Weekly Fumes: Comme des Garçons Eau de Parfum

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I have always made what could be considered interesting fragrance choices with two of my earliest fumes being the fantastically over-the-top florals and musks of Paloma Picasso for Women (I’m a man) and Chanel’s forever green Number 19. I’m not sure that I could wear the 90s power bomb that was Paloma with much conviction these days, but Number 19 is still endlessly androgynous and soft like a luxurious suede.

The fragrance that really made its mark on me though and turned me from someone who wanted a smell that matched my younger, flamboyant self into a hardcore rabid perfumista was Comme des Garçon’s self-titled debut Eau de Parfum, created by Mark Buxton and launched in 1991.

If you’re unprepared to open your mind to a smell that, although incredibly and even traditionally beautiful, is not within the usual realms of what many perceive as ‘perfume’, then Comme des Garçons may prove to be a difficult olfactory ride.

Notes listed are labdanum, cedar wood, cardamom, honey, rose, cloves and cinnamon, a definite Oriental scent in respect to category and completely without gender. What makes this potion avant-garde, and certainly at a time when niche scents were few and far between, is that it is almost linear in its enveloping composition.

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There is no discernible change in the top to bottom note journey. The prominent notes of cinnamon (so much glorious, insistent cinnamon) and cardamom – and I can smell little else other than a soft, liquid honey, a flicker of some other spices maybe – give it a pungent, medicinal warmth that is perplexing, addictive and utterly shocking on first sniff.

With an extravert and extravagant sillage, people will ask you what you’re wearing and many may wrinkle-up their noses, this is a cold winter scent where only a few drops are required to protect you from the elements and connect you to the magic of scent.

Comme des Garçons Eau de Parfum, 50ml, £63