New Perfume Review Comme des Garcons ERL Sunscreen- Summer Abstract

If you’ve ever lived on or near a beach, there is a distinct scent to the dog days of summer. It is the amalgamation of the different sunscreens being used. Underneath it is either the chlorinated water of the pool or the salty breeze of the ocean. I can close my eyes and imagine walking around the pool or on the beach breathing it in. Comme des Garcons ERL Sunscreen captures this hazy scented milieu.

Eli Russell Linnetz

Eli Russell Linnetz has been refracting his childhood growing up in Venice, California into fashion since 2018. In those endeavors he uses his initials ERL. His clothing line has become a quiet sensation. It sells at the Comme des Garcons Dover Street Market stores. He is one of those prodigious creatives who does it all. Besides designing the clothes he also photographs the models wearing them. It ensures a purity of vision. This year he decided to expand into fragrance tapping into the long expertise of Comme des Garcons and creative director of parfum Christian Astuguevieille.

ERL wanted to dial up that same memory I have of sunscreen in the air and water below. He collaborates with perfumer Nelly Hachem-Ruiz. Together they create a perfume which matches the clothing, a distressed realism.

Nelly Hachem-Ruiz

Mme Hachem-Ruiz opens things with the citrus brightness of bergamot matched to the expansive ozonic notes to form a high noon accord. This is the brilliance of the sun in the middle of the day. Instead of using the typical freshening ingredients she chooses the green tinted muguet. This reminded me of the grass growing around the pool deck. Within the earlier ozonic notes comes a whisper of the sea.

The sunscreen accord begins to form around the trio of heliotrope, peach, and a coconut accord. The heliotrope and its slightly almondy profile connected to the creamy peach lactone forms the unctuousness of sunscreen. The piece which is all ERL is the choice to go with a coconut accord. This forms an accord which doesn’t represent the lotion just out of the bottle. It is that late in the day attenuated version where droplets of sweat have left trails through it. A humid musky accord adds that piece. It represents an abstraction of a memory.

ERL Sunscreen has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

This is the second perfume by Mme Hachem-Ruiz which has impressed me. She has become a new name for me to watch out for. When given the freedom to create she has shown an ability to run with it admirably. I am equally impressed by ERL’s ability to fulfill his fashion aesthetic so completely as a perfume. It seems as if they both know how to abstract the best of summer.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample supplied by Comme des Garcons.

Mark Behnke

Editor’s Note: You will be unsurprised to know that completely unique packaging is also a product of ERL’s imagination. He also took the picture.

New Perfume Review Armani Prive Cuir Zerzura- Queen Nelly’s Oasis

If there is a single perfume which has always had me giving the benefit of the doubt to Armani Prive it is 2005’s Cuir Amethyste. It was among the first releases in this exclusive fragrance collection for Giorgio Armani. It remains one of my favorite violet and leather perfumes I own. Over the past fifteen years they have only rarely returned to releases with “cuir” in the name. With the latest release Armani Prive Cuir Zerzura they take another try.

Nelly Hachem-Ruiz

Perfumer Nelly Hachem-Ruiz works for the second time for the brand. She previously collaborated on 2015’s Sable Or with Sophie Labbe. Zerzura is the Saharan equivalent to El Dorado; a mythical city of treasure. It was also called the “oasis of little birds”. Mme Hachem-Ruiz creates a perfume which captures the scent of a movie hero in search of treasure the twist is I imagine this to be a leather jacketed woman with a rose in her hair.

Our perfume story begins with our heroine standing at the end of a valley looking at the parchment map that led her here. The valley is lined with orange trees. Mme Hachem-Ruiz uses a rich mandarin oil along with violet leaves and elemi to create this accord. This is the scent of fruit, leaf, and trunk. It is more concentrated giving off less sunniness than mandarin usually does. As she moves through the valley the gates to Zerzura beckon, a fresco of birds above the portal. She settles her jacket onto her shoulders giving the rose in her hair a final opportunity to release its floral beauty. This is a classic rose and leather accord. The difference here is she adds in some of the expansive synthetic florals for lift and transparency. It allows the rose to float above the leather jacket accord. That is the well-worn leather accord anyone who has owned a leather jacket for a long time will recognize. It isn’t animalic or refined, but something in between. Experienced perhaps? The final moments take place as our heroine reaches the soaring cedar gates. Somewhere inside the scent of vanilla greets her.

Cuir Zerzura has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.

This is a perfume which took me to faraway places for fabulous adventures. It is the best Armani Prive with cuir in the name since Cuir Amethyste. Instead of King Solomon’s Mines I felt as if I was at Queen Nelly’s Oasis.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Giorgio Armani.

Mark Behnke