In Spite of It All

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.”

HOUSE: Chronotope
YEAR: 2021
NOSE: Carter Weeks Maddox
SIZE/COST: 15-50ml / $100-170

To my surprise this came in the mail the other day. I enjoyed the early fragrances, and this one is in the same world, conceptually speaking. It’s got an incredible fougere-adjacent cleanliness, with a green ferocity. It’s not overtly bold, it’s sly, like that swelling strange aroma provided by the swirling scent of hash, but even more mischievous. My grandmother used to refer to me as ‘contrary’ and at the time, when I was 4-7 years of age, I had no idea what that meant, but over the years I’ve begun to understand that it means basically observe and “to question”. If the word had a perfume to best realize it, this is it. On one hand it’s a bit taboo, on the other its grounded and earthly filled with refined spice and mystery flowers, in this case classic but not overly used nasturtium and chrysanthemum. These are flowers that one doesn’t necessarily crave to smell of.

Yet, in ‘spite’ of all that, this is quite the ravishing fragrance. It comes off slightly dirty and dusty, but that un/ripe greenness is faultless in bringing the wild outdoors in such a refocused way. It’s all about incense, various levels of dry, burning, burnt offerings in stages. This most definitely has a ‘weed’ type quality, maybe it’s the nard, maybe the combination of florals with fruit and veg? In the latter stages you can expect something with a satin sheen diametrically opposed with a sudsy green film along with the distant refrain of carnation. It’s a great conundrum of opposites. One thing is for sure, the composition has most definitely been the work of a mad scientist type mixologist who understands the delicate undertones of daring variable notes that when combined become as the great Lithuanian philosopher Emmanuel Levinas once referred to as ‘the other’. (92%)

NOTES: molle jasmine, white rose, rose absolute, tuberose, orange blossom, peony, artichoke, guava, lavender, green carnation, ruh khus, Iranian salbanum, nasturtium stem, green sacra frankincense, nard, thyme, sandalwood, chrysanthemum, nutmeg, clove, pimento berry

Erasure‘s Chorus (1991, Mute)


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