Greg Young from AusScents.
Last year, designer Philippe Starck ventured into the fragrance world with three perfumes. In keeping with Starck’s minimalist design philosophy, these scents are very subtle and stick close to the skin. There is some playing with preconceptions about what a gender-specific fragrance should be like; the female fragrance morphs into something more masculine, and vice versa. And it simply would not be Starck without some unusual twists on “normal” design.
Philippe Starck Fragrances
From Silk to Rock
Peau de Soie by Dominique Ropion for Philippe Starck 2016
Skin of Silk. The most feminine fragrance in the range, Peau de Soie is as silky-smooth as the name implies. It’s a very soft, powdery scent. Peau de Soie opens with unobtrusive woody notes and then develops a mild floral note reminiscent of iris and a candy-like musk. On my skin this lasted about half the day, but it had almost zero projection. One needs to sniff one’s wrist closely to enjoy it.
Peau d`Ailleurs by Annick Menardo for Philippe Starck 2016
Skin from Elsewhere. Yes, well this is very well-named in a sense, because it has notes that I’ve never encountered in a fragrance before. It opens earthy, with a green, vegetal whiff to it. A few close sniffs revealed an aroma of freshly cut beetroot which, once identified, became inescapable.
After a while, a transition away from earthiness begins and we get a faint lemony smell followed by musk and a little bit of wood. This also lasted about half a day on my skin.
Is beetroot a thing? Not according to the Fragrantica database. Nevertheless, I found myself quite liking this very different take on an earthy scent. I could easily see this one polarising sniffers; it’s a brave attempt from a designer renowned for his original thinking.
Peau de Pierre by Daphne Bugey for Philippe Starck 2016
Skin of Stone. This one represents the end of a journey from silky lightness through an indefinable greenness down to earth and woods. There is a trace of sharp citrus on the first spray with a green note that I thought might be galbanum. A dominant cedary smell takes over, with a smoky aura about it. It comes across a little bit soapy at times, so I don’t think it quite fulfils the promise of its name, but it is probably my favourite of the three. It lasted a bit less than the others; maybe about 6 hours.
The subtlety of these scents means that individual notes rarely dominate; they are designed to be appreciated as a melange of their various parts. They all last a good long time on skin and are ideal if you’re wearing a fragrance solely to please yourself, or in an intimate encounter. If you’re up for something a bit different, the Starck range may be for you.
These reviews were based on samples given to me by Marco at Mason’s Menswear Boutique in Flinders Lane which is, I believe, the sole Australian outlet for the Starck line. (Ed: These guys have only been open for 13 weeks and are already generating a lot of media interest. We will watch with interest! They were super friendly on the phone today)