Jusbox Night Flow and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, 1982. ©Sugar Hill collage by Marianne©
The reptilian brain of New Yorkers is wired with electrocharged nightlife. Whether we were physically there or not, the noise, the lights, the glamor, the heat of a hundred scenes are inside us. The energy of the 1970s takes up a good deal of psychic real estate. Jusbox Perfumes captured punk in No Rules and rock in my favorite perfume from the brand, Live n Loud. Last year Jusbox tied up the 70s with Night Flow, inspired by early days of rap. Night Flow is the steady bass beat that flows throughout the night no matter what is playing on top of it. After a burst of fruit, like the first bite into that 70s favorite Freshen Up bubble gum (if you know, you know), leather is Julien Rasquinet ’s deep, thumping note in Jusbox Night Flow. The opening is dry like the tobacco in a pack of unsmoked cigarettes, or the patchouli in the air of a neighborhood oil store. The party wears on, and the vibe magically changes. Now, on top of the leather, is the luscious, sweet taste of reapplied lip gloss or your third sweet drink, both a little hazy. That’s the raspberry note that Rasquinet gave Night Flow. Still, throughout is the leather you want to keep going all night.
Drake’s Drakkar Noir Ink ©Niki Norberg
Jusbox Night Flow reminded me of Tom Ford Tuscan Leather, but younger and more alive. Thinking about the Tom Ford scent led my mind to the Drake song “Tuscan Leather”. Fragrance is important to Drake; he has a Drakkar Noir bottle tattooed on his shoulder and his original Instagram account was @Drakkardnoir. Even if the leather hum of Night Flow and Drake’s song name is a coincidence, the link between rap and fragrance is real. I knew there must be more perfume references in rap going all the way back.
Top Left-Right: Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick, Biggie Smalls; Bottom Left-to Right: Lil’ Kim, Method Man. All images © brands and labels collage by Marianne©
It was a piece of the hip-hop uniform in the early days, like sneakers and chains. In the 1980s, hip-hop embraced American designers, clothes and colognes. Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick rhymed about Polo cologne as part of their morning routine in “La Di Da Di” (Snoop Dogg turned it into Davidoff Cool Water in his 1993 cover,) In the 90s, music, clothes and fragrance matured. Jay-Z ’s fragrance was French. New millennium, Lil’ Kim and her girls claimed their spot in a cloud of Bvlgari.
Top Left-Right: Diddy, Queen Latifah,;Bottom Left-Right: Nicki Minaj. 50 Cent All images © brands and labels collage by Marianne©
I proudly have a bottle of Queen Latifah “Queen” on my shelf (Steve DeMarcado now of OK Fragrances). Even if it’s the only hip hop celebrity scent I own, there are others out there, with a lot of back stories. Legend has it that Diddy walked into a large Flavor and Fragrance Co. ‘s New York Office with a bottle of his favorite perfume, Creed Millésime Impérial asking them to make him something just like it. Mary J. Blige partnered with African-American owned Carol’s Daughter for her tribute to women, their lives and every day struggles in My Life.
Byredo Space Rage TRAVX and Travis Scott. ©Byredo and Saint Laurent
The rap celebrity fragrances have slid into the niche perfume world. Last year the collaboration between Travis Scott and Byredo, “Space Rage TRAVX” sold out in hours, and, again when Byredo restocked the fragrance and candle luxury stores a month later.
Whether you get your fragrance at a drugstore, department store, through television shopping or a chic little niche boutique, you are tapping into the vibe of hip-hip.
Notes: pink pepper LMR, Saffron, raspberry, Osmanthus LMR, davana essential oil, Jasmine Sambac LMR, ambergris accord, Indonesian Patchouli oil (molecular distillation LMR), Leather accord, Tolu.
-Marianne Butler, Senior Contributor
Disclosure: Euro Perfumes/EdenSquare, the US distributor for Jusbox was kind enough to send me a bottle of Night Flow, however all opinions and descriptions are my own.
Jusbox Night Flow © Jusbox
Thanks to the generosity of EdenSquare we have a 78 ml bottle for one registered reader in the USA. To be eligible, please leave a comment saying what you enjoyed about Marianne’s review of Night Flow, what you learned from her article and/ or favorite hip-hop song. Draw closes 6/29/2021
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Marianne assembled a Spotify playlist of songs and artists for this article. Warning, some lyrics are explicit.
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