I get all kinds of PR material surrounding every new release. I spend as much time reading between the lines as I do what is printed. Sometimes they are done with a self-deprecating humor that it makes me smile. When I received the latest text from the London-based brand Atkinsons they wrote they were celebrating over two centuries of “perfume snobbery”. This is done with that typical British charm like comedian Ricky Gervais delivers. You laugh but there is truth inherent within the joke. In celebration the new perfume, Atkinsons 44 Gerrard Street, is named after the location of their first shop back in 1799.
The press release goes on to say this will be a classic cologne structure. If there is something many self-proclaimed perfume snobs’ disdain it Is the lowly cologne. “It smells cheap”, is a regular commentary on the style. Atkinsons decided to take the opposite tack. Collaborating with perfumer Mathieu Nardin they asked him to use the exquisite Mane Jungle Essence ingredients in composing 44 Gerard Street. The snobs may have other issues but with these ingredients in use they won’t be calling it cheap.
As I say often the recipe is simple; citrus-herb-floral-woods. If you’re going to go for a new twist it can’t just be top shelf ingredients it also has to be something slightly different than the traditional. M. Nardin deploys his Jungle Essence ingredients to impressive effect. There is a depth which sets this apart.
The opening lays this out. Using green lemon as the citrus piece this is not the sunbeam version of the citrus it carries an unripe vegetal aspect. This leads into the keynote of the early going eucalyptus. This is a beautiful version of this ingredient. It is leafy, slightly woody, and mentholated. That first quality meshes with the green lemon ideally. If that isn’t enough energy for you it becomes supercharged with ginger. This is the turbocharged version of cologne. For the floral part jasmine takes the wheel with a similar energy. Through to this point this is as advertised. It was slightly disappointing to have the base be the same synthetic woods of Orcanox which have become so ubiquitous. The thrill ride ends on a banal note.
44 Gerrard Street has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
It seems likely the synthetic wood was added to ameliorate the other criticism of cologne, “It doesn’t last”. I wish they had the courage to overlook that criticism because the rest of the perfume puts to bed the cheapness debate. I think this does succeed at being a cologne for perfume snobs.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.