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quinta-feira, 28 de julho de 2016

Vincent Micotti of YS-UZAC Presented his New Fragrance in Perm

by: Evgeniya Chudakova

So, Perm is a city in central Russia, not far from Ural. And now it's become known among classical music fans as the current place of residence for one of the most admired musicians of nowadays, maestro Teodor Currentzis. Teodor is a Greek-born Russian conductor, musician and actor. He is also an art director of the now famous opera and ballet Diaghilev Festival held annually in Perm.
This year Diaghilev fest had its triumphal final on June 30 with a huge (both in scale and in meaning) performance. The music group musicAeterna, founded and guided by Teodor Currentzis, played for the first time the Sixth Symphony by Mahler. On July 2, the international group of musicians also performed the Sixth in Moscow, creating a huge hype among local music geeks. 
Each event with the participation of Teodor Currentzis owes the maestro's personality for the lion's share of its success. Being one of the most talented musicians of our time, a man of frightening passion and charisma, the one who creates a cult of himself at his fingertips, Teodor is mentioned today on Fragrantica not by coincidence. The maestro is passionate not only about music but about perfumery as well.  
Third Symphony by Mahler, musicAeterna, Teodor Currentzis (Diaghilev fest, 2014)
It's quite evident that nearly every perfumista at least once comes to an idea of creating his or her own scent. Teodor Currentzis realized his idea with the help of perfumer and cellist Vincent Micotti, the founder and perfumer behind Swiss niche brand  YS-UZAC
Notes: rain, tears, cold air, ozone, rhubarb, cannabis, myrrh, incense, iris, woods, amber, ambergris infusion
Evgeniya: Why have you chosen Vincent Micotti for your perfume project?
Teodor: Because he is really one of the masters who create an alternative in the world of modern perfumery. I appreciate a philosophy behind a scent. I remember while visiting London I tried Vincent's fragrance  Sacre du Printemps and also his very radical Dragon Tattoo. I was astonished by a feeling that these were not fragrances that give familiar sensations, but ones that help to explore your own feelings longer, ones that open the door to a sort of déja vu, to more personal feelings. There are only three or four perfumers whose work influences me like this. And Vincent is one of them.
Evgeniya: Were you aware that Vincent is a musician?  
Teodor: No, I wasn't, first I tried his fragrances and later found out that he is musician and a friend of my friends. It was so surprising!  We met. I invited him to Zurich opera for my performance. After that we went to the cafe that Freud used to visit. There we started a strange conversation about psychology, about music and fragrances. And I realized that I want to step forward in this direction.
Evgeniya: Was there any brief of clear vision of the fragrance that you wanted to create or was everything settling down in the process? 
Teodor: No, I was sure about what I wanted to do. I wanted to create a feeling that the person who wears this perfume comes in from outside,  I wanted to have ozone in the scent...then, I love myrrh and incense, but using incense is tricky as it's very loud and usually dominates over all other smells, leaving its trail. I wanted to have the cool feeling inside the composition. And a general impression of spring, of epitaph, of falling in love, of nostalgia and joy of depression...
Evgeniya: Now I see a parallel with Mahler's Sixth performed by you...same re-thinking of a tragedy in a more uplifting, even triumphant way. 
Teodor: Yes, it seems to be so.
Evgeniya: You have practically answered my other question already but I'll firm it up: were there any particular components that you wanted to have in the composition? 
Teodor: I worked here solely in the field of fantasy and Vincent was responsible for technique. I did not tell him to put in any particular ingredient, I just described the smell, grandmother's house smell, a beloved one's skin smell....
Evgeniya: Have you received the desired fragrance finally? 
Teodor: I think so, but I'm still exploring it... I love complex fragrances.
All Vincent's works, especially the above-mentioned Sacre du Printemps and Dragon Tattoo, along with BOM JasmineBOM IncenseOud Ankaa make an impression with their body, originality and, maybe, experimentality. But even their creator himself singles out έαp 16 amongst his other fragrances. According to him, all the named fragrances attract people with their brightness and eccentricity, and  έαp 16 is precious for its structure and more complex formula. 
"When maestro Teodor Currentzis asked me to create a new perfume, I understood that it would be a challenge. I did not have a strict purposes, I just had to make something perfect. My task was to hear Teodor and using aromatic tools to create a piece of non-material art, nearly similar to music. Now, when the fragrance is ready I'm proud of the accomplished work."—Vincent Micotti
And it's definitely more subtle and thin than Sacre du Printemps, more calm and quiet than Dragon Tattoo, not so big and bold as BOM Jasmine, but it's way more deep than the brand's other fragrances. It has an absolutely surprising starting accord that takes so much space both in work and in longevity and detailing. έαp 16 seems to have rather simple development—iris with a reference to green notes, dry incense, the white light of myrrh and grey amber—but they are so wonderfully texturized, that you feel yourself diving out of the wet, airy, cold green mist of Nature's first breaths of spring into a pearly-grey storm that is either cold snow or soft swan's down.
During the fragrance presentation Vincent talked about the different stages of creation, showing four separate scents that compose the final fragrance: two of them form the starting accord—cold and more background-forming Outdoor Cold Air and tart and a bit menthol-like wet and cold Rain Smell, dry woody-papery central accord An old Book and base accord Dark Side.

