Brooding, feral, quixotic… not the standard descriptions you would attach to a new fragrance. But then, maverick "nose" Geza Schoen is no ordinary perfumer. First coming to prominence with the launch of the cult Escentric Molecules range he produces with branding guru Jeff Lounds and Me Company design studio, Schoen has continued to mystify and surprise his followers with each new edition he brings to market. The approach is cerebral yet beguiling in its invitation. A maverick creator, Schoen prefers to flip the coin on industry expectations. Instead of overloading each perfume with a raft of exotic ingredients, he reduces the offer to a very refined palette where less is definitely better. The result allows plenty of space for each note to interact, and radiates from the wearer, guaranteeing curiosity and interest from friends and complete strangers.
The latest is Kinski, in homage to deceased German actor, Klaus Kinski, best known for his lead roles in film director, Werner Herzog's golden era. Career-defining films, including Aguire, Wrath of God, Fitzcarraldo and the as-yet unsurpassed vampire movie, Nosferatu. And that is where the opening adjectives come into play. In his time, Kinski was the hard-living anti-hero that could move from broken romantic to energetic hell-raiser with little prompting. All of this is captured in the fragrance, produced under licence to the Kinski Foundation as they commemorate the 20th anniversary of his passing. The scent establishes an animalic aura from the start, with an intense dose of castoreum, smoothed down with vetiver. This is tethered with musk, ginger, ambergris and marijuana. Kinski was a counter-culturalhero, after all. As with all of Schoen's output, the scent remains resolutely unisex in its appeal. There is an unpredictable tension that lingers when wearing the fragrance. A subversive promise that anything can happen. And, most likely will. §