A G Parfums Range

When asked, the man behind G Parfums, Oleg Grabchuk, shared: “I was inspired by the absence of good domestic perfumers in our country, and I wanted to change it. Now I can say that there is high-quality domestic perfumery in Ukraine. I use the same ingredients as all the world’s perfumers, but I don’t save on raw materials, and often use expensive absolutes and essential oils. I was originally inspired by Opium. For me, this is perfection. After that I fell in love with perfumery. Now muses for me are the old works of Serge Lutens, Guerlain, and the East…”

HOUSE: G Parfums
ORIGIN: Ukraine
FRAGRANCE: Alpha, Kirza, Old Hunter, Philosophy, Red Queen, Sacred Elixir
YEAR: 2016-2020
NOSE: Oleg Grabchuk
SIZE/COST: 50ml / $55

Alpha: From the top I get a wandering leather accord, with an emerging balsamic vibe. It’s like a brand-new, not yet broken in motorcycle jacket with that new glow, subliminally swapped out for a decent helping of amber. This is hard-wired and not sweet in the least, grabbing you by the arm and telling you who is boss. This may be one of the more forward fragrances I’ve come across this year and is aptly named. The dry down phase does begin to keep this rather linear fragrance as stoic as its opening, however over time, on bare skin, becomes slightly more a powdery skin musk. This harkens back to that whole rock-n-roll rebel 1950’s greaser atmosphere, yet is delivered for modern day hipsters, and those who can appreciate a little ‘analogue’ physicality in the lives. In terms of that musk/leather combo, this offers the motor oil revved up feel, and if such things draw you in, this is delivered in multiple shades of black. (83%)

Kirza: The first thing you notice is the deeply enriched sienna brown coloration of the perfume, and it translates into then what comes to your senses. It releases something akin to birch beer, incense and bittersweet woody hues. There is a leather note writhing to the sides, but it is only one component of a rather redolent composition with plenty of warming charm. The patchouli is what makes this hint toward the more aphrodisiacal side of the spectrum. That and spices like rosemary or sage which deliver that greener more herbaceous quality to the perfume. The resins are smooth and vaporous, but never go too dark, instead start to move toward a shadier territory. This reminds me of something you might come across in a Japanese temple, it’s mysterious yet quieting. (85%)

Old Hunter: This has that coloration of mystical topaz, a reddish-brown that, at first waft, gives me the impression that I normally get from cutting open a tomato, with a breathy fusion of castoreum. It took me by surprise at first, and is most definitely an acquired taste by every stretch of the imagination. This is not for me, however, it’s in this quirky limbo space between a broken fougere, and the untouched wild animal kingdom. What is throwing me is the singular note of cumin, its as if you have just crushed the outer husk for a curry in the making. Normally I experience this spice as fleshy or sweaty, but here its aromatic plume is super dimensional, earthy, raw. After the tricky opening that prods my senses things start to smooth out from the heart and for the duration, thanks to cooler and slightly sweeter elements, perhaps tonka. The animalic quality is awkwardly pungent for my gentle sensibilities, though mixed with the green heart this will be a muse for the adventurous, the nomad among wo/men. (77%)

Philosophy: The perfumer shared with me about this fragrance: “in Philosophy, I tried to convey the spirit of the Ukrainian steppe, and my childhood perceptions of the sunset and wind over the field”. What I get is a big welcome reprieve and what I’d call a truly refreshing, brisk fragrance without the presence of citrus! No, instead this brings all that outdoor “las brisas” by way of striking green, herbal notes that are leafy but not grassy. It has this delightful, enduring luminescence. It’s as if you just had your head freshly shaved and you are walking along a white-capped shore on a clear day with a perfect seabreeze caressing your head. I think there’s a hint of cinnamon way way in the back, but it ‘could’ be anise, it’s just a shadow, but breaks the scene to give you a lil’ kick. Speaking of which, this is not without a slight, lingering boozy/resinous quality as well, cocktails on the beach? In the end I get a perfume that is clean, clear, with a slosh of olibanum for good measure, how apropos. It’s oceanic without the hype of it being “blue”. Stunning! (91%)

Red Queen: At the top a boozy patchouli is unearthed with a bowl of cherries floating in rose water. The tone of this is quite singular, and all that jazz. If you’ve ever dipped into ambrosia with a long stemmed spoon you may begin to understand the accord here, it’s just that when you retrieve the spoon it’s a hidden core of cherries jubilee. The amber is delightful, and the rose comes complete with its thorny spiked stems as its woody modulation keeps this earthy and from going full tilt into sweetness. To me, the rose is the queen and the fruits and balsams are her loyal subjects. This is a bright, alluring new fragrance that will inspire its wearer into the rapture of the wee hours. (87%)

Sacred Elixir: There’s a ghost in this potion. Its blush in coloration, with an airy sweetness, lightweight but not flyaway. I get a kiss of incense as the base, and a bit of an animalic accord, maybe musk. There’s a most coolly removed spice that is just suspended in mid air, its earthy, of the body, likely cumin done right. For me this seems like the most accessible here (save for Philosophy) however, oddly the most enigmatic. It feels like wearing a cashmere sweater that is casting a soft gray shadow…only trick is, there is no direct sunbeam. This feels quite intimate and personal, like a quiet offering to those who have passed. There’s this essence like melted wax candles, its not strong, just a touch. The perfumer let me in on the note of civet and orange blossom, which now that I see it, I fully embrace their inclusions. It reminds me of some of the lighter incense work by Comme des Garçons, those of the Eastern influence. A complete sleeper! (89%)

Recommended Soundtrack:
Plume (Kranky) by Loscil, 2006

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