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domingo, 1 de maio de 2016

Renegades: Geza Shoen, Mark Buxton & Bertrand Duchaufour

by: Sergey Borisov, Valery Mikhalitsyn, Matvey Yudov

Matvey Yudov:

Becoming a perfumer is a long process. Firstly, future perfumers learn about ingredients, and only after they are able to distinguish them by their smell, they start mixing simple accords and combinations. After being able to identify components of simple compositions, students start mixing monoaromas, then learn different perfume genres. 
After graduating from school, a perfumer rarely starts his/her independent perfume career, more often he/she joins the team in one of the perfume companies, big or small, and learns from more experienced colleagues, mastering one's own skills. Very often I ask perfumers how many years are usually needed to become a perfumer? And the answer has been always about the same: about fifteen years of constant practice.
Imagine then that you have fifteen years of making perfumes for big brands, you might feel pretty tired of re-making unchallenging clones and replicas of popular perfumes. Somebody could easily combine commercial work to make the name and money, enjoying some occasional creative projects. But some can't keep up with speed and sense of producing numerous flankers - Sport, Intense, Blue, Light - and leaves the big corporation for the sake of his/her own creative development.
Antoine Lie, the author of greatest hits for VersaceArmaniValentino andSalvador Dali, left the Givaudan corporation in 2011 for a smaller, but more creative Takasago to start working on orders from niche perfume houses. Francis Kurkdjian, who we know by Le Male and Green Tea Elizabeth Arden, as well as creations for Dior and Guerlain, started his carreer in Quest (it was later aquired byGivaudan), but then also moved to Takasago in 2005. Seven years ago Francis founded his own Maison Francis Kurkdjian.

Today's heroes, being already famous for numerous hits for different perfume brands, also declined work for big corporations and entirely immersed themselves into a creative process full of challenges.
This year Geza Schoen, Bertrand Duchaufour and Mark Buxton have introduced their own perfume project named Renegades. It is a big statement, as everybody is going to compare their works with their previous commercial creations. Everybody wants a surprise. 
I must admit that perfumes are interesting and unusual indeed, but our surprise was not their purpose after all. As they said and it seems to be exactly what they meant: they realized their own challenges and simply had great fun. Their perfumes, unlike many other niche offerings, are not time-(to-hear-my-exciting-story)-consuming, but focused on what was exciting for them, materials and technical skills, perfumes without lace of words around them. They are wearable and bright, and do not copy any other trends currently on the market.
Geza Schoen at Esxence
Geza Schoen: I think the name says everything. We didn`t have to make it up, just  look how things are. We are renegades, and the fragrances are made by renegades. Each of us has his face on the bottle – a British artist made comic characters out of our faces, and then we   made 3D faces. Mark Buxton looks like a monkey, Bertrand has his glasses on, and the last one is me.
Sergey Borisov: And what’s the starting point?
Geza Schoen: Just look at the niche world. All these brands, all these “perfumers”. They are not  perfumers, they’re just freaks. They know bergamot and patchouli, but that does not make you a perfumer, I`m sorry! Mark, Bertrand and I, we all made a career in perfume corporations after perfumery school and then all just left. So we were strong enough to stand alone compared to the others, because we know what we’re doing and besides, conceptually, we have good ideas. That’s enough, I think.
Sergey Borisov: Ok. What was the starting point specifically for your perfume? As you have no brief, apparently.
Geza Schoen: Oh, yes, no briefs. My theme was Shinus Molle tree, or Peruvian pepper tree, or pink pepper tree. It`s the star of my fragrance. Shinus molle extract was launched on the market as pink pepper oil.
Sergey Borisov: So, pink pepper was the common theme for three of you?
Geza SchoenNo-no! Maybe Mark and Bertrand used some pink pepper, I don’t know. Why  would we do that? We’re Renegades, not P&G! It wasn’t worked out.
Sergey Borisov: So Renegades is going to be a serial thing, like a comics? You know, Batman &  Shinus Molle, The Rose of Batman, Batman & Cardamom…
Geza Schoen: Absolutely! Yes, that’s what we're gonna do, but now we've only launched the first collection.
Bertrand Duchaufour & Eugeniya Chudakova, photo from Esxence 2016
Bertrand Duchaufour: At the very beginning it was the idea of Geza. We are friends for a long time, we worked together with Mark for about 12 years at the same company. We share our points of view, we share our technical skills, and all of us were very keen on niche perfumery. Geza had the idea to gather all of us to create something different, to create a new brand. He wanted something “décalée”, shifted; he wanted to have fun with it, something with a sense of humor.
Sergey Borisov: Wasn`t it hard to work in an "empty space"?
Bertrand Duchaufour: Yes, it could be as it lacks references or starting points. But you can find inspiration wherever you want! The good idea for inspiration is the very first idea! And I want to create a perfume based on a material I really appreciate – the red berries. The pink pepper oil. And I did it so to magnify the effect of pink pepper. And my fragrance was built like an “ecrin” for the pink pepper, like the case for jewellery. Or – I'll put it another way – the fragrance is a ring, and pink pepper is a jewel on it.
Sergey Borisov: Is it a fougere fragrance?
Bertrand Duchaufour: It`s a kind of fougere, but everything is made in favor of pink pepper.  It starts with pink pepper with juniper berries' gin effect, the heart note is made of incense –   incense oil, incense resinoid – to make a verticality of the fragrance. And there’s a very marine-salty effect in it due to salicilates. Plus ozonic Florhydral and Calone. And everything was reinforced by the spicy effect of immortelle, so the base is very ambery and salty.

