“Comme des Garçons is no stranger to extremes or breaking rules. Synthetic is the sixth and most daring in CdG’s series, traveling once again far outside the mainstream but remaining in the physical world of manmade places and materials of modern daily life. Experimental, socially incorrect and avant-garde, the Synthetic series features five “anti-perfumes” whose names you’ll recognize immediately.
But these are no scratch n’ sniff “gee-I-smell-like-a-garage” fragrance. Each one varies on its name and theme, using an assortment of fully synthetic ingredients to make each one mind-bendingly unusual and wonderfully wearable. These are for the fearless–the rebels and the non-conformists. For those of you who don’t follow trends… you make them.”
DRY CLEAN: Images of a chemical paradise float through our heads like clothes spinning on a rack at a dry cleaner. Dry Clean is a clean scent, but not like soap, shampoo or fabric softener-it’s that metallic freshness of freshly pressed and cleaned clothes. The rose oxide offers a tinge of green floral, and guaiac wood enriches the brew and brings this (almost) down to earth. Dry Clean’s unusual clean feel is a truly unique alternative to all the “”fresh”" scents that have ruled the last several years. If you like to color outside the lines and bury your face in freshly dry cleaned clothes (we bet you liked to sniff the blue ink on the old-school mimeograph paper, too), this one’s for you. NOTES: ozone, aldehydes, nail polish, bay essence, rose oxide, metallic incense, dissolvent vapours, guaiac wood.
GARAGE: Do not make the mistake of judging this book by its cover. Garage brings to mind images grease, oil and rubber, but this is one evocative fragrance that will surprise you. Its uniqueness lies in calling to mind some of the places we loved most as children: Your father’s workbench or your grandpa’s old toolshed. Places steeped in memories and lost in time. It’s like curling up in that old leather recliner with your dad after he’d worked on the car. Not harsh and never sharp, Garage is all the good things about childhood and all the comfort scents you rarely indulge in as an adult. FRAGRANCE NOTES: Laurel aldehyde, traces of kerosene, leather notes, plastic floral notes, vetiver acetate, Chinese cedarwood.
SKAI: Fake. Insincere. Imitation. That’s what skai leather is, and where this scent takes its name from. The fragrance notes alone should bring every PVC-lovin’ fetishist and vinyl record lover running, but we also know Skai transcends the pigeon-hole and is for everyone. Ozone and grapefruit give this leather/vinyl fragrance a fresh gin-and-tonic crispness at first, while sandalwood brings familiar warmth. Very easy to wear, Skai straddles the line between kinky and comfortable, between shiny faux and genuine. It’s hardcore without being obvious, sexual but never obscene. FRAGRANCE NOTES: ozone, methyl grapefruit, PVC notes, coal tar, cardamom, white leather, sandalwood, labdanum.
SODA: Fizzy! Uplifting! We can’t help but put exclamation marks because Soda is genuinely happy, enough to make cave-dwelling goth boy or girl crawl out and frolic in the sunshine. Who cares if only a couple of ingredients are recognizable as being from this planet? Soda is a bubbly, effervescent version of limeade with enough base (galaxolide-it’s a light musk, who knew?) to give it a perfect dose of grown-up depth. There’s even a version of lily of the valley in here, which lends Soda a tiny bit of creamy softness. Tell us you don’t smile (and make everyone else grin) when you wear this. We dare you. FRAGRANCE NOTES: aldehydes, lime, citral, pimenal, lilial, iso-eugenol, galaxolide, acetal Rum.
TAR: A speedway on a scorching afternoon. Hot asphalt on a Roman street filled with car exhaust and the scent of fine leather-soled shoes softening on the pavement. Tar is for the brave, for those who find the smell of a crowded, polluted city and all its modern trappings a thing of glory. The earth notes and resinous opoponax lurk quietly, giving Tar a quirk that picks your face off the pavement just for a second. Virile and weirdly familiar, it’s not for the faint of heart. This is man versus the modern world, and the modern world wins. FRAGRANCE NOTES: town gas, vapours of bitumen, bergamot, earth notes, opoponax, styrax, grilled cigarettes, pyrogenic notes
The Comme des Garcons Series 6 Synthetics line is available now at Blackbird.