#1

Maker of Soaps and Shaver of Men
Cooperstown, NY, USA
(This post was last modified: 07-18-2015, 03:01 AM by Barrister_N_Mann.)
I have previously been known to prattle on from time to time about the importance of “art” in fragrance, which, by definition, indicates that there are some fragrances that I do not consider to fall into that category. While this is certainly true (and definitely a discussion for another time), there are some fragrances that take art to an entirely new level, that exist on the very fringe of avant-garde design and that are assembled in their own specific way for their own specific sake, whether they’re wearable/usable/pleasant or not. Perhaps the most famous example in modern parlance is Secretions Magnifique, which smells of sweat, coconuts, and metal, but the lesser-known Odeur 71 by Comme de Garçon is arguably more successful as an actual perfume.

That said, it’s certainly in its own category of weirdness. Odeur 71 smells like a hot copy machine.

That’s literally it, too. Its brief was famously conducted by waiting until the end of a business day and sending all of the perfumers down to the copy room to stick their noses into the various nooks and crannies of the machines in order to ascertain what exactly it is that they smell like. I have no idea which perfumer eventually created the finished fragrance, but whomever it was succeeded brilliantly.

At the opening, it smells like bitter ink, chemicals, and metal. Harsh and synthetic, it perfectly captures the smell of raw toner and warm paper rollers. I’ve actually smelled the main chemical used to create this effect before, but for the life of me cannot remember what it’s called. It has a bitter, screechy, industrial character and, to the best of my knowledge, Odeur 71 is the only perfume on Earth to use it in anything more than the barest trace amounts. At a distance, it smells fresh, warm, and clean, like a newly-printed newspaper. There are definite notes of ink and wood pulp in there, which I imagine is the note that Fragrantica is describing as “bamboo.”

After the opening act, which lasts for several hours (during which time it undergoes a bit of a roller coaster as it becomes harsher and then smoother as some of the primary chemicals burn off), a slightly spicy, warm, woody character becomes apparent, which I suppose one could call “incense,” it one burned incense in a plastic censer and doused it with fountains of black ink. It’s strange, but not definitely not unpleasant and serves to make the perfume a bit more approachable. It becomes less a monolith of ink and metal and more a friendly neighborhood copy printer, steadily trundling along day by day, printing memos and pamphlets and whatever else its office mates require.

Perhaps fittingly, the final act of the perfume is the soft, gentle aroma of warm plastic: the somewhat nutty, faintly synthetic scent left in the copy room at the end of the day after the copiers have been working nonstop. It’s strangely comforting, as if emblematic of having completed all sorts of important paperwork that you needed to get done before you go on vacation. I have absolutely no idea how the effect was created save that it involves a dizzyingly complicated assemblage of musks, but it’s clever as hell and certainly one of the neatest tricks I’ve come across in a perfume in quite some time.

By rights, Odeur 71 shouldn’t smell nearly as good as it does, but whichever gifted perfumer at IFF created the thing understood the importance of perfume smelling good and made damn certain that he or she didn’t take the whole experiment too far. I actually received compliments on the stuff at the bank today, so I’m willing to bet that it’s far more wearable than it might initially appear. It may not be for everyone, but, if you’re looking for something different and highly original that’s still pleasant enough that you could probably wear it every day, it’s definitely worth a sample.

Chuck, tdmsu, onethinline and 2 others like this post
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#2
Did they capture the ozone smell?


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#3

Maker of Soaps and Shaver of Men
Cooperstown, NY, USA
(07-18-2015, 03:36 AM)Erlenmeyer Wrote: Did they capture the ozone smell?


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They did. I'm fairly certain that the compound that I mentioned in the beginning is Floralozone, actually.
I am stepping away from all public-facing personal social media for some time. If you have any questions regarding Barrister and Mann, please submit them through the contact form on our website at https://www.barristerandmann.com/pages/talk-to-us
#4
Incredible. I'd love to smell it, but to wear it would likely send me into convulsions thinking of my days working in patent law.


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#5

Super Moderator
San Diego, Cal., USA
Hey, Will, thank you for saving me some money. I think I'll stick with a scent this guy from Barrister and Mann uses in one of his shaving soaps; it's called Cheshire. Wink

Barrister_N_Mann likes this post
#6

Maker of Soaps and Shaver of Men
Cooperstown, NY, USA
(07-18-2015, 04:11 AM)Freddy Wrote: Hey, Will, thank you for saving me some money.  I think I'll stick with a scent this guy from Barrister and Mann uses in one of his shaving soaps; it's called Cheshire. Wink

I do what I can, Freddy. Big Grin
I am stepping away from all public-facing personal social media for some time. If you have any questions regarding Barrister and Mann, please submit them through the contact form on our website at https://www.barristerandmann.com/pages/talk-to-us
#7

Member
Los Angeles
Every Friday I get excited about your reviews, but also scared to read something I want to smell. Well... this is not it! Big Grin

Overlord likes this post
#8
Thanks for the review Will. I very much enjoyed reading it!


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