The Different Company: 7 posts

The Different Company Garden Trio : Perfume Review

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Thedifferentcompanytrio_1

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

The garden inspired trio from The Different Company–Un parfum d’ailleurs et fleurs, Un parfum des sens et bois, and Un parfum de charme et feuillespromised to be airy and subtle. I was envisioning fragrances that combined the light and elegant touch of Celine Ellena as exemplified by Sel de Vetiver and the spicy indolic radiance of Jasmin de Nuit. In many ways, my expectations were fulfilled as the fragrances do recall the refined quality of the preceding compositions without being overly delicate. At the same time, the more assertive touches are rendered as far too sharp against the more tame accords. While some of the scents are pretty, on the whole, they feel neither memorable nor original. At most, they come across as interesting ideas, rather than finished arrangements. …

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The Different Company Osmanthus : Fragrance Review

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Osmanthus_1

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Osmanthus, the tiny blossoms of a shrub native to Asia, have the scent of ripe apricots and jasmine soap, with osmanthus absolutes also possessing a pronounced leathery note that lends an alluring twist to the already fascinating aroma. By allowing osmanthus to dominate a composition and unravel its many beautiful layers, the perfumer can take a number of approaches. One would be to accent the leathery warmth of the note, as the perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena has done in Hermès Osmanthe Yunnan. Another is to highlight its citrusy top notes. Ormonde Jayne Osmanthus and The Different Company Osmanthus represent the latter treatment. …

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The Different Sel de Vetiver : Perfume Review

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Reeds

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

With the newest fragrance from The Different Company, Sel de Vetiver, on my arm and a paper blotter, I am reflecting on whether a point ever comes when the world does not need another Vetiver, another tribute to the roots of grass native to tropical Asia that smell of earth and sweet woods. For devoted vetiver fans, there are dark roots that still have soil clinging to them, in case of Maitre Gantier et Parfumeur Route de Vétiver, or seaweed, in case of Annick Goutal Vétiver. Pale earthy whispers wrapped around flower petals in Guerlain Vetiver Pour Elle would delight those who prefer their vetiver rendered in a lighter manner. Frédéric Malle Vétiver Extraordinaire is quite true to its name, the smooth darkness resting on an ambery base. Etro Vetiver is a dry rendition, emphasizing the fresh hazelnut aspect of the root. Hermes Vétiver Tonka is a gourmand take on the vetiver theme.

Sel de Vetiver is an elegantly cut gem–a transparent veil of sweet spices over the layers of earthy vetiver. Created by Celine Ellena, it intricately folds the herbal and floral nuances into the bitter citrus punctuated sharpness, accenting the earthy, woody qualities of vetiver and lending it a delicate sparkle. …

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The Different Company Rose Poivree : Perfume Review

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Rosepiovree

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

What would one expect a fragrance named Rose Poivrée, peppered rose, to smell like? One is about to wax poetic about dewy crimson roses and warmth of crushed spices. Unwashed body parts probably do not figure in that image, however remarkably this is exactly where The Different Company Rose Poivrée ends up. Animalic and vegetal, the composition belies its floral promise, and yet it captures a facet of rose that is not often associated with it—the waxy and pungent quality.

I have once been told a story by a young perfumer about composing a rose soliflore using very expensive rose absolute during his perfumery training in Grasse. His teacher, Jean-Claude Ellena, looked at the formula and asked him about the purpose of the ingredients. …

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The Different Company Bois d’Iris : Perfume Review

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Boisdiris

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

The most compelling quality of Bois d’Iris, a fragrance created by the perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena for The Different Company is its ability to present the silvery and earthy iris root as layers of petals, transparent as if shot through with intense light and soft as if made from Varanasi silk. In contrast to the earthy and rooty irises, Bois d’Iris is marked by such as a lovely floral softness sustained over the dry woody base that I can forgive its lack of tenacity and make a room for it in my crowded collection of iris fragrances (and perfumes by Jean-Claude Ellena, for that matter.)

If creating a rose fragrance is a task of rendering a blossom out of oil extracted from its petals (or from various synthetic materials that range from photorealism to abstraction in terms of their link to the actual flower), constructing iris does not lead the perfumer to think of the sweet, honeyed scent of its flowers. Instead, it entails blending notes that conjure a scent of its roots, the intriguing blend of violets, earth, wood and metallic dust. The sheer complexity of the orris root is the reason for perfumers’ fascination with it, starting with the iconic Jacques Fath Iris Gris (1947). ….

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