Sergey Borisov:

Talking in terms of comics, I would define Renegades Bertrand Duchaufour asPopeye the Sailor. It is quite sharp at the opening and this fact surprised me at first, I didn't recognize Bertrand's style. He has been so productive, that it is hard to keep up with him.
At one point, this clean and crisp smell reminded me of masculine shower gels from a drugstore. This is my way to tell apart modern fougeres. On the other hand, I sensed a very sweet and resinous woody and even foresty accord. As crazy as usual in Bertrand's works: pineapple, lime and pink pepper along with fir, pine and amber. A very bright and modern woody composition, which is not as simple as it seemed at first sniff. If you divide it into parts, all of them go well with the general style of Bertrand: fresh, gin-like spiciness, which penetrates the whole structure like radiation, just like in Lothair Penhaligon`s. His masterful use of cardamom you can see in many of Bertrand's creations, as well as love for pink pepper, say, inAedes de Venustas and Tubereuse de Nuit L`Artisan Parfumeur.
A transparent and persistent incense accord is one of his trademarks, you smell it in Avignon Comme des Garcons Parfums and Copal Azur Aedes de Venustas. Bertrand is a magician of smoky and woody nuances in base notes, – in hisRenegades perfume we smell a neutral filler of Iso E Super, and sweet resinous, green and almost fruity note of fir balsam, a significant part of Enchanted Forest The Vagabond Prince and Ashoka Neela Vermeire Creations.
Yes! It is totally Bertrand's creation. He reveals himself by incense, spices, and first of all by the complexity of the whole impression. It is close to Lothair, if you need а reference, with all for what Bertrand is so known and loved – woods, translucent smokiness and ringing spices.
bergamot, pink pepper, cardamom, gin, black currant, galbanum
pink pepper, incense, hinoki tree
fir balsam, amber, driftwood


Matvey Yudov:

In Mark Buxton's perfume the main role is given to vetiver. Although there have been already so many vetiver perfumes introduced to the world, and some of them being truly beautiful, Mark's work stands out. It is made in his recognazable bright manner, like a kaleidoscope. Always very colorful and vivid, but with a perfect sense of balance.
It starts with green veggie notes, a garden bed with herbs is close to the one with black currant, then a spicy peppery accord starts its steady development. It seems that black currant and pepper are the key notes in all three Renegades perfumes. Vetiver is a part of a sophisticated resinous woody structure of the composition, with an obvious accent on an animalic leather accord. I can easily imagine this perfume on a gentleman or a lady on a formal occasion, but there is no pose in it. The best words for it would be "enjoyable". It is so enjoyable, that I would wear it all the time, but I will still keep it for my special moments.
basil, mastic, balck currant flowers, black pepper, galbanum
bay oil, rose oil, leather
labdanum, guaiac, vetiver, amber
Mark Buxton, photo from Esxence

Valery Mihalitsyn:

The new perfume by Geza Schoen could beat his fantastic Kinski. It seems like its composition is woven of many luminescent threads of green and blue. Velvety pink pepper, which starts the perfume, is masterfully blended in the sweet and sour citrus accord, in which orange and lime could be sensed. Black currant berries and leaves contribute to its sweet clarity, but the perfumer doesn't want to push them in the front, he merely needed them to nuance the air around his beloved Iso Gamma Super. This molecule protrudes in all layers of the composition, sharing its metallic taste, and forms the trail which attracts me like the magical pipe. I followed it through a night in Milan catching its waves from the skin of my friend.
For the perfect vertical structure, every thread ends with a bead of amber. They softly whisper, sway, so small and unnoticable till the very end. Some perfumes are destined to be smelled only from skin. This is what I would advise in the case with Renegades Geza Shoen. I didn't get its magic on the blotter, continuous pink pepper and quiet fruity nuances. Nice, but that was all...
Renegades Geza Shoen seems to me the main renegade. It is an initiator of the riot, a restless spirit, eternally young and always free. It seeks for rules and borders to break, to laugh in the face of a discouraged everyman. Just look at Geza's face on the flacon, his wicked grin and upturned eyebrow. He will never let you rest. It is an unearthly, fiery blue-green trail left behind from a spacesuperhero.
pink pepper oil, pink pepper absolute, black currant, lemon, lime, bergamot
fir balsam, osmanthus absolute, juniper, hedione, hedional, iris absolute, mate
Iso E Super, cedar, sandal, labdanum, incense, oakmoss, myrrh, castoreum, musk ambrette.
Mark Buxton, Geza Schoen and Bertrand Duchaufour of Renegades
(@sensunique Instagram)

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