I had not heard of Coolife, and probably a good thing too, because the naff name and the glib patter on their first fragrance “It harnesses the power of scent […] to unite lovers in an irrational and convulsive attraction” would have put me in a grim mood. As it was, I smelled them first and read them later, which turns out to be generally a good idea. The Parfums are straightforwardly numbered from Premier to Quatrième. The first is an interesting reinterpretation of Chanel’s endlessly somber Antaeus, amusingly described as “warm and carnal”. 2 and 3 are respectively a classy gourmand and a nicely done woody citrus. The latest, composed by Yann Vasnier, is the most interesting. Vasnier got his first break as a perfumer while practically still in short trousers in 1986, when he composed the beautiful Divine for a local firm in the small town, Dinard, where he lived. He then worked for Quest (now Givaudan) for years. Vasnier is a highly original perfumer who smells things differently from the rest of us and comes up time and again with remarkable fragrances. I just looked up the list of his creations and found that he had done Donald Trump’s Success (“captures the spirit of the driven man”), which I must now seek out and smell while, so to speak, holding my nose. Quatrième Parfum is a strange composition that starts with a huge, warm, smoky, enveloping, rum-vanillic accord and thereafter moves in an unexpectedly pensive direction towards old books and wet wood. Very nice.
Update May 19: I stand hilariously corrected. Yann Vasnier emailed me to point out that he was indeed in short trousers, i.e. 10 years old, when the first Divine was composed by… Richard Ibanez. The listing in www.fragrancesofthe world.info is apparently in error.