One of the fun things about attending Pitti Fragranze is seeing what independent perfumer Pierre Guillaume has made just for the fair as a one-off. When I attended in 2014 he showed me this fabulously watery cologne of cucumber. In many ways it was like the amuse bouche served by a chef before the meal. A simple statement of aesthetic in a trifle. The funny thing was that silly trifle got stuck in my head. So much so that when I saw him the next year I asked about it. He then told me that he was definitely going to release a version of it. He just wasn’t sure when. The answer is he has released it a couple months ago; Phaedon Concombre.
We always talk about wanting a perfume that can be worn on the hottest of days which will not turn cloying in the heat. Concombre is that design wish come true. One of my favorite summer meals when it is just too hot to turn the oven on is to thinly slice cucumber and place it in ice water. After the slices are cooled I drain them and sprinkle balsamic vinegar over it. For dessert a similarly ice-cold watermelon rounds out the meal. We’ve never discussed it but M. Guillaume must also have the same summer routine of some kind because Concombre has cucumber and watermelon as its nucleus.
Concombre starts with that fresh chilly watery cucumber note. M. Guillaume livens it up just a little with a sprig of mint. It is almost as if it came over on the breeze from the mint on top of my iced tea. He freely uses freesia to provide that watery quality. It also provides a chill which is not something I usually ascribe to freesia but in Concombre it definitely does cool things down. Then as the watermelon accord arises you get this lightly vegetal with the sweet melon floating on top of cool water. It is delightfully refreshing. It is all framed in clean lines of cedar.
Concombre has 6-8 hours of longevity and moderate sillage.
There is no practical reason to keep perfume in a refrigerator. I do it with some of my favorite colognes because they go on more refreshing when they are chilled. Concombre is another which also benefits from being in a refrigerator. It enhances all of the chill elements throughout Concombre. The days I wore it I refreshed it twice and each time it elevated my spirits. Concombre is a summer special.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample from Phaedon.