There’s something strange about AKOWA, but you’ll want to follow it around. Secrets are the inspiration of the scent, as the discerning mixture surpasses the intention. AKOWA is the newest exploration of M. Micallef, a luxury perfumer based in Grasse France previously hailed for its Jewel, Les Exclusifs, Mon Parfum, and Ananda collections. At first impression, the bottle looks a one that Lord Voldemort would tote. It looks like a very angular and austere piece of robust obsidian. But the chamber’s dark, geometric artistry was influenced by the AKOWA, an exclusionist African tribe, and the region’s arid contour. There’s no spoiler alert in revealing that its essence, mysterious African plants—the only transparent details—form its core structure. A blast of orange blossom and bergamot warms up quickly to the cocoa and amber, settling down to an even-tempered base of vetiver and white musk. AKOWA is an arresting secret you’ll want to share with others. Available exclusively at Osswald NYC, Osswaldnyc.com, and M. Micallef, http://www.MMicallef.com.
Mont Blanc is French for “white mountain,” the highest in the French Alps. Thus, the curved hexagonal insignia evoking some kind of cult or underground fraternal organization is meant only for those who wear the Emblem, Montblanc’s newest release. The symbol has been translated to a signature-designed bottle, each of the six points representing the six glaciers of the Mont Blanc summit. In other words, the fragrance takes itself seriously as other products in Montblanc’s portfolio known for its understated modern swagger. A bitter grapefruit essence introduces itself, which lasts a long time for being a top accord. The heart is given most of the attention with cardamom, clary sage leaf, pink peppercorns, black pepper, violet leaf, and cinnamon leaf. Patchouli, wood, and ambroxan make up the base. Emblem is hard to classify because it has a zesty sillage but then its rustic base really sneaks up on you. Emblem is a distinguishing mark for the initiated. Available at Macy’s, Macys.com, Bloomingdales, http://www.Bloomindales.com.
Consistent with the spike in trends for more earthy and spicy tonalities, Azzaro has unveiled Chrome Intense—”Intense” being the ligneous upgrade. Papyrus and vetiver were added to the base in addition to the present sandalwood and mate leaf accords without sacrificing Chrome’s original cool and aqueous antecedent, resulting in a well-balanced infusion. Top notes of elemi, bergamot, mint, and light musk softly segue into its heart of cardamom before deepening into the heavier foundation. The crisply modern silver and blue flacon resembles an aquarium inspiring contemplative moods in a maritime setting. Available at finer department stores and at Azzaroparis.com.