Keiko Mecheri Mulholland, 2010

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(image source Life in Lemon Yellow)

Perfumer Yann Vasnier

There is something quietly appealing about a line that is ‘niche’ not in order simply to appear indie or hip. There is a sense in the Mecheri line that the artistic director (Mecheri) and perfumer (Vasnier) wanted enough space to work with the ideas that interested them, whether this meant creating something previously unknown, or making a classic idea your own. It implies stable egos and hard work.

With Mulholland, Mecheri fulfills a goal that many have pursued: the alchemy of the long- lasting eau de cologne. Her initial wager in creating the Mulholland is to the eschew the ‘natural.’ To makes a durable cologne, Mecheri fabricates musky, metallic citrus notes and idealized woods. In the place of an eau de cologne’s lightness there is a sense of agility, and where a cologne burns brightly but briefly, Mulholland instead has an inherent sparkle that doesn’t burn off. If my description is confusing, the perfume is not. It just works.

Mulholland has a methodically artificial tone with beautiful counterbalances and interesting juxtapositions. And here is where we get to the perfect choice of name: Mulholland. I live in LA, in the Valley. Less than a mile from Mulholland Drive, in fact. Mulholland is the winding road at the top of the hill that separates the Hollywood/Beverly Hills/Bel Air/Brentwood from the San Fernando Valley. It has a heavy mid-century vibe and is surrounded by the mass-produced mid-century modernist houses that have a particular place in sunny SoCal mythology. These houses along Mulholland are decked out in a Plastic Modern/Hollywood Regency style that make a nice fit to the modern, plastic mood of Mecheri’s Mulholland. From the first sniff, Mulholland forgoes the desire to appear strictly botanical. Instead, it strives to be appealing and interesting to the nose. It succeeds.

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