There is a large part of my personality I define as punk. When I first learned of the music in the late 1970’s it fit my idea of what rock and roll should be. The sneering take no prisoners attitude appealed to me too. In those days it was slam dancing in front of screaming guitars and vocalists. I’m over 60 but that part of me still peeks out from behind the gray. Because it is important to me when a perfume brand claims to want to take it on, I am suspicious. As I was when I received my sample of Room 1015 Cherry Punk.
Room 1015 was founded in 2015 by Michael Partouche aka Dr. Mike. His aim has been to make perfumes which capture the era of the 1970’s rock and roll scene as fragrance. I love the idea, but the execution has not always been as emblematic of that era in music. Maybe it is because I lived it, I have a different perspective. I want rougher edges around something full of life. The other new release from the brand called Sweet Leaf might be the politest marijuana perfume I’ve ever smelled. It should have had tendrils of lung tickling smoke. Instead it comes straight from a modern-day apothecary. It is a nice cannabis perfume, but it is not 70’s rock and roll. Cherry Punk hits closer to home despite my initial skepticism. Dr. Mike works with perfumer Jerome Epinette for the third time.
The cherry comes from a maraschino-like version. Except it is roughed up with Szechuan pepper and saffron. If you have ever ground up a cherry pit this is what this accord reminds me of. The syrupy fruitiness is present but the pepper and saffron dial that sweetness way back. The heart is a powdery mimosa which also has a counterbalance in violet. One of my best friends who shared my punk passion chewed violet scented gum. It may not mean anything to anyone who didn’t have a friend like that. For me, the violet toning down the powdery mimosa felt right. It leads to a battered black leather jacket accord. This is that jacket which has been on tour. There are some slices in the hide and some studs on the collar. Maybe the name of your favorite band painted in red on it. It is a barely refined accord. The birch tar in it has a great bite which is when this feels the most punk to me. A classic 70’s head shop patchouli completes everything.
Cherry Punk has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
Cherry Punk isn’t as much a representative of that 70’s music scene as I’d like. It also has enough of the punk attitude in places that it doesn’t feel like a sellout. It at least brings back some good memories of those days.
Disclosure: This review is based on samples provided by Room 1015.
There are many times where I am introduced to a new brand and it doesn’t come together for me, but I am rooting for them. This is the case for the Room 1015 brand. I’ve met the owner Michael Partouche a.k.a. Dr. Mike a few times over the past two years since he founded the brand. On the first visit he explained how this was meant to be a brand inspired by 1970’s rock and roll. The name itself refers to the infamous room at the Continental Hyatt hotel on Sunset Boulevard where Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards flung a television out the window in 1972. As one who was growing up on the music in this period there was a glorious DIY mentality as everyone was trying to figure out how to keep this gig rolling. All while secretly believing it was going to end tomorrow so live for tonight.
Michael Partouche a.k.a. Dr. Mike
When Dr. Mike laid this out as the aesthetic he wanted I was excited to try a collection of power chords and anarchy. Which was the opposite of what I got from the three debut fragrances. They were nice, but they were not 1970’s rock and roll. They were American Top 40 as perfume. Over the next two releases I began to think that was what Dr. Mike wanted. I thought the perfume I wanted from Room 1015 was not going to come. Then I received my sample of Hollyrose and got what I was waiting for.
Kate Hudson as Penny Lane in the movie "Almost Famous"
For Hollyrose Dr. Mike was inspired by the groupies who became secondary stars to the rock stars they hung out with. Because they were sources of information the writers for the earliest publications covering the industry used them for that. This was a time when the rules were being written; with none set in stone. The leather jacket-clad ladies would be hanging around as the band made their stop where they lived. To capture this Dr. Mike works with perfumer Jerome Epinette for the first time. They deliver a rose in a black leather fisted glove which captures those Band-Aids and their world.
Hollyrose opens with a nose tickling accord of black pepper and sticky green blackcurrant bud. Blackcurrant bud can verge on the unpleasant; M. Epinette keeps it safely away from that but there are moments it feels like it might break out. The rose comes through as M. Epinette puts it into a well-cared for black leather jacket accord. This is the smell of rock and roll women throughout the 70’s. A bit of patchouli reminds you that the hippie aesthetic still lilts through it all.
Hollyrose has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
As I wore Hollyrose I kept thinking about the groupie portrayed by Kate Hudson named Penny Lane in the movie “Almost Famous”. This seems like what she would smell like. Which means Dr. Mike finally found the 70’s vibe I was hoping for.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Room 1015.