Incredibly Strange Perfumes Pt.2 (The Smell of Music: Industrial)

From Wikipedia...

Industrial music is a style of experimental music that draws on transgressive and provocative themes. The term was coined in the mid-1970s with the founding of Industrial Records by the band Throbbing Gristle, and the creation of the slogan "industrial music for industrial people". In general, the style is harsh and challenging. Allmusic defines industrial as the "most abrasive and aggressive fusion of rock and electronic music"; "initially a blend of avant-garde electronics experiments (tape music, musique concrète, white noise, synthesizers, sequencers, etc.) and punk provocation".

The first industrial artists experimented with noise and aesthetically controversial topics, musically and visually, such as fascism, serial killers and the occult. Their production was not limited to music, but included mail art, performance art, installation pieces and other art forms. Prominent industrial musicians include Throbbing Gristle, SPK, Boyd Rice, Cabaret Voltaire, and Z'EV. The precursors that influenced the development of the genre included acts such as electronic group Kraftwerk, experimental rock acts Killing Joke, The Velvet Underground and Frank Zappa, psychedelic rock artists such as Jimi Hendrix, composers such as John Cage, writers such as William S. Burroughs, and philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche.

Read while playing the following videos at maximum volume.

Santa Maria Novella Nostalgia

If you'll ever have the chance to visit Florence don't miss the opportunity to go to the Santa Maria Novella's museum / shop / headquarter located in an ancient chapel from 1200 that's absolutely breathtaking for its beauty and majesty. 

Said that, Nostalgia it's not the kind of scent you would expect form a company founded in 1612 as it's quite modern and somehow weird. Rubber and leather that smell exacactly like the interiors of my grandad's old FIAT 500 during the summertime, when odors are emphasized by the high temperatures of the season. A great fragrance if you like challenging smoky rubber/leather scents a-la Knize Ten / CDG's Garage / Lisa Kirk's Revolution. I do.

Downside: the drydown is quite conventional if compared to the opening, but still pleasant.

One more thing. In italy SMN is sold at a reasonable price. 100 ml for 75 euros.

Rating: 9.5/10 for the opening
              7/10 for the drydown
              8/10 overall

Nasomatto Black Afgano 

I've tried this several times as it seems to be one of the most discussed scents of the last couple of years and I can surely say it doesn't smell like hashish at all. This is simply a weird scent, made to provoke (really???) with a pretentious aim to become a trend setter, but IMO it didn't succeed in any of the above aspect. It actually stinks and very loudly. I guess this is the result of a marketing campaign based on the concept "wierd equals original - original equals personality - personality equals beeing unique"...what about taste? Sometimes the word "weird" just means weird (in all its negative senses). Never, never, never belive the hype!

Note: I usually like weird scents, but they're so hard to find, and much harder to create.

Rating: 4/10

Boadicea The Victorious Complex

BAM! This is what happen when you spray Complex on your skin. A blast of (extremely) bitter green notes on a straight forward animalic leather accord and some violet that stays quite linear for hours and hours. In the drydown I get hints of musk and some incense (labdanum?) lurking in the very back.. .Just think about a Nasomatto remix version of Bandit without flowers. Loud, overwhelming, monolitic and uncompromising. Almost disturbing yet somehow fascinating. Don't get me wrong, it takes guts to really appreciate this composition, but if you're into weird, bitter animalic leather fragrances you should give this at least a try. For trained noses only.

Complex projects for yards and has a tenacious lasting power (more than 12 hrs). 

Advice: If you decide to approach this composition be aware that you won't be able to smell anything else for hours.

Rating: 7/10

Byredo M/Mink

This is a weird one! I usually love weird scents, but with this one I can't really decide. It opens with a blast of "I don't know what the hell is that but it makes me wanna puke" (rancid adoxal?) mixed with "bodily fluids?"and "animalistic secretions?"...who knows??? I guess is the completely desweetened honey note that smells more like beeswax. Very dense, sticky, almost animalic (in a bad way). Absolutely disgusting and seriously disturbing to my nose. The weirdest part is that the drydown is simply amazing with a warm and meditative inky-frankincense note. It never happened to me that I really hated a perfume opening and totally loved the drydown. My solution could be that I spray it on my clothes and then I wait one hour before to wear them so I can avoid the initial brutal blast! BTW incredible lasting power!

Rating: 8.5/10 (for its uniqueness)
              4/10 (for my personal taste)

NOTE: This is a fragrance to experience. Love or hate type of stuff but whether you'll like it or not it deserves its status as one of the most daring compositions so far.

Olivier Durbano Black Tourmaline

This is magnific, a great scent! Here's what I mean when I say I like weird scents. Black Tourmaline has a pretty common notes list but it is so brilliantly crafted and calibrated that the effect is totally distinctive and original. Smoky, dark, deep woods (mainly oud) and leather with a tar hint somewhere and incense that makes of it a very modern composition.  

At the same time Black Tourmaline has definitely the potential to become a classic, something that will leave a trace. Absolutely addictive. I rated it 9 out of 10 just because I've a few reservations as it is not easily wearable. A masterpiece, anyway.

Rating: 9/10

Lisa Kirk Revolution 

Weird scent that smells much better than the description provided within the package. Blood? Not really no. Urine? Well, yes because of the consistent use of civet. Tar? Yes, Birch tar galore! Tear Gas? Yes, definitely and that's why I think it's a bit too similar to a couple of compositions among the CDG Synthetic Series (Garage and Tar). As said before, civet is very prominent as well as tar but IMO what really adds the challenging power to Revolution are the strong spices (could be a scary blend of cumin and thyme?)...

Anyway, it takes ages for Revolution to properly settle down and become enjoyable as the opening is seriously arresting! Once you've passed the initial brutal and claustrophobic blast, the fragrance settles down to a fascinating concoction of spicy and ambery musk. Not for everybody, definitely.

Rating: 7/10

Other fragrances you might want to check:

Tauer Lonestar Memories
Comme Des Garcons Garage
Comme Des Garcons Tar
Blood Concept 0 (Review)
Bulgari Black
Maitre Parfumeur Et Gantier Eau Des Iles


  1. This is a fabulous post. I love skunky fragrances like these, and I think BdV Complex tops the list. Last year, I actually reviewed BdV Divine as a Steampunk perfume. Motor oil, leather, moving mechanical parts, salty human sweat- these are not fragrances everyone will love. :)

  2. Thanks Carrie! I never tried Boadicea's Divine and, looking at the note list, I'd expect everything but a Steampunk fragrance. You now made me curious...is the jasmine very prominent? I've to try it! :)

  3. Divine is like a Victorian, powdery violet fragrance that got trapped in the TARDIS and turned up in the year 3045 to be used by robots to scent their creaky joints.

    The jasmine is there- the florals are there, but they are all tainted by something strange, and that's why I like Divine so much.

  4. I'm a bit scared of the white florals that usually are a no-go for me, but you make it sounds so intriguing...must try.