Friday, February 29, 2008

Cosmic Harmonies

When Solange Azagury Patridge came out with her first perfume, Stoned, I was curious to sample it. It-jeweller to the London stars Elton John, David Furnish and Bella Freud and creative director for Boucheron, Solange had all the makings of a hip-celeb in her respective field and the news of her launching a fragrance seemed like a nice idea for someone who had obviously good taste and an eye for imaginative design in jewellery. Then I learned the name of the scent: Stoned. It recalled images of Amy Winehouse, not of glamour. Let's just say it wasn't very appealing, even though I belatedly found out it was simply named thus for a girl who likes stones. Heftily priced/prized ones, that is...
Later on I found out it actually had finely milled diamond-dust in it. And on the heels of that, the price. OK, by then I was ready to hate it! But surprisingly it was not a bad perfume, this smooth oriental, even if lots of the money asked went to the bottle and the diamond dust. Stoned took a year to break even, business speaking, which in light of the above hardly comes as a surprise, does it.

Now Cosmic came to the scene and it was rumoured to be a modern chypre. This got me in a mode of at leasting wanting to try. Both Solange scents were developed by Lynn Harris of Miller Harris, which to me ensured at least a standard of quality ingredients and concept.
The name Cosmic is taken from the Cosmic zodiac jewellery collection by Solange in which each piece is unique.
Of course again the bottle and the name suggest something that is otherwordly to what is actually hiding in the bottle: a likeable green velvety skin-scent. What I mean by a skin scent: not that the fragrance reminds of the smell of your-skin-but-better, that alloy of synthetic musks that is so favoured in very recent perfumery. No, I mean that it stays close to the skin and doesn't project like some extraterrestrial entity that has landed on you proclaiming its scheme to conquer the earth. It's too well-mannered for that.

According to Solange:

A shooting star falls to earth revealing its meteoric and potent charms. Following on from her parfum Stoned, Solange has thrown her imagination out to the furthest corners of the universe and created the exquisite Cosmic-- an intergalactic liquid jewel enclosed in a star-faceted silver orb. The bottle's shimmering surface glints and winks from every angle, literally a Cosmic addition to every girl’s dressing table.

Cosmic is a modern Chypre that weaves together a milky-way of magical essences, combining Solange’s own sweet candy accord with an airy top note of bergamot, sparkling aldehydes and galbanum. The heart of the fragrance beats with classic blossoming rose, jasmine absolute and rare iris. Base notes of earthy vetiver, opoponax from Peru, myrrh from Somalia, and sweetly addictive vanilla add layers of sensual aroma. To further embellish these earth-based substances, Meteorites have been specially ground down to create a fine Stardust for the fragrance. The heady combination of essence, cosmos and ether simply takes you out of this world...

Cosmic by Solange goes into its own little twists and turns keeping a smooth harmony in which it's hard to discern particular ingredients, they're weaved in tightly. Initially there is the herbal hit of galbanum with a minty overlay of aldehydic sparkle, seguing on to a smooth lightly sweeted heart of soft heaps of flowers. One would be hard-pressed to pinpoint their little heads. The sweetness reminds me of ionones (gamma-methylionone, alpha-ionone)and mint leaves on a cool champagne sorbet, melting into a serene moment to yourself. You might be contemplating the stars or wondering how your lucky stars might help you actually buy this indulgence.
In a way Cosmic has traces of both Satyr by Armando Martinez and Alice in Wonderland by Konstantin Mihov, two indie perfumers which have been featured in these pages; and perhaps also a shade of Maboussin, another fragrance issued by jewellers.
In Cosmic the smoothness and sweetness are rounding out the initial jolt of galbanum and are beautifully accompagnied by the persistence of a little resin and earthy notes such as vetiver and patchouli like a basso continuo you find yourself noticing more and more.
I call this success, don't you?

Cosmic notes
Bergamot, Galbanum, Rose, Jasmine Absolute, Iris Absolute, Patchouli, Vetiver, Labdanum, Opoponax, Myrrh, Vanilla

Cosmic comes in a silvery metallic star-embossed bottle of Eau de Parfum 50ml/1.7oz and retails at 200 euros or 285$.
Cosmic is available at First in Fragrance and Luckyscent.

Following posts will feature lots of surprises and articles inspired by my trips. Stay tuned!

Pic of moons sent to me by mail unaacredited. Pic of bottles: Stoned on the left, Cosmic on the right, from official Solange site.


  1. Anonymous14:45

    Wow Helg, It seems we both have had totally opposite reacations to Cosmic.

    On my skin, it smelled like Love's Baby Soft (YUCK) fragrance which I think was very popular in the 1970's through the very early 1980's.

    I wish Cosmic smelled on me the way you are describing it here.

    However, I own and love Stoned. That perfume rocks - so to speak.

    Happy day to you my dear.


  2. Dear Dawn,

    thank you for your comment. Unfortunately I have no experience of Love'sBaby Soft so I can't commend on that aspect.
    But I rather liked it. I liked Stoned too (perhaps even more so!). Of course I like green smells, so that factors in there as well.
    There was the disadvantage of it lasting not as perfectly (and for that price one would think it would last for ages!), but since you didn't like it that was a blessing in disguise ;-)

    Have a great weekend, sweetie :-)

  3. Hmmm, your review and Dawn's comment have me very curious about this one. I love Alice in Wonderland, but can't imagine wearing Love's BabySoft at this point in my life! At that price, I'm sure my curiosity will go unsatisfied. Lovely review, though.

    The Parfum de Peau review, by the way, was wonderful. I keep going back to reread it. It resurrects some spiritual remnant of the 80s that lurks within me!

  4. Dear M,

    it has the herbal opening of Alice, with that minty greenery, mixed with a sweet element in there on top of a smooth, lightly ambery soft base, rather cuddly.
    You might like it. I can't compare with Love's Baby Soft as I never have tried it.

    There are samples available at Luckyscent, so sampling it is certainly possible: the trouble is what happens if you like it enough to want to own some. Hmm, in that case, hmm...perhaps splitting a bottle might come handy.

    Thanks for your most kind compliment on the Montana Parfum de Peau review: you flatter me :-)

  5. I admit I refuse to go any where near this one because of the price tag. I really don't want to like something I really can't afford to like.

  6. That's a valid concern, I admit :-(

    On the other hand, you might give a go to Armando's and Kontantin's scents: they have similar accords, which might fill the void.

  7. Irene20:32

    Wonderful review! And I wanted to ask, is it powdery? Can't do powdery...ackkkkk


  8. Thank you.
    I don't think of it as powdery. Not the talcum powdery kind, nor the face powder kind either.Hope that helps.

  9. Anonymous15:32

    I should sample Cosmic thanks to your great review!
    But if I like it, you're in for trouble :X


  10. LOL, well, I better hide if you do, then!
    Thanks for the kind words.


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