digging (into) vintage: Halston Z-14, 1976

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(Roy Halston, image source The Daily Beast)

Perfumers Vincent Marcello and Max Gavarry

Z-14 is a classic example of hybrid vigor. It is a thunderously harmonious chypre/oriental that shows its dual heritage more as Janus than Jekyll and Hyde. The amber ties the two genres and Z-14 has a church pipe-organ range of harmonies, rumbling lows to keen highs.

Z-14 starts with a bone-dry citrus/spicy/woody blend. The herbal tone in the top notes feels like dried culinary herbs, as much dusty as savory. What’s left by drydown is arguably better than the pipe-organ opening. An harmonious albeit more compact, accord remains: wood, moss, amber. The lemon is gone. The herbs are gone. What’s left, a woody, sweet chypre? A dry oriental? Whatever you call it, it is simultaneously conventionally pretty and handsome.

(If you need any urging to try Z-14, Vincent Marcello also composed Caron Yatagan and Estée Lauder Private Collection.  Dig that resume!)


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