Fragrance

By Candice Sabatini

History. Fashion. Art. Fragrance. Love them all and so when they come together and collide in a celebration of past muses and current sensibilities I get a multisensory overload that feels good, is empowering, and creates a connection to a world of fashion and art that I was too young to appreciate when it was happening, but want to know more about now.

Fifth Avenue in the 70’s for me meant afternoon tea at The Plaza with my Grandmother and then a walk down Fifth Ave looking into the windows of Tiffany and Cartier and her assurance that one day, I too would have something special that sparkled. I noticed the fashions and knew the times they were a changin’ , but was too naà¯ve to drink it in and make sense of it.

Two gentlemen, an American art collector James Kaplan and French pianist Gerard Courtin had their finger on the pulse and opened the chic and pricey Jacomo boutique on Fifth Avenue. Along with a passion for fashion, they discovered their passion for perfume and created Eau Cendree, housed in a bottle inspired by a sculpture in a New York museum. Eau Cendree is no longer produced, but the legend of art and fragrance inspires the new Jacomo scents of today.

Last year, Jacomo commissioned three artists, with very different styles and sensibilities, to create artwork for each of their new scents. The results, of both the artwork as well as the fragrances, are wonderful treats for both the eyes and the nose.

The Magic of Jacomo – An intimate conversation between fragrance and artist

Artist Cecilia Carlstadt says she was influenced by Guy Bourdin, one of the bad boys of fashion photography, a contemporary of Helmut Newton. Carlstadt’s illustration, resembling Salome, could have been done in the 70’s, however, was commissioned last year and is timeless. Fragrance #02 has the sweet smell of modeling clay, if you know what that smells like. It’s a scent I’m intimate with having spent many, many years studying, working and creating in sculpture studios. For me, this smell of nostalgia is sweet and comforting. For those that prefer a more traditional explanation, the opening note is bergamot, which leaves quickly as amaryllis and Tonka bean quickly take its place. Lasting dreamy notes are vanilla, suede accord, amber and a faint tease of patchouli.

Milan based prolific graphic artist Daniel Egneus was inspired by the colors and fragrances of India, and the beautiful muse that represents Fragrance #08 has an image of the Hindu deity Ganesha on each side of her. The oriental fragrance grabs your attention immediately with its top notes of cardamom, ginger and black tea, then tones down with the scent of freesia and dried fruits. Lastly. spicy notes of cinnamon, honey and amber make you feel like you’ve just wandered off from the spice market in Bengal.

Curvaceous and sexy is how I’d describe the shoes for the Fragrance #09 artwork, but perhaps it’s how men would describe the legs. No matter which is your focus, Stockholm artist Stina Persson creates an ultra feminine, sweet and spicy image that compliments the goods inside the bottle. Start flirting with him as notes of lemon zest, orange pulp and red berries gets his attention. Then walk all over him in those stilettos as he drools over mango and a praline accord.. He’ll totally surrender to the lasting notes of cinnamon, sandalwood and vanilla. He’s yours…..if you want him.

Jacomo fragrances available: Henri Bendel, 5th Ave, New London Pharmacy, Chelsea and http://www.jacomo.com

Originally published June 2010
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