Friday, November 26, 2010
Sample Giveaway + Review: Breath Of God & The Smell Of Weather Turning by Gorilla Perfumes (2010)
There isn't much that hasn't been said about Breath Of God... except perhaps that it's back! After receiving a five-star review from Tania Sanchez, it proceeded to evoke perplexed confusion from many who tried it, before being flung onto the great 'Discontinued' pile in the sky by the demise of BNTBTBB. It has now returned as part of the Gorilla Perfumes range and looks set to wield its weirdness for a good while to come.
There is no question that it's an odd cocktail, although that is by no means a criticism. After belching out a not-entirely pleasant oyster-like, oceanic fog (Mark and Simon Constantine clearly don't think our Lord is immune to the odd bout of halitosis) it tries to assuage your sense of alarm with an eye-opening burst of minty citrus and a waft of green vetivert. It's clean, yet tenacious; cheerful, yet uncompromising; distinctive, but also highly changeable. There are times when its outer edges are a touch too acrid, but more often than not it manages to keep the wearer gripped with its endless shifts from white smokiness to sun-caressed vineyard freshness. And although its name may seem comically pretentious, it actually ties in very well with the perfume's attempt to bottle a series of fantastical 'divine exhalations'.
Mintiness also features prominently in The Smell Of Weather Turning, although here, it's much stronger and thus serves to highlight what one might call a questionable aspect of the composition. As a note, it's notoriously tricky for the perfumer to work with, partly because it evokes instant associations with bath products (see Parfumerie Generale's Harmatan Noir) and partly because its pervasive, scene-stealing brightness sets dangerously high expectations. TSOWT avoids the first trap completely. There is no way this juice could be mistaken for a bottle of Tesco's budget shower gel, a feat achieved by modifying the mentholated vigour with one of the most bizarre - and compelling - top accords I've encountered all year. Sage, tomatoes, twigs and moist compost all combine to create a visceral sense of the outdoors, a hyper-real portrait of a landscape where the lighting brings out every fertile detail.
However, the sheer originality of this opening means that Mint Trap # 2 is even harder to avoid. After a sense of calm descends, you realise you're left with a familiar coumarin-like base, which would probably have been fine in a different context, but here seems like a bit of a let down: the last thing you expect - or, indeed, want - after the brain-churning kookiness of the opening is a hint of dad's after shave, no matter how fleeting. Having said that, the first few minutes alone are worth the price of a small bottle of this stuff and act as a useful reminder that Gorilla Perfumes is one of very few brands currently willing to stick its hairy neck on the line and make a virtue of strangeness and eccentricity.
[Reviews based on samples obtained in 2010; fragrances tested on skin; to read reviews of two more Gorilla Perfumes, please click here.]
I'm very pleased to be able to offer one lucky reader of Persolaise.com a sample of Breath Of God. If you'd like to enter the draw, please leave a comment which begins with the following words: "One of the strangest perfumes I've ever tried is..." Comments must be left on this post.
Please note: i) the draw will be open until 10 pm (UK time) on Tuesday 30th November; ii) the winner will be selected at random and announced on this blog; iii) readers from anywhere in the world are eligible to enter; iv) by entering the draw, you indicate that customs regulations in your country permit you to receive an alcohol-based perfume posted from the UK; v) if the sample is lost in transit, it will not be possible for a replacement to be sent; vi) the address of the winner will not be kept on record, nor will it be passed to any third parties; vii) Persolaise takes no responsibility for the composition of the scent, as regards potential allergens and/or restricted materials.