I’ve been really, really busy this year. I know it’s only mid March, but for the first quarter, it’s been crazy. I mean, I’m always busy working on things but this is different. I’m not sure if it’s just that the world is accelerating… or something in me that’s “making my bees buzz” even more intensely. No matter. I like whatever this is. It also means that I have more Spring launches in my line up than I had originally planned. But that’s ok, too.
Foxy (digital taxidermy) DSH 2017
I started working on a new animalic almost on the heels of Chinchilla. The fur accords have really had me jazzed and I am sketching out two new ones with different textures now. (WHAT FUN!!) Exploring texture as well as ‘flavor’ in scent is something I really enjoy and get deeply involved in. With Chinchilla, I wanted the design to feature musk / muskiness as well as a palpable coziness and intimacy. With Rendezvous it was indolic jasmine and an even more explicit intimacy that I had in mind. With the newest animal in what I am now calling “my menagerie”, I had a textural shift and an animalic feature note shift in mind.
Foxy, which will be officially released on my site on April 1, has a few inspirations. First, of course, is to portray and speak to another animal note, this time ambergris / amber, which I felt spoke to the color of the red fox perfectly, and to create a slightly more rough and feral fur accord. The second source came from the time I’ve spent this past winter watching Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” with Xander. I REALLY love bringing my experiences with him into my art practice… he is a continual source of inspiration. (See Vert et Noir for some more fun 4 year old inspiration in fragrance). The movie is a delight, if you haven’t seen it. And although there are some themes that don’t seem suitable to a 4-5 year old, there’s a lot to enjoy. From my perspective, I loved the (always) attention to detail in the art direction that Wes Anderson movies contain. I used some of these fabulous details in the design of Foxy and I think that they work well in telling the story of the smart, sexy, creative, wild animals that foxes are. And stylish… always, intelligent and stylish.
As portrayed above, the very topnote is of the ‘golden star apple” / apple whiskey that Farmer Bean basically lives off of. And the very next in the line up is Mrs. Bean’s famous “apple ginger snap”, which gives a wonderfully playful introduction to what becomes a much more sophisticated fragrance as it develops. To balance what could be a densely sweet perfume, notes of mitti attar (a co-distill of baked earth and Indian sandalwood) and Oak co2 extract are brought in to give an effect of their tree / house and how foxes live underground. After all of this fooling around, as it were, in the topnote, it was time to get down to business.
This is where the third and fourth inspirations come in, which is the retro slang term foxy as in “Foxy Lady” (Not that Foxy is at all a feminine fragrance; it’s totally unisex) and a wonderful writer who is sometimes called “Foxy” (classic fragrances are very much appreciated by him and I am delighted to say his nickname kept coming up as inspiration when exploring fur notes). The animalics trend seems to have stemmed in part from the great interest of late in the perfume styles and classics of the past and with that comes a retro-nouveau quality that sticks to even new or modern versions of the animalic genre. It’s difficult to talk about animalic perfumes without bringing up its historical context and pedigree. And fur fragrances will have that reference to the much more commonplace and accepted practice of fur wearing in the past. Nowadays, it’s faux fur that is chic; to wear the real thing is to many to condone animal cruelty, but this is not meant to be a political post.
Because I *DID* want a retro nouveau vibe in there (but less Marlene Dietrich and more Farrah Faucet, or even Jimi Hendrix), I gave Foxy a bit more leather, sweat, and skin in the accords I created. I wanted you to really sense that this is a wild, sensuous animal that could be a bit scratchy in places.
At a time when I know that comfort is needed and longed for, I couldn’t help wanting to make something slightly more provocative. I’m not sure how it will be received… but I think we can all use some smart, sexy, playful energy in our world, too. ❤
image credits: some are my own images; other were found and gathered on the web; most were pinned to my “foxy” pinterest board .
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