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The abstract excellence of COMME DES GARÇONS FRAGRANCES

When it comes to visionary designers that made a reverberating dent and have established themselves firmly on the firmament of subversive, convention-defying creations that have not existed before, one would be hard pressed to go past what Rei Kawakubo has incepted with the universe that is Comme des Garçons.

Apart from redefining contemporary fashion at large via her idiosyncratically exaggerated, asymmetric deconstructive approach informed by Japanese aesthetics and use of contrasting strong, atypical and elegant textures by negotiating the relationship between dress and body afresh, Rei’s avant-gardist cosmos has been serving as an endless source for inspiration, the questioning of gender roles and transgressive interpretation.

Needless to say, Rei Kawakubo’s conceptual sensibilities, poetry and processes guided by intuition continue with Comme des Garçons endeavours in the realm of fragrances, which commenced in 1994.

With the common denominator of each perfume being unisex and more often than not tinged with raw, deliciously woody and delicate spicy highlights along with deliberately unusual and at times divisive blends.

An eye-catching recent release is collaboration with KAWS: With the design of the bottle being an homage to KAWS’ iconic Companion character, I find Mirror to be positioned on the seldomly explored sanguine end of the CDG spectrum with its camphoraceous, dendritic bouquet merging with CDG’s trademark woody notes dancing against a backdrop of turmeric, honeyed orange blossoms, gerniol and citral.

Comme des Garçons’ Odeur 53 is what effectively could be considered an anti-perfume in that the underlying concept is to replicated fragrances that resemble inorganic sources, therefore serving as a vessel for abstract ideas. What might sounds weird, works exceptionally well as seemingly unappealing subatance like sand, metal, rock and silage meet and cross-pollinate each other to a comprehensive whole that is much more than the sum of the individual inspirations would have one guess.

Complemented by the ever intriguing, confessional and expressionist approach to the creation of artwork that Tracey Emin has become appreciated for, CDG’s Serpentine lives up to its name as it aids with meditation with its clean, grassy silage notes reminiscent of a walk in a park, which are artfully counterpointed by black musky, nutmeggy highlights dancing against a backdrop of delightful oaky and phenolic notes.


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