Since 1994, the perfume division of the revolutionary fashion house, Comme des Garçon has established a long running history of pitting items found both in nature and technology against each other to develop some of the most challenging and unique niche fragrances. With their Clash – Series 10 collection released in 2019, the tradition successfully continues with three intriguing options: Chlorophyll Gardenia, Celluloid Galbanum, and my favorite, the punchy yet warming Radish Vetiver.
As with all Nasomatto’s fragrances, Nudiflorum perfumer Alessandro Gualtieri is not interested in breaking it down for you. You won’t find a list of notes included with the packaging. The vague description provided on the official site is limited to a handful of words that read romantic but really don’t tell you much about the scent itself. When asked to describe the composition in an interview with Wallpaper he responded defiantly, “Why ask me? People always need to explain everything, to understand, to give a reason to things. Sometimes, you just need to feel it“. It’s a sentiment I agree with entirely. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, why should it be any different for the nose?
The world of fragrance is full of brands that have released signature scents inspired by libraries, jazz clubs, and all sorts of locations steeped in tradition and legend. I know the intention is not to be so literal but I’m usually a little disappointed when they don’t smell like the places in which they are named. I would love a scent that captures that all too familiar scent of old books. As for jazz clubs, I guess you wouldn’t want it to smell like cigarette smoke and gin. Everything, of course, is subjective and everyone’s interpretation is determined by their individual experience. However, in the case of Burning Barbershop, I do have very specific memories from childhood and what I believe to be an accurate memory of how they smell.
It’s hard not to think back to Dr Dre’s seminal album released almost 30 years ago when looking at the name of this fragrance. At a time when openly celebrating cannabis culture in the mainstream was still fairly taboo, there it was with heavy rotation on radio and music television, playing loudly in cars passing by, and launching the now household name career of Snoop Dogg. Fast forward to current times and you would be hard-pressed to find a brand in fashion or beauty, luxury or otherwise, that doesn’t have some sort of product inspired by cannabis or containing CBD in their line.