The chemist who writes this blog is to no body’s surprise enchanted with the perfumes named after elements that Nu_Be has been putting out since 2012. Not only do they smell great but they have done an admirable job at capturing the essence of the element they are invoking. For 2016 things are changing. First the name of the brand is being changed from Nu_Be to One of Those. Second the first new release since 2013 is here, Curium.
The brand has begun a slow descent lower in the periodic table over the previous seven releases. With Curium we finally find one of the earliest radioactive elements discovered. In 1944 when it was isolated at the University of California at Berkley the team decided to name it after Marie and Pierre Curie the scientists who discovered the first radioactive elements.
For the perfume Curium perfumer Evelyne Boulanger was inspired by Mme Curie. Her attempt was to capture “a brilliant mind, strongly accurate yet vivid, joyful, and imaginative” The concept extends to using the botanical musk of ambrette to match the synthetic musk later on. In between there is a dense floral nucleus.
Curium opens with that botanical musk provided by ambrette. When this is used correctly it provides a lovely opaque muskiness to the early moments of fragrance. In Curium that is exactly what it does. When I read the note list before sniffing it I saw a heart made up of violet and orris. These are one of my more beloved pairs of notes. Mme Boulanger chooses to make them a little less lush as if they are the radioactive nucleus emitting floral emissions periodically. It is an interesting effect. On one of the days I wanted it to have more presence. It steadfastly stayed at arm’s length. When wearing it for the second time on a much warmer day I was much happier with the restraint. This ends on a combination of vetiver and musk. The vetiver here is the most prominent note in the composition. It exudes its own kind of pulsing glow which the musks radiate outward from.
Curium has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
As I wore Curium I was reminded that radioactivity is the decay of the nucleus of an atom. Curium feels like something on the verge of an entropic event. While waiting for that to happen the nucleus that is in place is mighty enjoyable.
Disclosure: This review was based ona sample provided by One of Those at Esxence 2016.
First day of any of the big perfume expositions is a time for renewing friendships in fragrance. My day started out being introduced to a new aquatic perfume from Bruno Acampora called Azzurro di Capri. When it was presented to me I again had my skepticism of this genre front and center. What I found was a typical Mediterranean seaside opening but the drydown to a base of musk, patchouli, and amber is what elevated this above others within this style.
After surveying the layout of the fair I headed to the first panel of this year’s Esxence. Moderated by Professor Claus Noppeney of the Scent Culture Institute it was on the way perfume is judged and criticized. On the panel were Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison Managing Editor of Fragrantica, Saskia Wilson-Brown of The Art + Olfaction Awards, and Dr. Bodo Kubartz. Dr. Harrison eloquently described the personal connection bloggers provide via their writing. By giving regular readers that context it allows for the concept of perfume as an art form worthy of this kind of judgement. The flip side of that was explored with the idea of judgement as the end goal within the framework of awards. There, by necessity, for a fair judgement to take place as much of the context and surroundings of a perfume being assessed needs to be removed. It was a spirited discussion among the panelists making it a great way to start conversations that I would have for most of the rest of the day as I walked the show floor.
After the talk it was time to get back on to the hunt for new releases from some of my favorite brands.
I stopped in at Atelier des Ors and was presented with a sneak preview of their upcoming iris and musk release. This is a brand that has quickly developed a distinct aesthetic. What I smelled in its preliminary forms looks to me like this next release is going to be another winner.
I then stopped by to meet the team behind Coolife Carole Beaupre and Pauline Rochas. I am a big fan of the most recent release Le Quatrieme Parfum. Perfumer Yann Vasnier turned in a beautifully realized Oriental. For Le Cinquieme Parfum the communication chakra is represented, again by M. Vasnier, in a really vibrant and kinetic composition.
Of course the chemist was excited to stop by Nu_Be to try the latest elemental release Curium. I also found the name of the brand is also undergoing a change to One of Those. The brand name may change but the new perfume by perfumer Evelyne Boulanger is an extension of the Elemental series. Opening with a fantastic ambrette into a vetiver focused fragrance. It isn’t radioactive but it sure does glow.
As the day was drawing to a close I collapsed on a couch in front of Carner Barcelona. They saw my tired look and brought to me the new release from them, Costarela. Perfumer Shyamala Maisondieu added little twists to this classically constructed Mediterranean-style aquatic. The use of saffron along with the more typical bergamot in the opening is what revs things up for the eventual sea breeze and amber finish.
Day 1 opened and closed with two very different yet enjoyable interpretations of Mediterranean aquatics. For Day 2 I’ll start diving in to the new brands while catching up to some other new releases from established ones.