Puredistance No.12 (fragrance visualisation by Despina Veneti©)
The Netherlands-based House of Puredistance has just released its twelfth extrait de parfum, appropriately named No.12, thus completing a circle that started nearly twenty years ago, when the idea of Puredistance I was formed. Founder and creative director Jan Ewoud Vos has announced that the Puredistance “Magnificent XII Collection” will, from now on, steadily include a number of twelve fragrances, meaning that whenever a new creation is introduced, it will be replacing an already existing one in the brand’s worldwide displays (let it be noted that all retired perfumes will still be available for purchase at the brand’s own e-store, as part of a collection that will be called “Private”). Puredistance No.12 was composed by independent perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer of LAB Scent, and it seems to have been destined to join the House’s olfactive family.
Perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer & Puredistance founder/creative director Jan Ewoud Vos at Mme Feisthauer’s Montmartre rooftop (photo courtesy of Puredistance©)
The detailed press release informs us that the perfumer herself had expressed the wish to create a fragrance for Puredistance some three years ago, and that Mr Vos immediately arranged a tête-à-tête meeting with her. Among a few other examples of her work, Mme Feisthauer presented a scent that was provisionally named “Gold Taffeta” (Puredistance was still, at the time, looking for a composition to match their concept of Gold). Her proposed fragrance immediately captivated Jan Ewoud Vos and his team; their synaesthetic perception of the scent, however, was hued not in golden, but in blue. A decision was made to save this fragrance (nicknamed “Beauty in Blue” by Mr. Vos) for the twelfth release of Puredistance, the one that would mark and celebrate the first circle of the House’s beautiful perfume offerings.
Barbara “Babe” Cushing Mortimer Paley by Horst P. Horst©, Vogue© 1946 & Blue Nude by Pablo Picasso©, 1902
Puredistance No.12 opens with the allure of a supreme quality vintage perfume, the way it must have been when it was still fresh, vibrant, untouched by time. After a champagne-reminiscent greeting (a combination of bright citruses and aldehydic touches), the fragrance’s lush, exuberant bouquet starts blooming: a dewy, lemony, slightly metallic rose dominates, surrounded by a kaleidoscope of precious floral oils and absolutes (narcissus, geranium, orange blossom, jasmine, ylang-ylang), as well as subtle spice accents (soapy coriander, cozy cardamom). An undercurrent of marvelous powderiness creates an infinitely elegant boudoir impression, resulting from the synergy between rooty orris butter, almondy heliotrope and dusty osmanthus; this powdery halo eventually leads to a feeling of fully-bodied – yet perfectly groomed – sensuousness that emanates from the skin-like muskiness (ambrette, musks), sweet woodiness (sandalwood, tonka bean, vanilla) and chypre character (oakmoss, patchouli) of the base. A special mention is deserved for Mme Feisthauer’s restrained, tasteful use of Ambroxan (which adds a delicately saline tonality), and her exemplary use of Hedione® HC (whose airy, magnolia-like citrusy/floral vibe is uplifting the whole composition to dreamlike heights).
Eeva Ketola by Hans Feurer©, Pentax© Calendar 1976 & La Vénus d’Alexandrie (Vénus Bleue) by Yves Klein©, 1962-1982
Does Puredistance No.12 smell blue? It is a much-observed fact that when most people mention “blue fragrances”, they usually refer to aquatic notes and/or sportive-style, masculine-marketed scents. Setting the mind free of such preconceptions, one can finally make the sensory association between this fragrance, and the idea of blue. After all, blue is arguably the color with the most diverse symbolism, standing for a vast variety of elements, qualities and states of mind, depending on the cultural, historical and geographical point of view: it can evoke the sky and the sea, even heaven itself; it is often associated with freedom and intuition, inspiration and sensitivity, loyalty and wisdom; furthermore, it can refer to royalty and nobility, cleanliness and coolness, but also to melancholy and mourning. Puredistance No.12 reflects the blue of serene self-confidence and cool, classical beauty, its timeless charm illuminated by golden gleams of understated – but no less impressive – opulence.
Puredistance No.12 17.5ml, 60ml & 100ml (photo courtesy of Puredistance©)
Notes: Bergamot Oil, Mandarin Oil, Cardamom Oil, Coriander Oil, Ylang-Ylang Oil, Narcissus Absolute; Jasmine Absolute, Rose Oil, Geranium Oil, Lily Of The Valley, Orange Blossom, Osmanthus Absolute, Orris Butter, Heliotrope, Hedione® HC; Vetiver, Sandalwood Oil, Patchouli Oil, Oakmoss, Tonka Bean, Ambrette, Ambroxan, Vanilla, Musk.
Disclaimer: I’d like to thank Puredistance for my 17.5ml travel spray of No.12. The opinions are my own.
– Despina Veneti, Senior Editor
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