When I was a schoolboy in Paris, I and my classmates would say to each other that we belonged in Charenton, site of a famous upper-crust mental asylum, even though it had lost that name decades earlier. CM chose the name because D.A.F de Sade spent time there (and wrote no doubt tedious things, now mercifully lost). Another patient was the great Paul Verlaine who, unlike Sade, wrote far too little. All this explains why the fragrances came with a cheerful postcard of a guy sitting on the floor in the far corner of what looks like a padded cell. Samples included Christopher Street, composed by the great Ralf Schwieger and art-directed by CM’s founder Douglas Bender. It is a very classical chypre somewhere between Chanel’s Antaeus and Jean Spaeth’s Krizia Uomo (1984), i.e. a solid, virile, confident accord of citrus, wood and spice. Also Asphalt Rainbow, composed by Cécile Hua at Mane, a very interesting fluorescent rose, also in the eighties manner, but using smoky and spicy notes instead of the fruity glow of now-restricted damascones.
Categories: niche houses