Celine Barel of IFF
This month Australian natural beauty brand Aesop launches a new fragrance, which is called Tacit. The fragrance follows a direction the brand publically adopted last year of working with perfumers on new olfactory product design. In 2014 Aesop collaborated with Mane perfumer Barnabe Fillon to create Marrakech Intense, a reworking of its first fragrance Marrakech and perfumer Celine Barel, one of IFF’s rising stars, created the formula for Tacit.
Tamara de Lempicka Woman in yellow
Perfumery and beauty products do not usually top the list of things people associate with Australia but Aesop is a brand that is changing this perception. What started out as being a small business in Melbourne is now a global brand recognised by its apothecary-like amber bottles, modern design aesthetics and simple sans-serif font. At the heart of every Aesop product is a love of nature, travel, the arts and the tacit knowledge those experiences provide us as we move through life. Australian generative artist Jonathan McCabe worked with Aesop to provide a visual element for the new fragrance. His artwork for Tacit consists of molten digital swirls that feel to me as though they are abstract forms born from the mind of Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempika. These forms are displayed inside Tacit’s box.
On a Balcony Emanuel Phillips Fox Australian Impressionist
The formula of this new eau de parfum came from two key inspirations, the freshness of Eau de Cologne and the Mediterranean Coast, its culture, topography and perfumed vegetation. The Mediterranean is often used as a point of reference when perfumes are talking about freshness, citrus fruit and aromatic herbs. Aesop fans that enjoyed the quirky uniqueness of Marrakech and Mystra may think that Tacit’s inspirations are rudimentary but the fragrance is undeniably well made. As an IFF employee, Barel has access to exquisite natural raw materials produced by IFF’s naturals division, Grasse’s Laboratoire Monique Remy and Tacit showcases a number of them very nicely.
E Phillips Fox, In Summer Time, c 1911
Smelling Tacit, it is immediately recognisable. The fragrance is a rush of fresh citrus cut with aromatic herbs and hints of sea air and sun. The first thought I had when I smelled Tacit was what a good cocktail it would make. Effervescent citrus oils are muddled with Yuzu, which modernizes the classic and refreshing eau de cologne accord. Tacit’s star is undoubtedly Basil Grand Vert. This complex aroma is simultaneously spicy, fresh and aromatic. I pick up hints of mint and clove, which are placed on either side of Basil Grand Vert’s evolution from the head into the heart of the fragrance where it gradually disappears. Once the acidity of citrus fruit retreats, Tacit develops a salty facet reminiscent of fresh coastal air that continues into the dry down.
Sir Will Ashton Australian Artist Monaco
Like a classic Eau de Cologne, which was originally designed with little or no base note, Tacit does not evolve much further beyond the head and heart notes. The base of the fragrance leads wearers on a subtle trail of salty vetiver and transparent woods which binds the fragrance to skin. Aesop’s mandate has always been to use fewer ingredients but more qualitative natural ones and Tacit lives up to this mandate. This could have easily turned into a sun-drenched Hedione fragrance or it could have been boosted with airy marine notes whilst still remaining true to the inspiration of the fragrance. Instead, Barel uses restraint. She picks out a handful of natural raw materials in order to successfully execute her mission.
Aesop’s Tacit is available from Aesop boutiques, Aesop online, selected counters and department stores from September.
Disclaimer: bottle provided for review by Aesop.
– Clayton Ilolahia, Guest Contributor and author of perfume blog, What Men Should Smell Like
Art Directo: Michelyn Camen. I chose Australian Impressionist artists who spent summers in France and Italy to bring out the Mediterranean qualities of Tacit
Thanks to Aesop who sent me a press sample, I am offering 10ml of Tacit to a registered reader worldwide. To be eligible, please leave a comment with what you enjoyed about Clayton’s review. Draw closes 9/21/2015
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