Taking the concept of luxury to an exotic extreme, Comme des Garçons has produced two new fragrances, Patchouli and Champaca, in one bottle, LUXE. They say no expense has been spared—certainly they've gone to the ends of the earth. The patchouli part is derived from the finest variety anywhere, which grows in Sumatra. It's so exquisite that CdG hopes the "misunderstood fragrance will be rehabilitated and placed in its rightful position as one of the great smells of all time." Champaca, meanwhile, is related to the magnolia. The best champaca flowers can be found in a small region of India, where the scent has been used for centuries in Hindu ceremonies and by Balinese dancers.
LUXE Comme des Garçons eaux de toilette, $155, from May 2013 at all CdG shops.
Foot fetishists intimately involved with Pierre Hardy are about to reach a whole new level of intimacy. The colorful French cobbler has partnered with NARS on a range of nail polishes, featuring six pairs (like shoes, get it?) inspired by his spring 2013 shoe collection and packaged in miniature shoe boxes, complete with a little dust bag. Technically, there are also two blushes, for the face, but really it's about the nail polish. Pedicures suddenly got very interesting.
$29 per pair of polishes, in stores May 1
Black is many things. One of those things is a positive number on a balance sheet, the opposite of red. That may be the thinking behind BLACK, Comme des Garçons' fragrance started in 2009 "in response to the general negativity engendered by the recession and to counter the feeling of things being blocked or stopped because of the crisis."
This year marks the latest iteration of BLACK, which Rei Kawakubo, never one to shy away from literalism, has infused with Madagascar black pepper and Somalian incense, with essences of leather, licorice, birch tar and pepperwood.
BLACK eau de toilette, 100ml, $100, exclusively in BLACK stores from April 2 - 15 and Comme des Garçons shops from April 16.
If you're going to do a floral fragrance, you might as well take it to the extreme. That's the thinking behind Byredo founder/nose Ben Gorham's latest eau de parfum, Inflorescence, a vernal rave of rose, pink freesia, magnolia, lily of the valley, and jasmine. Glow sticks not included.
$220 for 100 ml at Byredo
If Carolina Cansiglioni's combat boots didn't tip us off that her new Marni fragrance would stand out from the crowd, her punk attitude sure did. "Everybody is doing flowery fragrances and we hate these kinds of fragrances," she said with a giggle at the New York launch of Marni. "But we had to have a flower, so we wanted to find a special one, not too girly. We went with black rose."
Together with Marni_Lab, the Italian house's workshop, as well as the Milan-based creative agency Rise:on, Carolina and her mother Consuelo spent two years sifting through a hundred or so ingredients to find just the right balance of sugar and spice—with an emphasis on spice. Along with black rose, tomboyish notes of black pepper, ginger, and incense make it clear that wallflowers need not apply.
$155 for 4 oz at Marni
Not only is Dreckig Bleiben ("stay dirty" in English) the preferred greeting among punks and squatters in Hamburg. It's also the name of a new anti-scent, a collaboration between Stefanie Mayr and Daniel Plettenberg of the fragrance house PMP and the perfumer Max Buxton. Collectively, they asked themselves: "How can the smell of smoke and campfire that is so typical of squatted houses and a punk lifestyle be made into a perfume that is very wearable and not reeky?"
If the concept behind the eau de parfum, limited to 999 bottles, sounds like it could have been drummed up by the masterminds at Comme des Garçons, it might be because Max Buxton has olfactory experience at the Japanese-French label, as well as Le Labo, Givenchy, Cartier, and Burberry. Which makes listing its actual notes seem mundane and trite, but here goes: bergamot from Calabria, neroli oil from Tunisia, Sicilian mandarin, Chinese ginger, cistus oil, gurjum oil, and balson tree oil, in addition to base notes of cedarwood, oil of the guaiacum tree, sandalwood, and vanilla.
And just in case you're still not sure it's an art project, the top of the flacon is handmade from centuries-old timber repurposed from wood-framed houses.
€120/£100 at Dreckig Bleiben (soon) and Elternhaus (Marktstraße 29, Hamburg, Germany)
Today, Valentine's Day, Prada launched an app for the re-release of its Rossetto parfum (that's parfum, not eau de parfum—merci very much). Developed in collaboration with the label's go-to graphic guru Michael Rock of the firm 2x4, the platform lets users pile up random images—ranging from classical statuary to emoji-looking animal faces—in a kind of Duchampian mood board, topped off with that most Daliesque of symbols, red lips. If anyone can create an art app based on a fragrance, but without a hint of the scent or whiff of irony, it's Prada.
It may sound like something out of a teen gross-out flick, but it's actually the name of a lovely new scented candle from the Swedish label V Avenue Shoe Repair. A kind of pine, fatwood emits a fragrance that designers Lee Cotter and Astrid Olsson associate with Nordic summers spent, they say, “chopping wood and throwing logs in the fireplace." The effect of Fatwood, made in the French scent region of Grasse, is intended to be more calming than arousing. So as you can see, not lascivious at all, and how dare you even go there.
80 euros at V Avenue Shoe Repair stores and online
While it's unclear what a drug-induced coma fit for an elephant has to do with style prognostication, K-Hole has to be the best name for a trend forecasting report ever. The more you know, the more numb you feel.
K-Hole's founders have also created deodorants, Brad and You, created jointly with the New York fashion label Eckhaus Latta. Apparently it's the result of a conversation between them regarding anxiety. Both made upstate somewhere, Brad whiffs of Old Spice, while You is composed, they say, of "dirt, counterfeit Chanel No. 5, vetiver, rose, Marlboro Lights, pepper, smoked barley, saliva, and lanolin." So basically, every day on Canal Street.
Of course this is likely one great big joke, an abstract Brad Pitt parody, but at least now you know about K-Hole.