It can be a strange life, living with a perfumer. Unlike most of us, who can switch our computer or phone off and be done with work for the day, they can’t turn their noses off! A blessing and a curse.
Like a bloodhound on a scent trail, our in-house perfumer Euan can pick up the most delicate of aromas, often too faint for my register. Fantosmia is the culmination of a particular scent trail that started about a year ago…
Notes from the perfumer
For months I kept smelling this assemblage of aromas disassociated with anything physical – I could not place the source of the emitted odour. The reaction was visceral.
I hunted for the source, but to no avail. These ghost notes were at once familiar, distinguishable in their singular form however the accumulation was indescribable in few words. It was elusive and enigmatic. The scent had silhouette but little form, what structure there was seemed distorted and contorted however malleable, fluid, textural - the sort of intuitive design only nature can craft.
I would smell it in the air, I would taste it in foods. I looked for it in materials, perfumes, drinks… people, coming so close to finding but never isolating the subject.
But the smell didn’t exist. One day, it vanished.
I set about objectifying it.
The phantom odour now had form, and the source of my once-imagined odour, created.
Fantosmia is decidedly dense, like a fog in your mind. Its form is weighted by notes of aromatic Black Pepper and Annatto, deepened by piquant Pimento and Fennel, its outline smudged by a splash of inky Castoreum*
Additional notes give further richness to the scent, featuring sensations of fragrant Cardamom, umami Shiso Leaf, and herbal Mate with added complexity with notes of Cascarilla, Nutmeg, Aetoxylon, Saffron and Tobacco.
Besides the aroma, Euan wanted to add an imagined physical parameter to the odour. Solid and sculptural yet dynamic and diffusive, shifting between transparent and opaque. We coined the terms olfacticality – giving an imagined physicality to odours.
When forming Fantosmia, we were thinking and talking a lot in design language, in texture, form, structure and physicality. Admittedly it all sounds like pretentious waffle, but there is method in the madness, as they say.
Fantosmia Eau de Pafum has took pride of place on our mantel – a token to the enduring curiosity and creativity of niche perfumery. It’s opened cap emitting a memory that can now be shared.
Fantosmia is part of the ongoing Selective Memory collection and available in 30ml from our webstore and selected retailers.
*of synthetic origin.