Extrait de Parfum
MEM is not a perfume that lends itself to easy interpretation. It will reward your patience a hundred times over. MEM is something of a chimera: sometimes it seems masculine, at others, feminine. Beautiful, quixotic, and memorable. This is artisanal perfumery at its most daring.
MEM opens on a dark lavender note that smells less like fresh herbs and more like clay and cepes. Sunshine soon arrives in the form of hops, toasted malt, and the pale ale fizz of aldehydes, lifting the scent out of its humus-rich opening.
The scorched-sugar of ethyl maltol caramelizes the lavender, creating a phantom accord of fruit like the dark, almost calcified contents of a forgotten jar of peach marmalade.
But as soon as the mind adjusts to this accord, MEM shifts again, this time into a rich floral heart of jasmine, rose, and ylang ylang that sacrifices prettiness for the more interesting facets of wax, gasoline, and rubber. Indian sandalwood with its wheaten milkiness and Himalayan cedarwood with its lingering note of woodsmoke work in tandem to ease the florals and aromatics into the base.
The drydown, which is sturdy and beautiful, weaves the sweet dust of unlit incense into the musky, salty, animalic base of a barbershop fougere.
Not since Aimè Guerlain created Jicky in 1889 has a perfumer done something so radical to lavender. Antonio Gardoni takes the sunny herb from its kitchen garden setting and passes it through clay, wood, minerals, burned sugar, and wax so that a new form emerges, like steel forged by the elements.
- Petitgrain, Mandarin, Grapefruit, Four Types of Lavender, Peppermint Laurel
- Ylang Ylang, Lily of the Valley, White Champaca, Jasmine Grandiflorum, Rose Damascena, Bourbon Geranium
- Vanilla, Siam Benzoin, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Himalayan Cedarwood, Labdanum, Ambergris, Musk, Castoreum, Civet, Amber
Perfumer: Antonio Gardoni: 2017