New Perfume Review Zaharoff Brass & Soul- Invigorating Collaboration

There are some perfume brands which are happy to interact with the fragrance community. George Zaharoff is one of those. He is always available for a quote from the writers or an appearance on a video. One thing shines brightly, he loves making fragrance. He also loves talking about it. I seemed only a matter of time until he invited some of those from the fragrance online community to collaborate with him. Zaharoff Brass & Soul is the result of this.

George Zaharoff

Mr. Zaharoff calls this the Zed Creators collection. He invited three different YouTube reviewers the chance to create a perfume with him. For Brass & Soul he asked Justin Copeland the man behind Stay Fresh Productions to make a fragrance. Perfumer Vincent Kuczinski would complete the creative team.

Justin Copeland

The brief was to create the “experience of performing as a musician in a jazz concert.” Based on my experience I would amend that to after midnight at a jazz bar. They wanted a cool accord and a warm accord. One to represent the brass of the instruments the other the vibe of great jazz.

Vincent Kuczinski

The choice of a cool accord is to make an icy gin and tonic accord surrounded by citrus. In the earliest moments there is a flare of citrus along with the bite of juniper berry. The wateriness of the tonic appears to complete the G&T effect. This is a refreshing choice that is as cold as a glass of gin over ice sweating droplets meandering down the side. The cool is tuned in a fresh floral direction as muguet adds a vegetal green.

The warmth is that sense of a crowded club. Body heat adding to a humidity the players on stage use handkerchiefs to blot off their forehead. A smooth leather and an earthy patchouli form the core. As with the top accord there are a couple of clever choices to round it out. One is bushman’s candle which is a sweet ambery resin. It has a unique scent profile especially the sweetness. Vanilla is the complement to it. It creates a deeper overall amber accord with more of the desired warmth.

Brass & Soul has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

This is the first of the Zed Creators collection I’ve tried. It has made me want to track down the other two. I suspect they are going to be good as well. That’s because the passion of Mr. Zaharoff has an infectious way of elevating everyone around him. Brass & Soul is the result of an invigorating collaboration.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Banana Republic Gardenia & Cardamom- Go For The Green

This time of year is when I feel the pressure of trying to stay on top of what is new in fragrance. Starting in August and going, seemingly, up until the last shopping day I get a steady stream of new perfumes. It forces me into some choices when I receive new things. It means my inner snob puts some things aside to assess. A couple weeks ago I miraculously didn’t receive anything which gave me time to catch up. One of the things I had delayed trying was a new collection from Banana Republic.

My inner snob always eventually gives these perfumes a chance because I’ve been surprised in the past. As recently as two years ago they released an interesting Oriental called 17 Oud Mosaic. These are generally simple perfumes. It is when they get a little more complex that they draw my attention. In this year’s releases the one which did that was Banana Republic Gardenia & Cardamom.

Vincent Kuczinski

There is a total of four perfumes in this collection. The others are; Dark Cherry & Amber, Peony & Peppercorn, and Tobacco & Tonka Bean. Those three are mostly what is described in the name with one or the other predominating. Why Gardenia & Cardamom felt different is because the perfumer, Vincent Kuczinski, uses the green version of cardamom which turns out to be a smart choice.

It opens on a juicy orange which is quickly overtaken by the cardamom. This version of cardamom has a sticky green scent to it. When a perfumer takes advantage of that it can be a good partner to an ingredient. That is what happens here as the gardenia first appears as its fresher form it quickly becomes more present. When gardenia reaches full bloom in a fragrance there is a swirl of green within the white flower. By having the green cardamom there to meet that it turns that swirl into something more prominent. This stays with this balanced accord in place for a long time before segueing into a typical woody base.

Gardenia & Cardamom has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

I liked this because Mr. Kuczinski was able to go for the green while finding a balance between his co-stars.

Disclosure: This review was based on samples provided by Banana Republic.

Mark Behnke