Biography x 3

“A new line of ineffable fragrances from groundbreaking conceptual artist Anicka Yi, Biography uses scent to challenge traditional notions of femininity and subjectivity…Through olfaction, the series invokes characters buried in history for refusing these limitations and posits a future where all femmes are connected in a fluid network. Disrupting the “natural” by means of mutation and hybridized intelligence, Biography represents the power to write one’s life, beyond one’s biology.…”

HOUSE: Biography
FRAGRANCES: Beyond Skin, Radical Hopelessness, Shigenobu Twilight
YEAR: 2019
ARTIST: Anicka Yi
NOSE: Barnabé Fillion
SEASON/MOOD: Nature In Flux, Isolation + Escape
SIZE/COST: 10ml (Edition of 333/ea) / $250

Beyond Skin: Wow, I must say the packaging is unique, the capture of insects like flies and ladybugs in a crystal clear acrylic – reminds me of Damien Hirst’s butterflies. After all, this collection comes from the mind of conceptual artist Anicka Yi, an artist who works in multi sensory media. I have to say the incredible lush feel of warm suede emanates from the first waft of this delightful fragrance. Get the impression that I am being given a frontline perspective into a fox den with this earthy/animalic sensibility here. Roots being pulled from the soil and that sense of life unseen. The spice is right, soft, scattered, like some olfactory equivalent of Phil Spector’s infamous ‘wall of noise’. But the fragrance projects the most sleek undulations in yards of bundled up crushed velvet. There is also the murky seashore at twilight to contend with. Yes, it’s a “night time is the right time” type of fragrance. What a fantastic opener! Oh, this is exactly as it projects, beyond skin. (89%)

Notes: suede, myrrh, indole, rose, civet, cumin, clove, red seaweed

Radical Hopelessness: When I say the name of the perfume I was perplexed, but once atomized I get that intense darkness, with the intrusion of distilled, variegated light. It’s coniferous yet soft, woody yet not overly earthy. This may have you imagining a camping expedition at dusk, partly due to the lovely addition of one of my favorite notes in perfumery, Angelica root. It’s stealthy in its musk-like trail, but here its quite nuanced. It’s really quite soothing, like a daydream while lounging upon rocks in the shade, somehow managing to conform your body shape to the cragged and organic placement of nature. This also oddly reminds me of a chalkboard, a blank slate, smudged with its many prior lessons and a finish slightly of a mineral-like nature. I’m definitely aboard for this expanded phraseology on light levels. (90%)

Notes: pink pepper, juniper, cardamom, iris, Angelica root, sandalwood, patchouli

Shigenobu Twilight: I get a blast of fresh lime zest at the top, like yuzu. Incredible in its bursting lifelike essence and spike of brightness. But underneath is something herbal, green and from the unrefined woodlands. I can so appreciate the dichotomy of newness and bitter in this fragrance. It’s oddly representational of the life cycle, starts and stops and perseverance. The longer this wears on your skin the moreI’m reminded of keepsakes stashed away in an old cedar chest, jabbing my sense of recall and memory playback. That delicate pulp still lingering even in the dry down is ordinarily a hard feat to pull off, but it’s echoes continue. This one will plain your mind like an old reel to reel spinning without an operator. (88%)

Notes: cedar, yuzu, shiso leaf, black pepper, thyme, frankincense

Recommended Soundtrack:
Biography by Meredith Monk, 1981

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