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quarta-feira, 3 de fevereiro de 2016

Raymond Matts: Back to the 90s

by: Serguey Borisov

Raymond Matts' perfume collection appears in Russia a year after its launch in the US, which seems like a long period of time, considering that almost all new niche brands from Europe and the US pop up here quite quickly. But I can assure you, it won’t take a long time to understand the seven new perfumes – you'll find them quite familiar.
Raymond Matts
Raymond Matts has been building a career in the fragrance industry for as long as 30 years, working for IFF and Firmenich, Elizabeth Arden and Estée Lauder. As vice-president of Estee Lauder, he was in charge of the launch of Clinique Happy and Clinique Happy for Men, as well as for several Tommy HilfigerCerrutiChloé and Elizabeth Taylor fragrances. After his corporate career, Mr. Matts was an independent consultant for Abercrombie & FitchRuehlIzodBen Bridge and Brioni in their venture to create a line of  perfumes. Last year, Raymond Matts decided to start his own fragrance collection.
Returning back to the industry with a small niche enterprise is a new trend amongst perfume professionals like Terry de GunzburgAerin LauderPierre Bourdon, Pierre Aulas (Ego Facto) and Diana Vreeland (an initiative of her grandson Alexander) – to start something based upon their background, experience, name or connections.
To create his collection, Matts turned to the experienced and well-known perfumers he had worked with before: Annie BuzantianJean-Claude DelvilleChristophe Laudamiel, Olivier Gillotin.
The very first step Mr. Matts made, was based on the marketing motto “Be different or die”. So Raymond Matts fragrances are neither eaux de toilette, nor eaux de parfums. Not even extraits, which are so last century. Mr. Matts invented an original concentration specifically for his project – called Aura de Parfum. An Aura de Parfum is a fragrance that hangs in the air around you for a very long time, almost constantly, while remaining light, polite and correct. It makes no sense sniffing the spray nozzle or sniffing wet blotters:  it`s simply uninformative, as is almost touching your nose to the wrist – clients have to apply Auras and walk around, sometimes catching their own trails. Raymond Matts' Auras need a lot of space, they need the air masses and wind. They are fragrances of invisible and obscure sillage, of wind and water; fragrances of pure emotions and natural purity......Does this bring something to your mind?

Of course, remember the first, light and tender Yosh fragrances, when she was fond of numerology and aura-reading? But there were also many 90s fragrances, those fresh and atmospheric, wet and frozen, a little green and a little flowery creatures.
Fragrant Auras by Raymond Matts are bottled time machines that are configured to transport you to the end of the last and the beginning of the 21st century. All fragrances have their own character, they are really different from each other – but they do share a common nature of transparency and pale shades of floral notes. Chilly, white watery and frozen green notes. Icy water, lily of the valley, ozone, crunchy snow, watermelon and pear, mint and honeysuckle, white and green, softness and delicacy – it`s like the first steps of the Snow Queen in the Enchanted Forest, creating green space into the realm of snow and cold.
I am pleased with Mr. Matts recommendation to sales associates to “Always start a conversation with how the costumer wants a fragrance to make them feel… never with what fragrance do you currently wear”. It indicates that emotions are more important than any of the ingredients, even the most precious ones.
Interestingly, Raymond Matts proposes a set of seven moods/feelings, which create sort of an emotional rainbow: Natural + Light, Soft + Sensuous, Flirtatious + Unexpected, Grace + Fluidity, Crisp + Elegant, Clean + Comforting, Spontaneous + Daring. I had the opportunity to smell all seven auras briefly, but I did not encounter bright, exciting emotions in them, or any concentrated bright accords. Raymond Matts' Auras are always transparent (to feel Rage or Nostalgia, Pride or another powerful feeling, turn to other brands, like Humiecky&Graef). So I decided to describe just one example, the fragrance Tsiling.
Raymond Matts himself describes Tsiling as “Flirtatious / Unexpected”: “Challenging the traditions of perfumery and inspired by pop art, a plastic flower with nature’s scent is born... unexpected warmth will playfully appear. A spray of crisp Asian pear introduces a natural wet green aura, while orris and the freshness of honeysuckle create a plastic floral impression. A cozy creamy sensation saunters forward as milk, rice, and a pinch of patchouli bring a hint of comfort. In a word, Teasing”.
For me, this fragrance unfurled as a clear scent: a ghost of lily of the valley and freesia flowers, created for the American or Japanese perfume market. A sweet fresh splash, some muguet bitterness, a few familiar flowery ozone molecules and a spray of drizzle drops quickly warmed on the skin. Something spicy turns lily of the valley into the distant scent of lilac and there's a  warm, synthetic, musky, woody drydown. The innocent cyborg flower that smells as long and pretty as needed. It brought back to me how delicately and subtly Aqua Universalis Maison Françis Kurkdjian develops in the fresh summer air.
And also it gave me the awareness how far our modern tastes has drifted from the perfumery tastes and images of the 50s, when Diorissimo lily of the valley was created by Edmond Roudnitska. It`s much easier to create simple fragrances now. The smell that Christian Dior considered as “the epitome of my soul in a fragrance”, is an annual limited production by Guerlain now (Muguet Guerlain), as well as a fragrance for the home, for clothes and for the whole family in Maison Francis Kurkdjian's regular collection. The fragile liliy of the valley has been a symbol of purity, happiness and hope till now – but girls are increasingly looking for fresh smells, for playful and tantalizing aromas to give themselves an aura of fun and a flirtatious mood. Airy light girls, sexy pneumatic fairies.
Notes: Pear, Wet green accord, Lily of the valley, Orris, Honeysuckle, Milk, Rice, Patchouli.

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