Blogpost: Fear of Smell - Wik & Co

Posted by T • July 26, 2020

Posted by T • July 26, 2020

Wik & Co

 

I own quite a few perfumes for different occasions. There are perfumes that I like for their top notes and others where the base notes win me over, as it is for example the case with some of the fragrant emissions from Tom Ford. Ultimately, the package counts and contributes to how I perceive and value individual fragrances.

The common denominators tend to be that I like fragrances that are not pumped full of synthetic aroma chemicals; the way notes dance together and are not just jagged and in-your-face obvious; a sense of longevity in terms of the perfume being with you all day without being penetrant; linearity versus how the wearing phases project and how it forms a symbiosis with you to work with one’s own idiosyncratic chemistry, compliments your natural smell and does not plateau after the dry down on dull territory after the first sensation has worn off.

While I cannot deny that the marketing, design, packaging and overall presentation aspects do play a role as well, it ultimately does not play a big enough role that I would be put off from a good perfume with an ugly bottle or choose a pretty bottle over a good perfume. Same goes for ingredients beyond safety and appropriateness for the application, i.e. the mere fact that the fragrance was composed mostly or entirely of natural essential oils acquired in some arcane manner from some rare and exotic source, does not necessarily give me a  basis for believing that the result is superior – au contraire, it could even smell worse. I have no basis for believing that rare or expensive necessarily means better nor that inexpensive means bad. After all, would a rose from an artful composition of inexpensive synthetics still smell as sweet? Well, it might, no shame in being fooled here.

Wik and Co. is an Australian boutique perfumery that I only recently came across despite their operation having had already started as a passion project in 2013.

What I appealed to me from a distance was their credo around which their endeavours are centred, i.e. around respecting the craft in all aspects when it comes to the sourcing of ingredients and the processes around the creations of their fragrances, specifically through investing time, giving their ingredients ample time to mature and macerate in a bid to let them unfold their complexities and depths.

Wik & Co’s ventures are based on a triumvirate of perfumers, i.e. Amandine Clerc-Marie , Fabrice Pellegrin and Philippine Courtiere, a trio the individual constituents of which have proved themselves in the world of scents on international terrain over and over again.

What they have created was not schemed out but is quintessentially the outcome of their respective passion projects they have channelled their alchemy in, which defines the DNA of Wik & Co, i.e. honouring traditions, yet bold and pushing the boundaries outside the confines of mainstream flavours of the day.

Mechant Zorro was the first fragrance I tried and its dark imagery that surrounds it, it frames the top notes of a distinctive spicy-floral quality, which blend well with pepper, milk, liquorice, sugar and woody notes, that are highlighted by a green mid that rests of a muscular back of sandalwood, warm vanilla and hints of patchouli.

Hanging Gardens is the female yang to complete the duality with the aforementioned sensual and woody yin, as it is all about open, citrussy and exuberantly fruity scents resulting in a melange that is backed again by a backdrop of cashmere and spicy resinous notes.

With the telling name The Sicilian, I was intrigued if the scent could capture the essence of what emanates from the largest Island of the Mediterranean. What materializes on the nostrils is a well-calibrated dualistic blend of citrussy and fruity top notes, that are pervaded by a foundation that is seemingly antagonistic yet subverts and complements and contributes rather than contradicts with subtle amber-woody base notes.

The Cedrat Blanc variety is more on the lighter side of things as the translation of the name, i.e. “white citrus”, suggests and it pales a bit compared to the overwhelmingly sensual scent that goes by the name of Merveil-Leux: Floral and woody in nature, what ladies get here is an exercise par excellence in seduction with rose and sandalwood being clearly identifiable, serenaded by earthy-rooty violent flowery highlights.

Marvellous indeed.

The homage to Asia, i.e. So Tokyo, reminds me more of the South-Eastern part of the continent with its sensual, floral, neroli-like trail galbanum, amplified by musky and dominating green aromas that are given depth by oriental, resinous notes.

With Wik & Co’s first collection being a strong entry in the world of boutique-y fragrances, it should be interesting to see its reception in the ole world where the brand if currently looking to expand into.

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image from company website

T • July 26, 2020

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