6 ottobre 2011

Andrea Maack Perfumes

Again at Pitti Fragranze, in September, I was struck by the works by Andrea Maack, an Icelandic artist who admittedly doesn't possess any technical knowledge on perfumery. In fact, Andrea is a visual artist whose art ranges from graphics to fashion design, creating rather conceptual works between art and consumerism, comprising intricate pencil drawings, sculptures, and unusual tailored clothes. The first three fragrances of her line, Smart Craft and Sharp, were born to complement some art installations presented in a museum in 2009, then the series continued with Dark and Silk, presented in Florence. To compose them -all the five, I mean- Andrea entrusted young composers from Grasse (DP &CO), in particular the last two are signed by Julien Raquinet.
All works begin with a visual approach, Andrea elaborates her installations or drawings evoking concepts or well-defined moods, then sends them to her olfactory counterpart in France, who try to shape them into a scent. I don't know how, but it seems the operation is working perfectly, because beyond the individual compositions -I'd re-test them with joy-, the whole line is hugely consistent. All fragrances share the same aesthetic vision, how it should be structured, with such notes, and especially with which final result. Getting five fragrances consistent with each other is not a joke, you need a solid vision of what you want to communicate, and from a person coming into perfumery out of the blue is something rare. But she obviously not only possesses this vision, but also managed to pass it on to her perfumer colleagues, which have done a great job.

"I wanted my scents to be sharp, on the point, and above all, stimulating" she explained. And in fact her perfumes are essential, serene, positive, simple, you feel that not many notes have been introduced: violet, linden, orange blossom, vanilla, cedar and sandal woods... classic notes which, with a wise use of synthetic molecules, including aldehydes, white musks, ozonic and metallic notes, are textured as soft and fine as steam. One understands immediately that, in Andrea's vision, essentiality and delicacy are the fundamental characteristics of a perfume. And I don't intend delicacy like "watery little scents dissolving within five minutes"; far from it, her perfumes last several hours and over time seem to somehow "swell" and radiate with ever greater force. Still, they are unquestionably delicate, intimate blending perfectly with the skin, instigating you to get closer without being attacking. Amazing. An effect that reminded me of the magic of Tocade by Rochas, but as modern as it gets. From all of them radiates a translucent light, palely colored like an aurora borealis evoking her native Iceland's clear, transparent skies.
The pack is consistent with this search for clarity and simplicity, with clean lines and no color. The feeling that what's interesting is inside, in this case is correct.

Her website here!

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