(image source all-that-is-interesting.com)
Perfumer not cited.
I’ve been thinking about unabashedly synthetic fragrances. Not Comme des Garçons synthetic or non-perfume punk fragrances. I mean Hermès 24, Faubourg, Boucheron by Boucheron & Boucheron Eau Legère, Lauder’s Dazzling Silver, Paco Rabanne Metal. Some work better than others. The less successful of the lot seem to fail for errors of approximation and errors of scale. Boucheron by Boucheron approaches sensibilities of flower and amber, but misses them by just enough that they seem odd, then magnifies them enough that they seem alarming. Approximation and scale.
Boucheron Eau Legère (2006) uses the same palette as the original, but has a more soothing demeanor. Maybe it’s a lighter hand in the composition, maybe there’s simply a little room to breath between the notes. It feels like it has a thinner nose viscosity. It doesn’t hide its crystalline, synthetic tone. The central chord has a fetching ring, but imagine that it’s played on a tinny instrument. Smart, though. In Boucheron by Boucheron a similar chord, much louder, is brittle and harsh.
Focussing on aromachemicals over than botanicals allows for a manipulation of abstract olfactory qualities. It gives PR Metal and EL Dazzling Silver their metallic glare. In Nahema, synthetics allow the creation of a sort of meta-flower. But in using aromachemicals to replicate florals, ambers, etc., perfumes like Boucheron and 24, Faubourg EDT use synthetics as scent prostheses. It’s a bit like using saccharine instead of sugar or presenting carob as a chocolate replacement. It sets up an expectation that can’t be met.
Eau Legère’s lighter weight keeps it from collapsing in on itself like a black hole. It verges on appearing over-produced, but it’s catchy.