"έαp 16 (from Greek - 'Spring') is like an ouverture to a myth. A fragrant prologue with the bright traits of life itself. The opening note covers with ozonic freshness— this smell is brought to the house on mum's coat when she enters from the outside into a warm house. And in the house there are shelves with old books that share their secrets with a ready mind—the bitterness and warmth of myrrh. And here we are with the heart accord: there is incense near myrrh, it creates an image of a small stony chapel, warmed up with passionate prayers of Holy Fathers. You have a glance of then simple interior of the chapel and you look through the whiteness of a small window that gives into the yard where snow has already melted, uncovering soil where new greenery is starting to grow. Young iris stems are here in strange combination with rhubarb—a spicy smell with a bittersweet one.
This is the smell of an early spring that has its own rules. So the Universe is awakening step by step and the fragrance's base accord is developing its main ambergris note that seduces every living creature on Earth."—press release
I arrived to Perm knowing absolutely nothing about the new fragrance except for the name and the facts of the collaboration with Teodor Currentzis. Before the presentation I received the press release, but I intentionally did not read it thoroughly...just looked it through catching accidentally the words "iris," "myrrh," and "rhubarb." 
For the first time I tried έαp 16 one day before the official presentation. We met with Vincent at Lucas Debargue's concert and at the entrance to the Music Hall Vincent sprayed my hand once with έαp 16My first impression was surprise to feel such a bright and watery-cold accord that is not so characteristic for the YS-UZAC brand at this stage (just remember the thick and bold perfumes of the last few years). The Following two hours I spent not only listening to Luca's beautiful piano, but smelling my wrist. And I had a perfectly clear image of this perfume's structure in my head. There were two main accords intertwining like DNA structure—a cold bittersweet note that recalled ashberries under snow and a cold green rhubarb note. These two accords were step by step drowning into a whirlpool of light and clear myrrh up to the moment when everything interfused to the uniform, slightly powdery, dry woody-papery accord with many different shades. Here you could notice iris, cashmeran, echoes of rhubarb and at the final stage, ambergris with its light skin-animalic shade.
It was all beautiful but this bitter berry/ashberry shade made a mess, dominating myrrh and rhubarb. 
I mean that from the very beginning the scent was interesting, but surprisingly, while seeming clear in structure (for that moment), it produces a rather chaotic impression. There was not some "click" that puts everything in their places, that turns on the limelights at the very moment when the mise en scène is ideal and you can see everything in its top.  
Having several samples with me, on the evening of the same day I sprayed it rather generously and here the miracle happened. No hint of this ashberry, but a huge and bright green Jupiter-like sphere, where, projecting some inner glow as under the spotlight, juicy and green, slightly sweet black current notes are bursting along with thick-and-loud-as-Vivaldi-violins rhubarb notes. Here are hundreds of shades of clear and clean cold air and smoky greenery—something lush and green recalling violet Baruti Tindrer, something bitter-smoky dark green from Aedes de Venustas Signature. Step by step this sphere is being filled with grainy iris notes, incense smoke and a dry myrrh cloud. Wet and green shades still try to get through this cover but with every minute this incensy woody-papery mist becomes more dry, sometimes having even limey-warmth, recalling the white walls of orthodox churches. And as a final accord there is ambergris with its semi-transparent bluish-grey animalic shades, warm and a bit woolly sour.   
Each time I tried έαp 16there were two clearly visible phases: cold green and warm papery-balmy. But the moment when they change one another was every time different. Sometimes the rhubarb that seemed to disappear came back in three or four hours. And yes, this fragrance can play hide-and-seek with you, disappearing and reappearing with renewed vigor. A couple of times I could not even understand from where I smelled such an amazing scent and was searching for it near me. So, if you try έαp 16, I do recommend doing it attentively and pensively. 
There was a moment in our conversation with Teodor that I left till the end of the article.
Teodor: ...We are planning to make a new fragrance soon. 
Evgeniya: Yeah...I remember your assistant Maria mentioned a new fragrance for the next Diaghilev fest. Will it be an absolutely new composition or a reissue of έαp 16
Teodor: Absolutely new. We are thinking of launching scents for Diaghilev fest annually.
Jane: Wow, what  great news! It sounds like an amazing big perfume project!
Teodor: Thank you! 

For the moment έαp 16 is a limited edition available in Russia and online at the official YS-UZAC web-site. But possibly later it may become part of the general colection of the brand. 
Photo: Jane Wonder

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