Last Saturday I had the great privilege of meeting Friedemann Ramacher the owner and creative director of the Swiss brand Sentifique in Basel at Hyazinth perfumery. He was there for a few hours as a guest to present his exclusive line, so I took the chance of finding right from the source the stories behind these creations. To my pleasure the meeting turned out as an in-depth presentation of each fragrance including sniffing some vials with precious raw materials which Andreas Wilhelm, his collaborator perfumer has used to create all the compositions. An interesting and important detail about Sentifique is that the process of creation starts long before mixing the ingredients. Mr. Ramacher is a very creative person (he has a long time experience in architecture and furniture design) therefore everything starts, as in movies, from a script. First he envisions the scent, the situation, he chooses a character and a mood. Then it begins the actual process of developing the scent when the talented perfumer Andreas Wilhelm turns by magic everything into reality. The result is a collection of five unique, expressive and alluring scents each telling a different story, every composition being a small universe of its own.
Testosterone (for Men) – A Triumph of Structure and Strengh
I don`t usually like patchouli in big amounts because generally it has that hippie earthy/gourmand aspect that spoiled in my case a few promising scents adding them a touch of dirtiness hard to ignore, but here a miracle happened: I finally discovered a clean patchouli as a leading player (the note is actually called crystallized patchouli meaning the perfumer isolated from patchouli oil only the 40%amount of pure material therefore the note has a limpid quality). How does a crystallized patchouli smell like? Very erotic, herbaceous but not bitter, a bit camphoreous and refined. That note alone could have made the entire scent seem complex, but sometimes when you think it couldn`t get any better it does. The main note is subtly wrapped by some sharp spices that give an almost sweaty vibe oh la la and a bunch of freshly picked aromatic herbs to keep your senses awake. The scent erupts directly with this mélange of patch, herbs and spices and after a short while a silky oud accent intervenes by adding a doze of naughtiness. From now on the scent stays linear, hugging your skin and defining your own scent. I`d lve to go out with a guy wearing this manly and captivating scent to hit the best clubs in town. I would twist in his arms on those 80`s hits and we`d have crazy fun together and I bet after a wild night like this he would smell even more addictive.
Ideal for: night time, concerts, artistic events but I think it could also turn as an interesting office scent – you`ll obtain everything you want from your business partners.
Cèdre Sacré (unisex) – A Towering Cedar Reflected on the Surface of a Mountain Lake
Presented as unisex, but to my nose a bit more masculine, this is a citric, humid scent which evokes that dense and lush Mediterranean vegetation. There is something very exhilarating and uplifting in this composition, because under the dark branches of the cedar, I get a cool breeze that adds an extra amount of freshness. The effect is obtained by the mixture of a Sicilian lemon peel note that maintains a remarkable presence in all stages (with a bit of help coming from ginger) with an icy note of African incense, one of the best on the market. The oud is present also here like a transparent cloak, never imposing itself very dramatically, only creating a mysterious depth and making the woody base seem sophisticated.
Ideal for: a daily scent for outdoor, cruises, summer holidays.
Dangereuse (for Women) – Hold me, Thrill me, Kiss me…Kill me
Well, maybe the last part will not occur in the end, I suppose :). She`s a seducer, a tropical bombshell, a good white witch enveloped in an invisible magic aura of powder, stars and angel dust. Her voluptuous body shimmers under the moonlight and smells narcotic of creamy sandalwood and crushed flowers, gentle, inviting and warm. Her pale lipstick is scented with an infusion of Florentine iris and when she gently places her soft hands around your neck you`ll feel the aphrodisiac effect of the musk oil that she applied before drop by drop. Her kiss tastes nutty and sweet, like coconut. This scent offers a deep level of intrigue and subtle sultry sensations only detectable when close up. A remarkable detail is that Dangereuse manages to become a very sensual perfume without following the basic rules like offering the common dark mixture of patchouli, amber, spices, vanilla, smoke and leather we found in many other sultry compositions. Quite on contrary, Dangereuse blends only soft, exquisite notes of Mysore sandalwood, a powdery iris, musk and a coconut water note deprived of all its sticky and dense nuances, having therefore a refined structure which creates an appealing and fascinating cloud around the wearer. It is soft, but not innocent at all and I couldn`t think of a more proper name. Do. Try. It.
Ideal for: indoor, romantic evenings.
Party (unisex) – A Summer Soiree in a Garden
Party entrhalled me right from the start with a lofty hesperidic note of succulent mandarin. The fruit is so natural and vibrant rendered here that I can almost feel the taste of it. Party shares for some moments this olfactory realism with the cheerful Oyedo from Diptyque, but if Oyedo strikes almost just one chord presenting this aromatic fruit from all angles (and I do love it… as a pillow scent), Party is much more than a simply fruity scent, because the perfumer strategically juxtaposed here different transparent layers around the pivotal note until the composition become in the end very textured and complex. It is a melodic, fun, intriguing scent like a girl with a dearly smile that lures you through the crowd to the dance floor. The pure mandarin peel essence that I sniffed from the small vial was incredibly redolent and multifaceted, having a slightly peppery facet that I`m also depicting in the composition of Party, but on a much more reduced scale. In Party the fruit is accompanied by a wonderful magnolia blossom that brings a feminine vibe in the air. I also sniffed from a vial an extract of magnolia blossom and to my surprise this flower turns out to smell extremely different when concentrated then it`s version in nature I know. I live near a botanical garden and in spring I ofen go there to stuck my nose in the lush flowers of magnolias because they posses an incredibly beautiful scent, citrusy yet very creamy, and I joke that the flowers of magnolia have a ready-to-wear scent. Guerlain did a great job in L`Instant for example, there I recognize exactly the magnolias from the garden. But in Party I encountered the pure essence, the quintessence of the flower and it smells much more sweeter then in reality having a bubblegum facet. Sooooo good! To prevent the scent of becoming too sticky, the perfumer added a small dose of well mannered aldehydes that polishes the surface of the fragrance making it appear neat, luminous and clean.
Ideal for: take it out, bring it to a cocktail party or a lunch with friends.
Daim Rouge (for Women) – La Belle Rebelle
After I used a few samples of Daim Rouge in no time, it became clear to me that I needed this as a big bottle, so now I`m a proud owner of a full-size version of this scent. How could I not love this bold beauty? I get many of my favorite elements here rolled up in a highly seductive composition with a modern twist. It has that special femme-fatalle allure, smelling of roses, lipsticks, powders and a black biker leather jacket over naked skin. It is so proud, uncensored, egocentric, loud and somehow bizarre but in a good way. You can read more about daim rouge in my previous review here.
Ideal for: as the song says “Good Girls go in Heaven (Bad Girls go Everywhere)” wear Daim Rouge anytime and anywhere you wish and be amazed by the results.
Have you tried them? Thoughts?