There are many fragrances inspired by rock and roll. Many of them try and capture the music or the artist. The new independent brand Rebel Intuitive took a different tack. Art director Katy Knuth and perfumer Beckie Sheloske were inspired by the story of model Anita Pallenberg and her time with the Rolling Stones. This would be the seed from which the perfume Grace at 67th would spring.
Katy Knuth (l.) and Becky Sheloske (Photo: Heather Gray)
Ms. Pallenberg was the companion for The Rolling Stones from 1967-1980. She started off as the girlfriend of Brian Jones before moving on to become the partner of Keith Richards. This is not the story of a groupie as Ms. Pallenberg was much more than that. She was the muse for the band as her opinion was valued and sought out. Grace at 67th is meant to capture the moments when the lights are off and inspiration comes from each other.
Photographic Inspiration for Grace at 67th (Photo: Heather Gray; Models: Maggie Lenz-McQuilken and Ben Roy)
Ms. Knuth and Ms. Sheloske spoke at the recent Sniffapalooza Fall Ball and their creative process is quite interesting. The two of them have the typical give and take between a creative director and perfumer but then instead of evaluators they invite their friends to a session they call “Rebel Smells”. Here they give a perfume they are working on to friends and ask them to describe it in any way they would like. This gives the creatives the opportunity to see if they are achieving the desired effect. For Grace at 67th that effect seemed to be to capture the moment where inspiration and creativity result in something real.
To capture the moment of all-consuming effort Ms. Sheloske uses a couple of florals to capture the beauty and the razor’s edge of entropy occurring at once. Narcissus is that heady moment of success. Costus provides the decay of the genesis of an idea perhaps getting away from you. In the end Grace at 67th is the result of a concept made concrete matched with the satisfaction that goes with it.
As the session begins Ms. Sheloske opens with an herbal triad of basil, sage, and tarragon. These notes radiate a spiky kinetic vibe. That moment when you just have to get that concept out in the open. Neroli represents the muse in the room. The soft floral strolls through capturing the wearer’s attention. Violet leaf reminds you that the creative juices are flowing as it adds a sharper green counterpoint. It all coalesces into the eureka moment as narcotic narcissus rides over it all in a pleasant wave. The base is trying to pull it all together but the sweetly decaying floralcy of costus is a warning of the precarious nature of creation. Ms. Sheloske’s choice to use costus here is very interesting. It works as the slightly dirty nature inherent within provides the humanity underneath it all. It gets reinforced with the botanical musk of ambrette seed. Myrrh provides the satisfied hum of a successful collaboration.
Grace at 67th has 6-8 hour longevity and very little sillage.
I like the decisions made by Ms. Knuth and Ms. Sheloskie to look for the moments in-between for their rock and roll inspiration. Grace at 67th evokes the moments between the spotlights where the music really lives.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Rebel Intuitive at sniffapalooza Fall Ball 2015.