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perfume.sucks (Andreas Wilhelm)

This article was written and published for CaFleureBon and received a nomination for the Perfumed Plume Award.

Edible iris drops. Collage by dana.


Before heading out to my first Esxence, back in 2019, I gathered my senses, dove deep into google for contacts, crossed my fingers, and sent everyone I could find an invitation to fill out a short survey. I titled it, simply, “the nosey questionnaire” and went all out with questions like: “what’s the next popular material to fall out of fashion?”, “who’s your perfect buyer”?, and “what’s your favorite swear?” (sorry, had to). Andreas Wilhelm (Wilhelm Perfume, Sarah Baker, L’Adone, and perfume.sucks, FIFI Award winner and all-around awesome hunter-gatherer) was one of the first to answer it—and his witty, realistic, and refreshingly playful words made even more sense once I saw him in person.


His latest project, perfume.sucks, is built on a transparency model that’s both needed and slightly intimidating: every formula has been rejected by other brands, and is displayed, raw, straight on the bottle. No context, no explanation, no scintillating marketing (except for his iris candy, of course).


So how, then, in this era of complex stories and insinuating visuals, does one go about reviewing these “alcoholic solutions. Sprayable”?


This is how.


 


Red. Photo by dana


NAME: Black

ASPECT: Tall, strong, you can’t not see me. Night creature.

PREFERENCES: Loves metal and menthol. Can keep going for a long time. Secret meditator.

HOW OTHERS DESCRIBE ME: woody, pulpy, heady, armpits, leather jacket, cat.

ANIMAL SPIRIT: goat

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY: Nothing matters. Not even Nietzche.

FAVORITE COLOR: red

(benzoin, pepper, rose, oud, ambergris, oakmoss, amber, ambroxan, nard, olibanum; other perceived notes: dirt, musk, spices; sweetness)


 


Orange. Photo by dana


NAME: Yellow

ASPECT: No body to speak of. Creature of dusk.

PREFERENCES: Silence, nature, high vibrations, cyclicity, oneness...as long as it’s silent.

HOW OTHERS DESCRIBE ME: Others can’t feel me unless I want them to.

ANIMAL SPIRIT: bumblebee

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY: There’s no wrong; the wrong is just a longer way to get to the right.

FAVORITE COLOR: orange

(official notes: rum, amber, cumin, cyprion, wood, patchouli, sandalwood, fir; other perceived notes: labdanum, smoke, stone, copper, salt)


 

Yellow. Photo by dana


NAME: Blue

ASPECT: Tall, lean, you can’t not see me. Morning person.

PREFERENCES: I love early runs and fresh sheets.

HOW OTHERS DESCRIBE ME: neat; uppidy; friend-next-door; always ready; inventor of the scrunchie

ANIMAL SPIRIT: unicorn

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY: Don’t let them see you. If they do, be terminally delightful.

FAVORITE COLOR: yellow

(official notes: sandalwood, cassis, hedione, ambretone, cardamom, mate and calone; other perceived notes: soap)



 

Green. Photo by dana


NAME: Purple

ASPECT: Thin and stringy, striking, studied, stunning

PREFERENCES: Velour. Sasha, Andy, David, and all the other cool cats at the Studio (54)

HOW OTHERS DESCRIBE ME: excessive and painfully prolific

ANIMAL SPIRIT: orca

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY: create make fabricate invent

FAVORITE COLOR: green

(official notes: ambergris, pine tree, ginger, mimosa, orris root and ambroxan; other perceived notes: rose, blackberry, camphor)



 


Blue. Photo by dana


NAME: Green

ASPECT: Sun-kissed, thick, smooth, perky; unibrow; dimples.

PREFERENCES: Maximalism, expressionism, overt feelings, continuity; would rather suffer together with others than be happy on one’s own.

HOW OTHERS DESCRIBE ME: always there, but always slightly off; gay; lover of life; sunny.

ANIMAL SPIRIT: monkey

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY: if you’re going to San Francisco, don’t forget some flowers in your hair

FAVORITE COLOR: blue

(official notes: ambroxan, hedione, cardamom, olibanum, black pepper, labdanum, citruses, mandarin orangev, magnolia; other perceived notes: cannabis, green apple (or green mango?), milk, lemon drops, coffee, burnt rubber, hot steel, paint, rootbeer)



 

Indigo. Photo by dana


NAME: Red

ASPECT: Tall and muscular, shiny, smooth, clean

PREFERENCES: Loudness and speed, precise driving, risky (big) money; side passion in overting misogyny and calling out night snackers. Religious exerciser.

HOW OTHERS DESCRIBE ME: Strong and lethal, undeterred, like a cobra.

ANIMAL SPIRIT: puma

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY: Whoever feeds you controls you.

FAVORITE COLOR: indigo

(official notes: coumarin, lemon, iso e super, vetiver and hedione; other perceived notes: lavender, cassis, spices)



 


Violet. Photo by dana


NAME: Living coral

ASPECT: plump and rosy, soft-skinned, rubensian, curly nests of coppery hair in all the good places, exaggerated features you can’t look away from

PREFERENCES: togas, grapes, thick friends lazily waving ostrich feather fans, decadent desserts, exotic animal likings, casual philosophy, vicarious traveling

HOW OTHERS DESCRIBE ME: shallowest smart brain ever

ANIMAL SPIRIT: secretaire bird

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY:

FAVORITE COLOR: Violet

(official notes: violet leaf, saffron, violet, iris, peach, ylang, benzoin, heliotrope, cinnamon, jasmine, clearwood, ambroxan, cotton candy.)




Disclaimer: Samples of perfume.sucks kindly provided by Andreas (danke!). My opinions are my own.


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