The Different Company: 8 posts

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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The Different Company Divine Bergamote : Perfume Review

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Bergamote

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

Jean-Claude Ellena’s take on citrus results in a brilliant clarity supported by a minimalistic and subtly sensual foundation. When The Different Company Divine Bergamote first debuted in 2003, my expectations were of a straightforward citrus fragrance supported by a cedarwood base—a common pairing in perfumery. However, from the first explosion of silky sweet and astringent bergamot to the base notes of soft delicate musk, the fragrance never developed like I imagined.

Ellena used 70% of natural bergamot in the composition and fused it with ginger, which highlights the spicy and chilly quality of the top notes. Like Frederic Malle Cologne Bigarade, another Ellena creation, Divine Bergamote is ornamented beautifully with both floral and verdant touches, none of which are distinct enough to be readily recognized. Yet, they weave seamlessly through the composition, modifying and softening the astringency of citrus. One moment, I smell a cup of chilled ginger tea; the next, a crushed flower bud. Through this impressionistic mélange, I notice a delicate scent of skin after a day in the sun. There is a mere hint of warmth, yet it is enough to lend a whisper of sensuality to the drydown and a doze of interest to what could have been just a sparkling citrusy fragrance.

Notes: bergamot (70% of natural bergamot), ginger, orange blossom, leaf green, rhubarb (wood), musk.

The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit : Perfume Review

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The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit was created by the daughter of Jean-Claude Ellena, Celine Ellena. The notes include jasmine, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, sandalwood and amber. Upon application it is a wonderfully rich jasmine with a transparent quality.

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Sandalwood is a good match for jasmine, therefore the result is rather beautiful. After about 15 minutes the spicy ornamentation becomes evident. Cardamom is the one note that stands out the most for me, before the complete drydown, when amber overtakes floral notes.

I notice that jasmine fades rather quickly, leaving cardamom and amber to dominate. The translucent quality of the initial accords disappears, replaced by a dark spicy richness. The Different Company also includes OsmanthusSel de VetiverRose PoivreeBois d’Iris, and Divine Bergamote. Created by Jean-Claude Ellena, they bear his signature elegant style.

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