.”
“The oud acts a bit like glue - binding each of the sensations that almost seem to be shattering and diffusing in negative directions, each repelling one another, the oud grounds this aromatic 'polarity'. Focussing on the oud for a moment, we wanted to add texture here too, not that real oud require doing so, but we wanted to exaggerate the inherent minerality of the oud that we use in Nectary.” Euan McCall, Jorum Studio.
I mean, it really doesn’t get much better than when it comes from the perfumer himself, does it?
Wearing a perfume like Nectary is one of those olfactory encounters that takes things to the next level. This is fragrance beyond scent as an accessory. Nectary has Presence (capital P required). We retired Malle’s Portrait of a Lady for this one.
Oud fragrances have become so ubiquitous they’ve almost become a genre unto themselves. A lot of them are followed by words like “extreme”, “noir” or “intense” (sometimes all three at once) and are so loud they announce your arrival while you’re still miles away.
Badawi is an oud that isn’t an oud. It’s made with Gahrau Buaya, which has come to be known as white oud. It’s harvested from an entirely different species of tree. But Badawi utilises a clever roster of smells to create a trajectory of aromas you’d find in oud. A cool, piney whir of cardamom and sweet, tea-like smell of davana lend a cool richness to earthy woods dripping with immortelle’s honeyed sweat.
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