Kenzo has a new fragrance out. And it’s everything we hate – only 1,000 of them made, special freaky bottle, $188 for 40 mls – well, the price has certainly been worse. You know how this goes. Kenzo? I thought they made all the super-cute, incredibly wearable perfumes that wound up at discounters for $30 a bottle.
Let’s get the particulars. Ron Arad was commissioned to design the bottles, and they’re pretty cool little twisty silver ribbed thingies with the pumping mechanism buried in the bottle. Aurelian Guichard composed the perfume, and it was to intended create the scent of skin, while avoiding the traditional scent pyramid scheme. Notes are orange blossom, Bulgarian rose, frankincense and vanilla; the press release also talks of UFO having “a balance between a powerful heart, the ‘marble accord,'” and the other notes.
Weird bottle? check.
Limited edition? check.
Fragrance live up to the rest of the hype? Believe it or not, in this case it actually does.
Patty says: From the second I smelled it, I was in love. I sprayed it on (I’ve been doing that a lot since I got it) when my youngest son, Harry, was in the room. He decreed that Harry’s Rules would now include that all women had to wear UFO. Every time I walked by him this weekend, he would swoon over how UFO smells. Remember, this is a young man that has been raised around perfume, he’s used to all sorts of smells. I also burn incense and candles in my home. It takes something pretty special to get his attention. In fact, I can’t ever remember him ever commenting on any scent I put on before except the ones he hated or if I wore aldehydes in the car when I was driving him to school.
UFO has this warm vanilla floral start that quickly, yes, seems to avoid the normal pyramid and moves right into the incense. All the notes just dance on the skin together, blending a little, but still distinct’ish. Lasting power is fabulous on me. I can still smell it the next morning, though it’s mostly the incense that’s left. Do I think they hit the scent of skin? They did okay. There’s a slightly salty feel about it, but I’d never mistake this scent as someone’s skin – it’s just way better than that! Given the limited number of bottles, I’m hoping they intend to only do 1,000 bottles of those modern colly ones, but release the fragrance in another bottle for, well, ever. Please don’t make me stockpile $188 bottles of perfume.
I tried to think of Guichard doing Bond’s Chinatown and UFO, they are pretty different. The more I thought about it, though, the more it makes sense. Chinatown has a weird duality about it that, love it or hate it, it gets your attention. Chinatown ultimately wound up much too heavy for me to wear, the scent would get stuck in my nose. UFO has that same duality of sweet and incensey, but without the heavy patch/floral. It’s lighter, but keeps the same tensions in the perfume. Where Chinatown is languid and makes me think of Opium dens, UFO is the Angels singing and cavorting in the sun.
March says: I remember reading about this months ago and then I forgot all about it. I decided to go at it blind and not look the notes up before I tried out my sample atomizer. Can I just say? Non-pyramidal structure aside, putting this on my skin and breathing it in for the first time made my heart soar the same way it did the first time I smelled Andy Tauer’s Orris. In fact, my first sniff of UFO brought Orris to mind (UFO has a hint of the same incense/rose dynamic when it opens), only the Tauer has a bunch of other, heavier spicy stuff. UFO is cleaner, airy and very much about the incense at the center, along with a musky warmth that I’m assuming must be the “marble accord.”
As the PR stuff suggests, this is a pretty straight ride. I get a ton of incense, a little vanilla for warmth and roundness. There is rose in there but (happily) in this case it doesn’t interfere with my enjoyment; it provides a sweet floral dimension rather than a thorny wallop. The fragrance does seem to fluctuate slightly between a sweeter side (like Orris) and a drier side (reminds me a teensy bit of CdG 88 8 in terms of mineral clarity and weight.) I definitely feel the “mineral character” in there, the same way 88 8 renders spices as slightly metallic. After a couple hours the vanilla gets this smoky thing going on which I am very fond of.
For something that doesn’t wear that heavily, and seems to float in and out on me (nose fatigue?) the sillage is tremendous. I put two sprays on the back of my hand (which, yes, subsequently got washed a few times.) Five hours later my daughter commented in passing how much she liked my scent; I am not always a crowd-pleaser in that regard. I held up my hand to her and sure enough it was UFO she was admiring.
UFO is full of joy to me — that’s the most appropriate word. There’s something radiant and uplifting about it. The press release says Guichard “drew on the olfactive memory of his mother who was a sculptor working with marble, and has recreated the scent of marble powder against a woman’s skin.” This fragrance has tremendous heart. I like thinking of it as a reflection of his love for his mother.
Of course we’re going to give away some samples. Just drop a comment to be entered for a chance of winning one of 3 samples.