Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Comme des Garcons x Stephen Jones: A Review

It’s been a big year for the diminutive little violet. There was Feerie, Creed Love in Black, Frederic Malle Dans Tes Bras (if this smells like violets to you, then you’re luckier than me), Guerlain Insolence (the EdP launched in ‘08, the EdT launched in ’06, so Guerlain was ahead of the crowd), and now CdG x Stephen Jones (CdGxSJ) have tried their hand at violet.

I guess I shouldn’t insinuate that CdGxSJ are followers, going with the violet trend like many other perfume houses, because who else decided to mix violets with meteorite? If the aroma of meteorite isn’t an original scent then I don’t know what is.

Well…that isn’t so true, actually. CdGxSJ reminds me a lot of Creed’s Love in Black. Back in July, I described Love in Black as smelling like violets and tar, or an asphalt driveway with beautiful little violets strewn about. If CdGxSJ hadn’t listed meteorite among the notes I would have gone with the tar or pavement analogy with this fragrance, too. CdGxSJ really does remind me a lot of Creed Love in Black. It’s striking me as odd, that a perfume house like CdG, who seem to pride themselves on avante garde fragrances teetering on the edge of being unwearable (at times) would create something so similar to a staid and traditional perfume house such as Creed.

CdGxSJ does smell really good. I like Creed Love in Black and I also like CdGxSJ. Earlier this year, Brian, my co-writer for this blog, made it his project to help me understand and enjoy violet scents which I previously didn’t like. Well, for the most part, I still don’t like the ultra-girly, soft and powdery violets scents, but I do love this new batch of violet scents that growl instead of purr. CdGxSJ has created a violet scent that is recognizably violet but with the addition of a mineral-y quality as well as a slight woodiness, that makes it drier and fresher than the violet fragrances of yesteryear. If you like violet scents paired with unusual notes then this is a must try.

Lots of us refer to spicy, skanky rose fragrances as a “dirty rose” scent. “Dirty violet” now strikes me as the perfect categorization for CdGxSJ and this new crop of violet scents.

The packaging is fabulous. The bottle looks like an old fashioned ink well and comes in a little hat-box with funky fish-net wrapping – tres chic. But, again, there's another similarity here: the bottle reminds me a bit of the new CK Secret Obsessions bottle....hmmmm.

CdGxSJ notes: violet leaf, meteorite, cloves, carnation, rose, violet, jasmin, heliotrope, gaïac wood, magma, black cumin, vetiver, amber

Longevity: Good 4+ hours
Sillage: Light
Star rating: 4


Anonymous said...

Oh, that bottle is adorable! Dirty violet is about the only kind of violet I can tolerate. Think Ava Luxe Midnight Violet.

Abigail said...

Ava Luxe Midnight Violet is my *favorite* dirty violet! Both Creed Love in Black and CdGxSJ are in second place now. I've noticed it's the indie perfumers who do really nice dirty violets - Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, Sonoma Scent Studio, Liz Zorn and Neil Morris all do beautiful and unusual things with the violet note.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Liz Zorn's Domino is my #2 favorite, I need to get a bottle.
It's complex and hard to define, not exactly woody, nor sweet or very dirty... It's balsamic and very cameleon-like, changes every time a try it on.

Abigail said...


I carry most of the Liz Zorn perfumes at The Posh Peasant :-)

Domino Viole' I should have mentioned in my response to you yesterday - that's another one I love. It has a balsamic quality that is dreamy...