There are so many new niche operation springing up around the stinkosphere these past few years, I’ve basically given up keeping track or even caring anymore. The law of diminishing returns applied to trends means that as the hype grows, the products that result from it is usually pretty crap. This is particularly true in the niche, or rather Nu-Niche™ perfumery hyper hype going around. So when I heard about aeon001 – apparently from Liechtenstein of all places – I didn’t take note until a friend “Nunzio” showed a photo of the bottle that left him flabbergasted (and Nunzio is not easily flabbergasted! In fact in spite of his impeccable frag cachet, he’s been quite blasé lately….) He maintains that “There are two [most important] things for a fragrance: it has to smell good and it has to look good. Period.” Hmmm….although I keep most of my frag stash in drawers and rarely look at them, on this occasion the flashy, singular look of the vessel had my curiosity piqued. And, according to Nunzio’s math, we were already halfway there. Result? A rather expensive blindbuy on which to blow some of my xmas salary bonus.
I’ll confide, patient reader, that ad copy for frags are one of my great pet peeves. I require the dark humour of a French existentialist and the stoic forbearance of a Slovakian coal miner to read them without incurring a violent reaction. They’re ridiculous! The aeon website was par for the course (although it looks better than most), almost inducing buyers regret even before the juice arrived. Check THIS out:
A perfume without compromises, a world where light merges into darkness and gravity floats over time.
If that isn’t enough nonsense, the groovy laboratory-style bottle gets The Treatment, kinda like having a hot partner and introducing them to your family in glowing, ridiculous nonsequitors:
The unique Aeon001 perfume bottle is designed to hold preciously its floating content, a liquid gem suspended in the air ready to awake all the senses. Air is replacing thickness and lightness is fighting with darkness to sublimate in pleasure.
I was relieved when the last line inferred something worth looking forward to:
Aeon001 is challenging the perception of vetiver blending it with white flowers, smoke and spices together with a translucent layer of glowing resins.
These are among my olfactory pleasure triggers and although initially sceptical, this stuff delivers on THAT promise!
Aeon001 goes on with real purpose and undeniable presence. The very first impression is the densest, chewiest smoky vetiver that you’ve likely ever come across, unless you are familiar with Profumum Roma Fumidus. But associations with that peaty-whisky smokebomb are very fleeting, as there is SO MUCH going on here besides. There is a bright top end of juicy bergamot, and an interesting grumble of tuberose lurking in the bottom end, soon joined by ylang, which REALLY brings to mind possibly the finest frag of 2014, MAAI by Bogue Profumo. In fact I had to do a double take at the box to check that this wasn’t a new Bogue. It also got me wondering who was behind this promising scent…..
Within 20 minutes, this dense ball of heavy nu-chypre base, smoky vetiver and bright bergamot really started to open up. That’s when real excitement in perfumery begins: the development stage(s). It became very clear that the vetiver was indeed the star of this show, but what wowed me was the duality of the vetiver on offer here. A remarkable pas-a-deux of light and dark, salty and smoky, earthy and grassy all at the same time. I can say with some confidence that this represents a vetiver lover’s wet dream, carrying all facets whirring over and through the base like a fragrant wraith. Even more exceptional is that despite this impressive display of all of vetiver’s facets, the note does not dominate the composition, ever. In fact this could be the coolest vetiver for non-vetiver lovers since Coeur de Vetiver Sacré by L’Artisan Parfumeurs. This stage lasts a solid hour at which point you are ready for the main attraction: le floral oriental
Once the Vetiver Show takes a backseat, the associations with Maai make a return but only on a very superficial level, the tuberose. It just won’t budge but it is quite sotto voce, adding texture rather than presence. What becomes clear is that this is a multi-chaptered story and the plot development is interesting as hell. Where Maai brings in cumin, musk, and oakmoss to build its lasting phase, Aeon001 has the grace to lighten up with a (as the ad copy promises) spicy but translucent labdanum and a very light but effective touch of petitgrain (I think) which is damn impressive this far into the development. The effect is reminiscent of Duchaufour at his best: hefty weightlessness. This is just effortlessly nice to wear and truly enjoy.
The concentration of Aeon001 is remarkable: 24 hours later from 3 sprays it’s still there, though a blur, but what a blur… I get the remnants of indolic jasmine, a suggestion of musk and shimmery ‘amber’ that to my nose smells somehow classically French, rather similar to the drydown of vintage Dioressence. The bottom line is that sometimes blindbuying for the bottle turns out for the best and that obnoxious ad copy doesn’t necessarily mean a crap, superfluous Nu-Niche™ product. The bottle is indeed a joy to hold and behold, and since the calculus adds up, it’s likely that Nunzio is gonna love Aeon001. Let’s hear it for Liechtenstein!
You can purchase a bottle of AEON001 at Essenza Nobile.