A little over four years ago when Comme des Garcons collaborated with Gosha Rubchinskiy on a perfume I wondered aloud about it being made for a younger audience. It seemed on brand for Comme des Garcons to work with someone who came out of the skateboard culture if that was the intent. The releases over the intervening years have not seemed to be as interested in that demographic. Until I received my sample of Comme des Garcon x Stussy Laguna Beach.
Back in the 1980’s when founder Shawn Stussy was selling his designs out of the back of his car, he hit a perfect alignment for his success. The surfers, skateboarders, punks, and hip-hop kids all wanted to wear his things. Over thirty years on it still retains that street cred even though you can buy it at the mall. Which makes the decision by Stussy to branch out into fragrance an interesting choice. If this is meant to aim at the twentysomethings it is the right brand to get their attention. Creative director Christian Astuguevieille knows how to make oddly unique perfumes. He asks perfumer Nisrine Grille to create it.
A perfume named after a California beach is almost by necessity an aquatic. What makes it Comme des Garcons is the use of some synthetic expansive florals over that. Those take things in a different direction.
The opening is a salty ozonic marine accord which is commonplace. Mme Grille captures that sea air on the open beach. What comes next seems like a layered effect of some synthetic expansive florals. The current trend for younger perfume fans is to keep it transparent. Most perfumes accomplish that with a synthetic expansive version of a well-known floral. Hedione does this for jasmine as the best example. Mme Grille seemingly adds multiple versions of these types of materials. It has one advantage in making the floral accord not as opaque as it usually is. It also creates a soap bubble which has whirls of different floral sources on its surface. The sea breeze accord gently nudges this fragile orb along. In the base cedar adds a woody foundation. It has a more pronounced green quality as if it is raw wood being cut.
Stussy Laguna Beach has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
It has taken four years for Comme des Garcons to return to Cali and the skateboarders. Just as before they offer something different to an age group that doesn’t usually experience it in their fragrances.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample supplied by Comme des Garcons.