New niche line: Room 1015 (2015)

Another new niche line I've discovered at Esxence tradeshow in Milano, Italy. Unlike another couple of winners (Unum and Angela Ciampagna), this is quite a meh for me. Sort of uninspired hipster, wannabe-rebel stuff with very little to say - to me, at least.


Basing on the press release, Atramental shall be meant at evoking a “tattoo parlour”. The smell of ink and blood-stained latex gloves, bandages, pomades, rubber and plastic, the noise of the tattooing machines, the “rebel attitude” mood. I happen to be a tattoo enthusiast pretty much constantly craving for all of that, so I am perfectly familiar with that world and those suggestions. But even making an effort to link Atramental to that, I can’t help but thinking this scent has very little to do with it. Just a shallow, kind of cliché-sque connection to tattoing – “black rubberiness” as any copywriter would imagine by googling “tattooing”, and that’s all. And, anyway, press releases and “concepts” aside... things don’t get really that better. Atramental is basically a rubbery-balsamic leather-vetiver scent with some floral notes, maybe a sprinkle of musk (and oud?) and a clean, synthetic texture, as much wearable and really mildly enjoyable as kind of a massive déja-vu. Pretty much like a hipster version of some Montale’s crossed with some self-considered “avantgarde” niche brands like nu_be, both aiming at making a cheaper ripoff of a hypothetical “Fahrenheit Absolute by Comme des Garçons”. Ok, that looks entangled, but basically that would be the genre: “plastic” darkness, polished rubbery refinement, salty synthetic musky-dusty-woody base, a sprinkle of ambery dust. Not bad, this meaning not (overly) cheap, but utterly negligible for me, especially at that price.



Blomma Cult

My guess, or better, how this smells under my nose at the opening: vanillin (and vanillin and vanillin), amber, citrus, powdery violet, cloves, cinnamon, maybe something like heliotrope – a kind of dry, floral, powdery-dusty-beeswax note - and clean musky lavender (or lavendery musk, you choose). Spicy, musky and powdery shortly, with a pungent juicy head accord of citrus and, I guess, the “higher-pitched” nuances of cinnamon. Kind of a “white-yellow” scent initially, somehow thick yet rather “modern” where modernity means synthetically (and slightly “cheaply”) plain and plastic. The smell overall ranges from pungent nuances to camphorous-floor cleaner tones, via a juicy core of something smelling halfway a spicy cheesecake, wet laundry and mosquito repellent. Once the tart-fresher head notes vanish, Blomma slowly drifts towards a frankly nicer powdery-spicy drydown; cinnamon, cloves, “lipstick” violet and musk take the stage, together with a hint of dry patchouli. Still a bit unpleasantly synthetic – by “unpleasantly” I mean that to me, this smells too synthetic to be satisfyingly realistic, but not synthetic enough to be “avantgarde”. Just some shy, halfway synthetic nowhere clumsily undecided about which polar opposite to emulate – whether trying to smell “good and realistic” of play the “plastic and futuristic” card. Anyway, my description may make this sound crap, but it isn’t that bad; just quite tending on the cheap chemical side, so hence my “supermarket products” references. The drydown is even passably nice, actually. As regards of the inspiration – not the actual quality – echoes here seem to range from Helmut Lang’s EDC, to many spicy-powdery scents of the 1990s-early 2000s, to a veritable shitload of citrus-powdery colognes, via Shalimar’s drydown, Dior Homme, and something of Buxton’s style and favourite notes. A negligible “synthetic contemporary scent” way late on the trends; not bad as I said, but I personally don’t see any point of interest.



Electric Wood

Here’s some good old cedramber galore, stuffed with mellow cashmeran and dusted with ambrette, citrus and something powdery, like violet (iris? Come on!). Name nearly any mainstream woody-citrus-amber fragrance from the 2000s on; Electric Wood won’t be far from that. Neither better nor worse. Plastic woods, dusty amber, a sprinkle of lemon, ambroxan, a shade of silky powder. From Chopard Noble Cedar to Terre d’Hermès and/or pretty any other recent designer "crisp woody" scent, that’s the family. Polished, synthetic-smelling, extremely déja-vu. Not unpleasant but a joke for the price and the naive “indie rebel” pretenses.


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