The more one loves perfume, the more one wants to know about perfume. The more one learns about perfume the more one loves it. But how does one get to understand it and love it a little more? What do we mean when we read about the scent of Jasmine? Well, should you want to explore more of what a single note smells like that is say, included in a favourite fragrance or experience a singular ingredient in its purest form, then step no further than the Osten online store.
Ostens,initially a pop-up store; this store come art gallery, part exhibition, part chemistry experience is the brainchild of the excellent and extremely talented duo, Christopher Yu and Laurent Delafon, founders of fragrance distributor, licensors called United Perfumes. United perfumes have bought divine niche fragrances to the UK including Maison Francis kurkdjian, Cire Trudon, and many more. Their utter understanding of not just scent, but marketing, distribution, and quality of materials set them perfectly placed to bring this unique experience come shop, to our doors. For sale and for the experience, are presented five perfumes and five individual ingredients. The idea is to showcase a material singularly, a treat so rare for customers and then following on to also highlight how this material can be used in a perfume.
In the world of perfumery, this sort of disruption is rare. But its rarest of all because they work directly with the ingredient company LMF and IFF (International Flavours and Fragrances), who create the materials, ( the individual ingredient of a fragrance) so that these can be presented and sold in the shop in an entirely accessible way, never presented like before as usually it is only industry people that smell them in their singular format and certainly the public never get to buy pure ingredients themselves.
What is actually on offer at Ostens? So there are two styles, Préparation, and Impression.
The Préparations are the individual materials in oil (including the highest amount that IFRA will allow because of potential irritation issues), the five are Rose Oil Isparta, Jasmine Absolute Cedarwood Heart, Patchouli Heart, and Cashmeran Velvet. Impressions are each of these five materials fashioned into five Eau de Parfum, by some of the best noses in the business.
The Jasmine (from Eypgt) to start within its oil form is an utter delight, and so pure that is like sniffing the most intense flower in the heat of the evening. A clean, fresh scented oil of idolic headiness that one could imagine the most notable royals of past era anointing themselves with it. The perfume EDP is by the remarkable Perfumer Bruno Jovanovic (very known for his Frederic Malle fragrances) who has bought together an additive Jasmine that is totally modern not old lady white florals of the past. It also contains other important notes of Davana Oil, Ylang Extra, Lavandin Absolute and Sandalwood Mineral Accord.
Then there is the Rose oil from Isparta, a Turkish Rose oil distilled in large copper stills. This makes it a fruity Rose a rich red tone of Rose with a Lychee facet. The perfume by Dominique Ropion is seeing it like a Rothko painting. Red, red and red with a dark centre that draws you in. It also contains Pink Pepper, Rose Essential, Patchouli, Labdanum, Resinoid, and Cashmeran. So deep red, deep sensuality; A deep love letter of the most modern take on the Rose.
Next comes Cedarwood which hails from Virginia. A woody creamy sappy smell and one that can so often be misunderstood. In the capable hands of Perfumer Alexis Dadier who says it “smells of the very heart of a tree trunk which would have just been cut in half. It smells of sap, with a slight humidity, it is also mouth-wateringly creamy, milky, almost vanilla-like.”. Within the EDP are Bergamot Oil, Cardamom Oil, Violet Leaf absolute, Galbanum Heart, Oris concrete and Patchouli which makes the perfume woody yet warm with a sweet vanilla hit.
Cashmeran comes next worked on by Sophie Labbé. In her hands, this incense, woody, ambery oil becomes as comforting as its name implies. The EDP contains Cedarwood Oil Sandalwood Oil Vanilla Bean Extract and Patchouli Heart LMR. Smouldering embers meets softness in this fragrance.
Lastly one of the ‘marmite’ ingredients Patchouli. And maybe that is why they have worked with two perfumes to create these EDP versions. The first is by Domitille Michalon-Berthier and is described as melting wax. The resinous dust from a violin’s bow. Crushed biscuits, cooked molasses. Old bricks, decorative tiles, worn stone floors. It contains Rosemary, Lavandin, Lavender Absolute Immortelle Absolute and Ciste Labdanum Absolute
The second is by Sophie Labbé of which she says of the Patchouli oil:-
LMR Patchouli Heart is a sublimated patchouli. It carries the beautiful, rich and dense notes of patchouli without its often earthy and camphoreous aspects. It is elegant, deep and mysterious.”
Her EDP contains Cypress Oil, Black Pepper, Violet Leaf absolute, Iris resinoid, Cypriol Heart and Cashmeran and is described by Ostens as being Church cloisters, pressed flowers, ink on parchment.
For those that are either inquisitive or love fragrance this place is the most wonderful Aladdin’s cave of scent, but alongside each scent is a visual representation of each fragrance. Like synesthetic paintings, hanging from the walls as you wander around like walking into colourful clouds of scent, whilst the oils sit on plinths simple vials perched like miniature gods. The project a one of love passion and craftsmanship also brings in important factors like provenance, and freedom for perfume makers and buyers alike.
Read more here ostens.com