Many would never reveal an attraction to unspoken secretions except in private between consenting like-minded adults or medical professionals. Cleanliness is about control, a war against dirt, microbes; things that we cannot see but alarm us enough to scrub, soap, primp, emolliate and perfume such things away.
Yet we know secretly that many of us are aroused, whether we like it or not, by the ripeness of a human body. Marlou perfumes react to our own desirous primal intimacies.
Founded by Briac Frocrain, Marlou celebrates the body as a laboratory; manufacturing musks of desire that remind us there is more to skin than just mere containment. Sure, we cleanse, paint and perfume it, but do we truly understand the erotic feral urges exuded in the seeking of sex, excitement and danger.
Marlou is a line of perfumes I suspect a lot of people might find suspicious but secretly obsess over; disturbed yet turned on by the sensual musky mechanics at play in the seamless composing. The salacious disturbance of Poudrextase, the glistening lovesweat of Ambilux and the ominous animalic discord of Marlou’s first perfume Carnicure.
The compositions exude a compelling balance of dirty-beautiful attraction. This style of facsimile body aroma perfumery is difficult to achieve. We might be reluctant to admit it but perfumes like Poudrextase, Carnicure and Ambilux hint at the ecstatic emotions engendered by the collision of reality and fantasy.
Briac trained in architecture and fashion and then moved into this strange world he has created of molecular emissions and perfumed licentiousness, almost as if he has telescoped his fascinations down, macro to micro, brick and fibre to pore. No matter how much we preen we must exude in order to survive. For some these things have become fetishised, for others they remain repellent. Yet science knows that smell probably plays a much more profound part in human evolution than we like to admit.
We would like to think beauty, hench bodies or old-fashioned mysteries of attraction guide us to mates, but in fact many scent specialists believe we still use odour, albeit in a more refined way to pull moths to our flames. When it comes it to the muskier, animalic end of the perfumery spectrum, especially before regulation stopped actual animals being harmed, have you never wondered why we are so aroused by musks that used to come from deer glands, beaver testicles, civet cat anal secretions or hyrax scat? It’s a disturbing question, yet many crave the echoing vintage effects of these musky, feral origins on their skin.
Marlou addresses this differently from the slew of copycat heritage houses by concentrating on the psychology of skin. The name Marlou itself is an old pejorative French word for pimp, literally a seller of skin and sex if you like. Now it is more likely to mean rascal, a cunning mischievous kid. A tainted word laundered clean by time.
So, Carnicure, Ambilux and Poudrextase are perfumes that both hide and expose, meld and transform. Using musks, rice powder, fur, flowers, suggestions of scalp, that peculiar bonding scent of newborn skin, salt, wax, chalk, lacteous lotions, sweat and dried weeds as part of a reconnaissance into a theorem of ambrosial and deviant olfaction. Above all else, the Marlou perfumes are incredibly beautiful, rare compositions of libido and bliss.
ⒸTSF July 2022