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A lot has happened since Studio Series 5 launched. We're living in a post-Mueller Report world now. (Has anything changed? Where's the kaboom?) California has had so much rain that our entire topography is in a near-state of total superbloom, so much, in fact, that a freeway was recently shut down due to overwhelming Instagrammers. (Go, poppies, go!) And, I moved my studio from downtown Los Angeles to mountainous Los Angeles, up where the skies are even bluer. (Don't ever move a perfume lab, by the way; it stinks.) Now, with Studio Series 6 out, there's a lot more new, too, for you:
According to my notes, I began to sketch the idea for and compose what would become the Wood/Yuzu Project at the end of 2017. Thus far, I have shared eight iterations of its development, premiering in Studio Series 3.
For me, many ideas in the perfume studio develop in unforeseen ways. This also results from my generally experimental, no-rules/break-rules attitude, employed with a hope to discover things I didn't even know I was looking for. This project was no different, but with two asterisks:
First, the Wood/Yuzu Project evoked the most feedback to-date from subscribers. A plethora of input. For whatever reason the idea of a dry woody-citrus perfume excited a throng of you, I think especially because I was using yuzu, an uncommon citrus note. This beset me with a feeling to stay committed to the original concept.
Second, as its formula became more complex, I grew more frustrated with it. I seemingly kept losing connectivity with all its parts, which is to say an add-one-ingredient-lose-expression-of-two kind of slapstick crescendo played out for most of its later iterations. Every time I made a move it felt like an anvil fell from the sky.
Faced with this, I decided to instead sidestep frustration by veering off toward an experimental distraction. There have been a few asterisks of my own on my to-try list in the studio. As such, this felt not like an insurmountable brick wall. but rather an opportunity to take some of those risks.
So, here we are with Timbre, the first release from the Wood/Yuzu Project. It's an eau de toilette prelude, for spring. All of the original notes — cedar, yuzu, mandarin, galbanum, myrrh, petitgrain — are there, but now connected with a queering thread, the musty dryness of real Vietnamese oud.
I like to think of Timbre as a grayscale of bitterness, modulated by transparent acidity and kiln-baked dryness. It wears like a cologne, excellent for the office or a subdued environment where one desires the uplift of perfume, but requires quietness or a reflective decorum. Moreover, it layers excellently, accentuating a variety of other perfume genres, like bitters in a cocktail.
Timbre should be enjoyed in its youth while its citrus oils are fresh. This is a bottle for whose collector their goal should be reaching its last spritz by autumn's rise.
This is a limited run perfume that will not be remade after it sells out. Subscribers get first sampling, special pricing, and purchase priority as thanks for your unwavering support!
I do not elaborate Project X because the sole rule of Project X is "to avoid both language and natural materials for as long as possible."
Whereas the Wood/Yuzu Project evoked the most feedback from subscribers, the Chypre Project definitely evoked the most emoji-saturated excitement in the wild. Y'all love oakmoss, huh?
A lot is happening with the Chypre Project, but first, an admission: In the past three months I hardly worked on it — just once!
Why? This overwhelming, utterly daunting feeling of freedom that fills me every time I evaluate it.
But that's ultimately a good thing. So, throughout all my recent un/re/packing for my studio move, I continually revisited this last iteration until I found the courage to decide which paths to take. Chypre 5 is a unique iteration in that it's literally a cacophony of new notes, forging an effort to surmount that dank green oakmossy wall y'all love. Everyone in the arena, at once, fight and battle for the throne. Let's see if we — you and I — ultimately agree on the champion note (there are seven warriors in Chypre 5 competing for the crown).
Will you believe that the project I worked on the most since SS5 was ... this one?!
And ... wait for it...
I have kind of fallen in love with it.
For those new here I refer you to Studio Wafts 5, where I divulge my hatred of vanilla and ambroxan and their overuse in combination with musks. (I also acknowledge the actual crises that perfumers face with declining access to certain materials.)
And, like, I am kind of borderline obsessed. I think about the Crisis Project the most now. I have begun to like vanilla. I have come to enjoy ambroxan. I enjoy the challenge of facing that which we despise — and working to fit discomfort into our lives.
I also like the flexibility of its concept, insofar that I have discovered countering ingredients that I dislike with ingredients that give me life is a bit of a secret weapon. It's been a fun way to rethink meeting roadblocks in creativity, to rethink moments of unease in the real world, to retry.
The gargantuan note now added in Crisis 2 should be so evident that I'm not going to mention it here. But I am living for the fact that, though it is usually relegated to top note functionality, its influence here is temporally quite long. Enjoy.
(Psssst... Crisis 3 and 4 are going to be lit.)
·····Quasi una absurdia and Bluer Skies (Whenever You're Around), I feel as if I'm riding a good floral rhythm of experimentation, and I'm pursuing rose itself as such.
I have a vague notion of what I'd like to head toward: a sour, fluorescent rose. Interpret that as you wish. There's more colors of roses out there than one can count, so I'm not even sure which chromatic route I'll head toward.
But I will say I have a current infatuation with flickering fluorescent light.
Accordingly, Rose 1 is not a vial you should shove in your face! Imagine a swarm of bees nesting on a gorgeous rose bush. Shove your face into that and risk a sting. Here, too, instead open the vial near your chest and let the bouquet find you.